|Saint Nimattullah Kassab Al-Hardini|
|Priest and Confessor|
|Born||c. 1808, Hardin, Lebanon|
|Died||December 14, 1858|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||May 10, 1998, Rome by John Paul II|
|Canonized||May 16, 2004, Rome by Pope John Paul II|
Miracles of Saint Nimatullah Kassab Hardini
Born in the year 1808 in Hardin, Lebanon, St Nimattullah Kassab Al-Hardini is believed to have performed many miracles during his life due to his deep spirituality and his high virtues. He is commended for having a radiant soul, and it was said that he was deeply united to his creator. "The Saint of Kfifan" was stated to have the gift of prophesy and hence became known as "a man of vision." According to some sources, on one occasion when he was teaching his students and facing a large wall outside the monastery of Kfifan, he had a sense that the wall was suddenly going to fall. Thereupon, he asked his students to move away just before the wall fell down, sparing all present from injury.
On another occasion, according to Maronite folklore, Father Nimatullah was divinely made aware that the barn where the cows of the monastery of Kfifan were kept was going to collapse on them (cows were then considered to be vital assets of the monastery). Father Nimatullah asked the monk in charge to change the place of the cows. At first the monk hesitated, but Father Nimatullah insisted and urged him to do so. After the cows were removed the roof of the barn collapsed while none of the cows were lost.
Healing of the Altar Boy
On another occasion, it is believed Father Nimatullah wanted to celebrate his daily mass but his usual altar boy did not arrive at church on time. Father Nimatullah then went to the boy's room and asked him to get up and serve mass. The altar boy was not able to because he had a high fever. Father Nimatullah then requested the boy to stand up, whereupon he ordered the malady to "Leave him..." Immediately, the boy was cured and he went and served Father Nimatullah's mass with joy and liveliness.
Father Nimatullah was thought to have once prayed over and blessed the provisions' box (which contained wheat and other foodstuffs) at the monastery of El-Kattara which was almost empty. After a little while the box was filled and spilled over. Everyone was stunned and praised God at what they saw.
While still alive his fellow monks and the ordinary people who knew him considered Father Nimatullah to be a saint. Often they would come asking him to pray for them and even bless water to be used on their land and for their livestock. His presence always imposed a special respect, reverence and solemnity.
According to the Catholic communion, after his death, God granted many healings and miracles through the intercession of the "Saint of Kfifan." One such healing was supposedly granted to an Orthodox blind man, Moussa Saliba, from the town of Btegrin (El- Maten). Moussa Saliba visited Nimatullah's tomb, praying and asking for his blessing. A deep sleep overcame Moussa Saliba, and then Father Nimatullah appeared to him and healed his eyes, enabling him to see clearly.
Another miracle apparently occurred to a Melkite Catholic man, Mickael Kfoury, from the town Watta El-Mrouge. An incurable illness was attacking both of his legs, which rendered them dry, devoid of flesh, and twisted to the point of crippling him. His doctors had abandoned all hope of a cure. Having heard of the miracles that Father Nimatullah was performing this man decided to visit Father Nimatullah's tomb in Kfifan and ask for his healing. He slept the night at the monastery, and while he was in deep sleep an old monk appeared to him saying: "Stand up and go and help the monks carry in the grapes from the vineyard." He immediately replied: "Don't you see me paralysed, how can I walk and carry the grapes?" The monk answered: "Take this pair of shoes, wear them and walk." The sick man then took the shoes and tried to stretch out his right leg, and, to his surprise, he was able to do so. He woke up and started to feel both of his legs which were now full of blood and flesh, and after he stood up he found himself totally healed.
According to other sources in the church; on September 26, 1987, Andre accompanied family and friends to the monastery of Kfifane where he prayed fervently at the grave of Fr. Hardini. The people around him heard him say "I beg you, Fr. Al-Hardini, give me a drop of blood for I am so tired to the point where I can't even beg for blood on the street." He then asked to wear the monastic habit, moments later he was cured, and cried out with joy, "I wore the monastic habit, I am cured, I don't need blood anymore!" Andre has not required any blood transfusions since that day, and in 1991 he married Rola Salim Raad. They have three children, a son named Charbel and two daughters named Rafca and Maria. Today, Andre is in excellent health and has become a Maronite priest.
Also according to church sources on May 2, 1996, Bishop Khalil Abi-Nader, retired Bishop of the Maronite Diocese of Beirut, obtained the permission of Nasrallah Boutros Cardinal Sfeir to start the investigation of the miracle of Andre Najm. On September 26, 1996, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints began to study the miracle. On February 27, 1997, the five member medical team unanimously voted to accept the miraculous cure of Andre Najm, and on May 9, 1997, the seven member theological team also voted unanimously to accept the miracle. On July 1, 1997, the General Assembly of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which includes twenty-four cardinals, accepted the miracle.
On July 7, 1997, and in the presence of Pope John Paul II, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints published a decree accepting the miracle attributed to the intercession of the servant of God, Fr. Al-Hardini.
Nimutallah al-Hardini's beatification by Pope John Paul II was held at Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome on Sunday May 10, 1998. The Maronite Church celebrates his feast day on December 14. Saint Nematallah was canonized on Sunday, May 16, 2004, by Pope John Paul II in Saint Peter's in Rome.