And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.
I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh, I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.
To Quell the Terror, Chaps. 6, 10 (excerpts)
Oh! fix my hope, oh fix it all on dying!
Truly I die from not dying for Thee.
And hasten, Lord, the end of all my sighing
Freed from these chains to Thee alone I’ll flee!
Let Thy blade cut, completing all my offerings,
For nothing but Thy will for me is sweet.
My one desire is that Thy hand be hovering
O’er me thy bride, the sacrifice complete!
Blessed Teresa of Saint Augustine
Extract from a Christmas carol
composed by the Blessed Madame Lidoine
Professor William Bush, the biographer of the sixteen Blessed Martyrs of the Carmel of Compiègne, describes for us the realization of Blessed Mother Teresa of St. Augustine’s hope and desire, which she so beautifully expressed in her prophetic Christmas carol, seen above.
In the verses she had written to be sung at the crèche, Madame Lidoine had addressed him, her great love and eternal Bridegroom, as a helpless babe. Acknowledging herself as completely under the empire of his love, she had, in decisive lines, mysteriously foreshadowed the absolute oblation now awaiting her.
Let thy blade cut, completing all my offering!
For nothing but thy will for me is sweet!
My one desire is that thy hand be hov’ring
O’er me, thy bride, the sacrifice complete!
She bows her head. Raising her palm to her mouth, she kisses the statuette [of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which had been venerated by each of the martyred nuns before her]. Thoughtfully she makes the sign of the cross.
Then, for the first time since taking up her station at the foot of the scaffold, she suddenly seems to hesitate. A devout woman, standing nearby, has understood.
For the first time, Mother Lidoine suddenly seems to hesitate. A devout woman woman nearby understands; she extends her hand and receives the statuette from the Prioress of Compiègne.Tweet
Slipping up to the solitary Mother Teresa of St. Augustine, she surreptitiously extends her hand and receives the little worn clay image, unobtrusively assuring her that this mystic hour of consummation will be remembered by future believers who, years hence, will kiss this tiny relic, blessing God for what it represents of his mercy to humankind.
The downward bang of the balance blank, the click of the neck-stall and the fatal, rushing swish of the falling blade is heard once again: the decapitated body of Sister Marie Henriette of the Divine Providence falls into the cart.
Headless, the corpses of all fifteen of Mother Teresa of St. Augustine’s daughters now sprawl there, piled one on top of the other, swimming in blood. Their white choir mantles, no longer anchored at the necks are now askew, red splattered, blood-soaked.
She must join them. Mother Lidoine moves toward the steps.
Her eyes glowed now with ardent longing to be drawn nearer still to that wounded God who, of his own will, had laid down his life. Was he not her Beloved, her Life, her Hope?
In an instant she knew that she would, at last, behold him face to face in the glory of his resurrected body, resplendent with uncreated light.
Having loved her daughters, Mother Teresa of St. Augustine loved them all to the end, just as her Bridegroom had loved those given to him (Jn 13:1).
Climbing the steps, Mother Lidoine is transfigured. Briefly freed in these fleeting seconds from all worldly responsibilities to others, she savors a bride’s joyous assurance of belonging only to the Bridegroom in the hour of her nuptials.
His all-engulfing presence now clothes her as in a raiment of light. The demonic illusions of the utter absurdity of what was happening to her is swallowed up in his splendor. Lost in his glory, she realizes that all she had to do was to say “yes” to what he offered her.
Having loved her daughters, Mother Teresa of St. Augustine loved them all to the end, just as her Bridegroom had loved those given to him.Tweet
Below in the crowd all eyes are fixed upon the still-unsullied white mantle of the 41-year-old prioress. The blood-spattered executioners bind her hands and strap her to the balance plank. Like a sheep before its shearers, like a lamb led to the slaughter, she, like her Master, opens not her mouth (Is 53:7).
For a few shining seconds she grasps that it is being given, even to her, to enter into the fullness of the most ineffable divine mystery known to the race, a mystery older than the world itself: the mystery of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8).
The balance plank swings forward. It is finished.
Prayer for the Canonization of the Martyrs of Compiègne
Lord our God,
you called the sixteen Blessed Carmelites of Compiègne
to show you the greatest witness to love
through the offering of their blood
“so that peace may be restored to Church and State.”
Remember the heroic and joyful fidelity
with which they glorified you.
May your goodness manifest their favor at your side,
by granting through their intercession
the grace that we ask of you
in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Report favors received to:
Discalced Carmelite Order
General Postulation of the Causes of the Saints
Casa Generalizia dei Carmelitani Scalzi
Corso d’Italia 38 – 00198 Roma (RM)
The Discalced Carmelites continue to gather testimonies of graces and favors received to present a Process of Equipollent Canonization of the Blessed Martyrs of Compiègne.SEND YOUR TESTIMONIES TO
Learn how you can help in this effort.
MS. CLAIRE MILLET OCDS
Bush, W. 1999, To quell the terror: the mystery of the vocation of the sixteen Carmelites of Compiègne guillotined July 17, 1794, ICS Publications, Washington, D.C.