The recovery of Iskandar Oubeid
The cure of Iskandar Oubaid, because of its importance, constitutes the second miracle, held in reserve to support the cause for the beatification of Father Sharbel, the first being the aforementioned recovery of Sister Marie.
Iskandar was a blacksmith from Baabdat. He had lost his sight resulting from a blow to the eye. Dr. T. Salhab declared that the pupil had been destroyed. At the French Hospital, Sacred Heart, in Beirut, Dr. Nakarier advised the patient to go home, lie down and rest for seven days. At the end of this time, a repeat examination was carried out, but there was no improvement. Dr. Salhab imposed an additional two weeks rest upon Oubaid, but this brought no change in the condition of his eye. Dr. Salhab and Nakarier then advised surgery to remove the eye in an attempt to prevent any infection from passing to the second one. While waiting for a definite decision as to whether or not they would proceed with such a drastic remedy, Dr. Salhab and his patient n." Several months passed; meanwhile the handicapped man never ceased to pray and to receive Holy Communion daily. One night, in a dream, he saw a monk who spoke to him; "Go to the monastery and you will be cured." Iskandar set out immediately. It was on a Tuesday. He spent the night in prayer and remained near the hermit's tomb. The following day he heard Holy Mass, received Communion, and returned home.
From the very first day he began to feel pain in his injured eye, pain which increased two days later to the point of torture. To the friends who came to call on him, he repeated with confidence, "I shall get well, God willing, for this pain that I feel is a sign."
The pain increased again and his family begged him to see a doctor. Iskandar refused, saying," From now on, Sharbel is my only doctor," and he began to cry like a child.
It was not until about four o'clock in the morning that he finally went to sleep. During his slumber, he felt as though he were being carried to the door of the Monastery of Saint Moses, which belongs to the same order as that of Sharbel, and was given the task of unloading a truck. It seemed to him that the driver plunged an iron bar into his eye and then pulled the organ out and threw it onto the ground. He cried out in terrible pain, "Oh, you have drawn out my eye, Michael!" He awoke with a start. His wife was frightened to see him in such a state. "Why are you crying out like that?" She demanded.
"It's nothing," he continued, "cover me up, I feel so cold!"
He fell asleep again and this time he dreamt he was standing in front of the very same monastery. A monk appeared and asked what was troubling him. "My eye is so sore," Iskandar replied.
"Have you been here a long time?" inquired the monk.
"Since morning," answered Iskandar.
"Why didn't you notify us? We would have come earlier to cure you," and with these words the monk withdrew, only to return a few minutes later. Then he said, "I am going to put this powder in your eye. It will be extremely painful and your eye will swelll. Don't be afraid, for it is going to cure you." He dusted Iskandars eye with the powder and disappeared. Iskandar then saw Father Sharbel's name inscribed in the asphalt near the church. He gave forth a great cry and awoke. He asked his wife if his eye was swollen. "But it is," she marvelled, "very much so!"
It was at this moment that an admirable scene took place. Joyfully, Iskandar said to his wife, "Bring me the picture of Father Sharbel." He covered his healthy eye with a handkerchief and gazing at the image with his damaged one, made the sign of the cross and cried out, "I can see it, I am cured!"
The neighbours came running. With one impassioned voice, they praised God and offered up thanks for His benevolence.
Dr. Salhab was summoned and could only verify the recovery. He periodically examined Iskandar on subsequent occasions and consulted other specialists. The same gentlemen took up the study of this phenomenon and all unanimously declared: "Iskandar, who lost the use of one eye thirteen years ago, now sees normally with both eyes. The deteriorated iris, which no longer permitted light to pass through, is now perfectly healthy."
A canonical inquiry was convened which verified the miracle. The entire village of Baabdat testified that one Iskandar, blacksmith by trade, had been blind in one eye, and that he had recovered the use of his blind eye by the intercession of Father Sharbel.
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