MARONITE Catholics came from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the relics of three saints in Brisbane late last month, but for one little girl the relics held special significance.
Nine-year-old Celeste Burns travelled with her family from Lismore to see the relics of the Lebanese saints Charbel, Rafqa and Nemetallah at St Maroun’s Church, Greenslopes from October 27-29 and to say thank you for the miracle of life.
Her mum, Beth, who had suffered serious pregnancy complications while carrying Celeste, said it was through the intercession of St Charbel that her little girl was born.
Mrs Burns said in the seventh month of her pregnancy with Celeste, she was having complications and her daughter “was in a bit of danger”.
She said doctors had told her it was likely she would need an emergency caesarean section.
Mrs Burns said a family member had just returned from Lebanon with some blessed oil from St Charbel’s tomb.
“I was anointed with the oil and from that moment on I did not have any pain for the rest of her pregnancy,” she said.
Mrs Burns said she promised St Charbel to name her child after him. Hence Celeste’s middle name is Charbel.
Mrs Burns said Celeste had developed a deep devotion to St Charbel and was thrilled to see the relics in Brisbane.
The Burns family travelled from Lismore to visit the relics on October 28.
“St Charbel is always performing wonderful miracles, but you never think it is going to happen to you,” Mrs Burns said.
She hoped the relics’ visit would promote devotion to all saints, who could intercede for them.
St Maroun’s Parish Relics Committee co-ordinator Peter Torbey said thousands of people visited the relics in Brisbane.
The relics are on their first visit outside Lebanon and are on display in Melbourne and Adelaide this weekend before returning to Sydney and finally Wollongong.