All Saints Week - St Nimatullah Youssef Kassab Al-Hardini

We continue our celebration of All Saints Week with another new-to-me Saint, St Nimatullah Youssef Kassab Al-Hardini (1808-1858).

Born in 1808 in Lebanon, he was greatly influenced by the monastic tradition of the Maronite church. Four of his brothers became priests or monks, and Youssef himself entered the Lebanese Maronite order in 1828.

St. Youssef lived through two civil wars in his country and suffered greatly with his people. His brother, Fr Elisha, suggested he withdraw to a hermitage, but he replied: "Those who struggle for virtue in community life will have greater merit".

He observed that the ordinary, everyday life is a continuous martyrdom, since the monk must always be a model to his brother monks, guarding himself from becoming a source of scandal; instead, the hermit lives alone, away from all external temptations.

It was also a decisive moment in his spiritual life, and he offered himself to God for Lebanon and his Order. His motto was: "The greatest is he that can save his soul", and he would often repeat this to his brother monks.

He was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1998.

1 comment:

Garpu said...

Cool...didn't know about him :)