“The Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Thus, when man becomes lifeless, he goes back to dust from where he was taken first. This is the rule of life and death. Some people think that almighty God save the body of a number of saints from decay to show the eminence of their holiness as well as to venerate them. Others believe that God keeps the body of these blessed people away from decay so that they become a real ideal and a true example for believers. However, the truest is that the good condition of the body is not the unique proof to confirm the holiness of these distinguished people whose body remains non decayed after death. Many saints returned to dust after death and were recognized saints and were presented as well on the altars of the Church.
In 1951, thirteen years after the death of Brother Estephan, Father Youssef Souraty passed away at the monastery of Saints Cyprian and Justine in Kfifan. This is when the monks opened the grave in order to bury him that they found out the living body of Brother Estephan, as if he deceased few hours ago. He was still supple, with the whole parts and organs of his body, even his hair and his beard had not fallen. His clothes were still new and out of rot. They lifted him up from the ground where he was laying, and was put in a tomb.
In 1962, the Superior of Kfifane’s Monastery, Father Eghnatius Khachan, charged a legal doctor to examine the body of Brother Estephan. He reported that all the organs and parts of the said monk were still safe from decay or any other disfiguration and deterioration. As for the color of the skin, it was almost brown. His members were supple and almost normal as well as the muscles and the belly skin. His hair was also preserved.
Soon the news was spread in the neighborhood and crowds flowed to the monastery to visit the mausoleum seeking his blessings… Consequently, the Generalate of Lebanese Maronite Order decided to lock the door of the grave where the body of Brother Estephan lays peacefully till present.
The process of this worker monk reached the land of holiness. His body was left to us as a witness of this holiness and an ideal to follow in order to live the depth of our Christian life with all faith and pureness. This is how we get closer to our Lord God who keeps on calling us and inviting us to be filled with his parental love which is but the aim of our existence and the way that leads to Him.