Stephen Nehmé

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Blessed Stephen Nehmé
Stephen Nehme.jpg
Monk
Born (1889-03-08)8 March 1889
Lehfed, Jabeil, Lebanon
Died 30 August 1938(1938-08-30) (aged 49)
Kfifan, Batroun, Lebanon
Honored in
Catholic Church
Beatified 27 June 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI
Canonized Kfifan, Batroun, Lebanon

Stephen Nehmé (born Joseph Nehmé (Arabic: يوسف نعمة‎); March 1889 – 30 August 1938) was a Lebanese Maronite Catholic monk in the Lebanese Maronite Order. He was beatified on 27 June 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI.[1]

Life[edit]

Joseph Nehmé was born on 8 March 1889 in Lehfed, Jabeil, Lebanon, the youngest of seven children of Estephanos Bou Haykal Nehmé and Christina Badawi Hanna Khaled.[2][3][4] Baptized on 15 March 1889, at Our Lady Church of Lehfed,[5] Nehmé studied under the Maronite Order at Our Lady of Grace School in Sakii Rishmaya.[2][3] A story from his childhood reports that he once observed a badger enter an underground cave; Nehmé dug at that spot and unearthed a spring, which is known today as "Badger's Fountain".[3]

In 1905, Nehmé entered the novitiate of the Order of Maronites at the Monastery of Ss. Cyprian and Justina in Kfifan. Nehmé made monastic vows on 23 August 1907, taking the name Stephen (variously transliterated as Estefan or Estephanos).[4] He made solemn vows on 13 April 1924.[5] At various monasteries, he did manual labor in the fields and gardens, as well as in carpentry and construction.[3] Nehmé's contemporaries made special note of his constant repetition of the mantra, "God can see me".[2][3]

Nehmé died of a severe fever that eventually led to apoplexy at 7 p.m. on 30 August 1938 at the monastery in Kfifan.[1][2][3]

Veneration[edit]

The cause of canonization for Nehmé began with a decree of heroic virtue by Pope Benedict XVI, given on 17 December 2007.[1] A decree of miracle was promulgated on 27 March 2010 by Pope Benedict, as it had been determined by papal authorities that the healing of Sister Marina Nehmeh from osteosarcoma had been due to his intercession.[1][5] On 8 June 2010 it was announced that the pope had approved Nehmé's beatification.[3] The ceremony of beatification was performed on 27 June 2010 in Kfifan, and was presided over by Archbishop Angelo Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.[4] Nehmé is the fourth member of the Lebanese Maronite Order to be beatified.[6]

His body, which resides in the Monastery of Ss. Cyprian and Justina, has reportedly been found to be incorrupt.[4] Monks investigating the tomb on 10 March 1951 found the body had not decayed. The relics were thus moved to a new tomb, where visitors seek his intercession and ask for healing.[5]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Jones, Terry. "Venerable Yusuf Nehme". Patron Saints Index. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Cusack, Robert (28 June 2010). "The life and journey of Estephan Nehme". The Daily Star (Lebanon). Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Maronite Friar to be Beatified in Lebanon". Zenit. 10 June 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Pope Welcomes Beatification of Lebanese Priest". Zenit. 27 June 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Brother Estephan - Biography". Monastery Saint Maron Annaya. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Benoît XVI confie les Libanais à l'intercession de Fr. Néhmé" (in French). Zenit. 27 June 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010.