is a Lebanese Christian Maronite citizen born in "Ghineh"
village in "Ftouh Keserwan", on the 10th of November 1961,
married with a family of three children. He graduated from the Jesuit
University in Lebanon with a degree in Electro-mechanical engineering.
He then left Lebanon to work in the United Kingdom, where he specialized
in Nuclear physics.
He began to
search through science and technology, for answers concerning creation,
the universe and Gods mystery. The mystery of the Eucharistic
Sacrament has always perplexed Raymond since his childhood. His
grandfather, being a priest has incited him to search for the truth,
and to find answers revolving around the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
God truly exist? Where is He? Is Christ really the Son of God? Was
He truly crucified? Did he die and rise from the dead? Why does
God become incarnate? How does the bread that we bake become the
Holy Body of Christ when the priest prays on it? And why people
after receiving it, are supposed to love each other and God?
Raymond persevered in his prayers and regular spiritual retreats
in hermitages and monasteries (one of them was the hermitage of
Annaya). On the eve of November 9th, 1994, Raymond arrived at St
Peter and Paul hermitage in Annaya, carrying the Holy Bible and
five candles in a bag. He lit the candles and began prayers and
meditations. Suddenly, he started to feel changes in his surrounding.
The wind grew stronger, the temperature began to rise and the flames
of the 5 candles stopped flickering, but continued to burn with
felt that he is in a different world. He lost his sense of hearing,
sight and feeling. He felt as if he has been transported from darkness
to the center of a brilliantly radiating light. However, the light
didnt emit any temperature. It was warm, smooth and had no
color, like a pure crystal. He felt the presence of someone addressing
him with no language, no audible voice, and no words. However the
greeting was amazingly clear. At the thought of asking a question,
Raymond felt someone answering him. You are not dreaming
you are now more conscious than any other time in your life! This transcendental situation lasted for four hours; Raymond
felt them as less than one second!
to our world at around 3:35am. He then, tried to comprehend what
has happened. Was it a dream? Or hallucination? He remained in
this state of mind until he discovered the mark on his arm: a trace
of five fingers imprinted by a strange flame of fire. Raymond
immediately notified the Father superior of Annaya monastery, Tomas
Mehanna, and the Maronite bishop of Beirut Abi Nader, who knew him
since his childhood. They both asked Raymond to consult credible
physician specialists and obtain from each a medical report that
explains the cause of the mark. All reports stated that the cause
couldnt be established, and that the mark looks like a third
degree burn without any pain or inflammation. Besides, the color
was not typical of any deep burn that is usually gray or black,
but instead, was pinkish and red. It was a precisely drawn lesion
that healed within 5 days without any treatment.
Since the 10th
of November, these apparitions were repeated several times. During
each apparition, Saint Charbel gives Raymond a message and often
renews the mark on his arm.