St. Sharbel relics return to Maronite church

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St. Joseph Maronite Catholic Church, 5406 E. Virginia Ave., Phoenix, will once again host the relics of St. Sharbel Makhlouf this month. The saint is known worldwide as a miracle saint for his spiritual and physical healings, including restoration of a Phoenix woman’s vision restored after touching the relics in 2016.

Dafne Gutiérrez had suffered from benign intracranial hypertension, which causes increased pressure in the brain. The increased pressure eventually caused her to lose her vision by November 2015. When she visited the relics two months later, she prayed before them, went to confession and was blessed with holy oil by the church’s pastor, Fr. Wissam Akiki.

Two days later, she experienced a searing pain in her eyes, according to an article from Catholic News Agency. She remembered how much they burned and when her husband turned on the lights, the brightness hurt her eyes.

According to the Maronite Voice, the newsletter for the Maronite Eparchies of the U.S.,

“That morning she called her ophthalmologist, and she was evaluated the next day. Her exam showed that she was still legally blind, with abnormal optic nerves. Two days later, she saw a different ophthalmologist, and her vision was a perfect 20/20, with completely normal optic nerves. Subsequently, she saw her original ophthalmologist one week later, and her vision was documented to be normal, with completely normal exam.”

The relics will be at St. Joseph Maronite Church Jan. 18-21.

St. Sharbel relics in Phoenix

Jan. 18: welcome procession 4:30 p.m. followed by devotion prayer and veneration
7 p.m. Mass and further veneration until midnight. Bishop Elias Zaidan of the Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Eparchy of Los Angeles will celebrate.

Jan. 19: 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Spanish liturgy
7 p.m. Divine Liturgy in Maronite Rite then veneration until midnight

Jan. 20: 9 a.m. Melkite Rite Mass
11 a.m. Chadlean Rite Mass
3 p.m. hierarchical divine liturgy in Byzantine Rite
6 p.m. Latin Rite Mass with Fr. Antony Tinker, FHS. Includes healing prayers and blessing with holy oil then veneration until midnight.

Jan. 21: 7-10:30 a.m. devotional prayer, Rosary and veneration
11 a.m. divine liturgy in Maronite Rite and blessing with holy oil
3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Spanish liturgy with Fr. Boc Rossi, osc and Fr. Charlie Goraieb, respectively
8 p.m. healing prayers and blessing with holy oil then veneration until midnight