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Vatican approves beatification of beloved Maronite Patriarch

Blessed Estephan El Douaihy - Stefano Douayhy-Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites

© Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Philip Kosloski - published on 03/16/24

Estephan El Douaihy, a pillar of the Maronite Church, will soon be beatified, joining the long list of holy Maronite saints.

Pope Francis recently approved the beatification of Estephan El Douaihy (or Istifan al-Duwayhi), former Patriarch of the Maronite Church.

Istifan al-Duwayhi was born in the 17th century and was recognized as a brilliant mind from an early age.

According to the Vatican biography, “At the age of 11, he was sent by the Superiors of the Maronite Church to the Roman seminary of the Maronites, where he obtained his doctorate in philosophy and continued the search for manuscripts that dealt with Maronite history and liturgy. Returning to his homeland, on March 25, 1656, he was ordained a priest. He carried out the apostolate in various parishes in Lebanon and Syria, dedicating himself to assisting the poor and contributing to dialogue between the Eastern Churches and the Catholic Church.”

On May 20, 1670, he was elected to the patriarchal see of Antioch as Patriarch of the Maronites. He sought to reform the Maronite Church and died after serving for many years on May 3, 1704.

You can visit his incredible monastery here:

Miracle

In order to be considered for beatification, most individuals need to have a miracle associated with their intercession.

The miracle that was examined by the Vatican for Istifan al-Duwayhi happened in 2013, when a woman was miraculously cured through his intercession.

The Vatican states that, “On September 7, 2013, given her desperate conditions, she was taken by relatives to Ehden, the birthplace of the Venerable Servant of God, where the family had a home. Here, prayers were raised for the Patriarch to intercede for her recovery. After the invocations, to the amazement of those present, she managed to get up and walk independently, without feeling any pain. From that moment the lady no longer had any symptoms attributable to the previous pathology.”

Istifan al-Duwayhi will now be beatified by the Church and will be appointed a feast day.

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