On Sunday the 22nd of June 2008, His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX Catholicos Patriarch of Cilicia of Armenian Catholics, participated in the beatification ceremony of father Yacoub Haddad, which took place in Martyrs Square Downtown.
The service was attended by a litany of Eastern Christian prelates, other clerics, international envoys and local political figures, the event also included the Lebanese President Michel Sleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.
Blessed Haddad was born in 1875 in Ghazir, a Christian village north of Beirut. He opened hundreds of Capuchin schools in Lebanon, started up the Third Order Franciscans for laypeople in the country and founded the order of the Franciscan Sisters of the Cross. He founded numerous hospitals, hospices and schools before his death in 1954.
Haddad, who died more than 50 years ago, took a step toward sainthood in the first beatification ever to take place outside the Vatican. Throughout hislife, father Haddad had always supported the poor and the afflicted and with his beatification he joined the ranks of Charbel, Rafqa and Nimatullah Hardini.
The service was presided over by a representative of Pope Benedict XVI, and the head of the Vatican’s office for sainthood, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, in tandem with Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir.