Close to you, O my loving Mother!
I’ve found rest for my heart.
I want nothing more on earth.
Jesus alone is all my happiness.
If sometimes I feel sadness
And fear coming to assail me,
Always supporting me in my weakness,
Mother, you deign to bless me.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux
PN 7, Song of Gratitude to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Stanza 3
Thérèse gave this poem to Sr. Martha of Jesus for her birthday in 1894. Martha was born in Giverville (Eure, Normandy) on July 16, which is obviously significant for a Carmelite nun! Thérèse delicately explores the life of this companion, who appreciated her to the point of asking not to leave the novitiate in order to remain under her direction (Martha made her profession on September 23, 1890).
Featured image: One out of many photos of the annual procession of the image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel that winds its way through the streets of Haifa, Israel from the Discalced Carmelite parish of St. Joseph until it makes its way along Stella Maris Boulevard to Stella Maris Church overlooking the Bay of Haifa. This year, the procession took place on Sunday, 1 May 2022.