Quote of the day: 23 October

I am asking Him that you may be not on­ly a good missionary but a saint all on fire with the love of God and souls; I beg you to obtain also for me this love so that I may help you in your apostolic work.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Letter 198 to Abbé Maurice Bellière
21 October 1896


Abbé Maurice Bellière in the African missions with the Pères Blancs | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelites

Quote of the day: 22 October

The presence of God and of Christ, a renewing purification under the guidance of the Spirit, and the living of an informed and adult faith—is this not in reality the heart of the teaching of St. John of the Cross and his message for the Church and for men and women of today? Unless we renew our faith and brighten its flame, we will not be able to face any of the great tasks which face the Church. Only faith enables us to experience the salvific presence of God in Christ in the very center of life and of history. Faith alone reveals to us the meaning of the human condition and our supreme dignity as sons and daughters of God who are called to communion with Him. Faith is the heartbeat of the new evangelization, for it re-evangelizes believers and opens them more and more to the teachings and light of Christ.

Saint John Paul II

Master in the Faith
Apostolic Letter for the IV Centenary of the Death of St. John of the Cross
14 December 1990


JP2 Cali Colombia Jul 4-5 1986 Hernan Valencia Flickr 2595523261_94ac7ca31c_o
Cali, Colombia, 4-5 July 1986 | Hernan Valencia / Flickr

Santa Maria in Traspontina

Flos carmeli,
Vitis florigera
Splendor coeli,
Virgo puerpera

Mater mitis,
sed viri nescia
Da privilegia
Stella maris.

Radix Jesse
Germinans flosculum,
Hic adesse
Me tibi servulum

Inter spinas
Quae crescis lilium
Serva puras
Mentes fragilium

Fortis pugnantium
Furun bella
Tende praesidium

Per incerta
Prudens consilium
Per adversa
Juge solatium


NDMC Traspontina gbcarmelite Flickr 24647026116_510d4acd77_o
Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Carmelite Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina | Johan Bergström-Allen, gbcarmelite / Flickr | View more photos of the Carmelite Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina here


Flower of Carmel,
Blossom on the vine,
Splendor of Heaven,
Virgin bearing child,

Gentle mother,
Yet unknown to man,
Give your Rule
To the Carmelites,
Star of the Sea.

Stem of Jesse
Sprouting a blossom
Be thou near me.
And permit me
To be thy servant!

Lily which grows
Among the thorns,
Preserve as innocent
And protect
The minds of the weak!

Strong armour
Of the fighting men
The wars are raging
Extend the protection
Of the scapular.

Through uncertainty
You lavish
Wise council,
And through adversity
Eternal consolation.


Quote of the day: 21 October

My dear Anne-Marie,

I am so weak I can hardly hold a pencil and yet I need to thank you from my heart, which was so deeply touched by your thoughtfulness. I award you a diploma in candy making: your Kalougas are so good! How pretty they are in their little box! I have quite a supply of chocolates of every kind; everything makes me suffer, but yours, on the contrary, soothe me; it is surely your heart that has placed a special essence in these pretty candies. A thousand thanks. I am not forgetting you on my cross, where I taste unknown joys, and when I am in Heaven, your names and your memories, which are so well engraved in the depths of my heart, will be constantly present there before God. I am very happy, little Anne-Marie!… If you saw how my dear Mother takes care of me…. For a Carmelite used to mortification, I am ashamed of my comfort, but where I am concerned, the only consideration is one of charity, of goodness that is so maternal! A Dieu, little one, I love you and your family a lot, and I kiss you all. Thanks again.

S. E. of the Trinity r.c.i.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

Letter 328a to Anne-Marie d’Avout
around October 21, 1906 


kalougas letter 328a ricardo flickr 4046238181_f2b67ae0a9_o
Kalougas from Bernachon Chocolates in Lyon, France | ricardo / Flickr



Elizabeth of the Trinity, St 2014, I have found God, Complete Works II - Letters from Carmel, translated from the French by Nash, A, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

La búsqueda de la voluntad de Dios en los Místicos Carmelitas — Desierto de San José de las Batuecas

Otro reto de la santidad en el Carmelo es la búsqueda constante de la voluntad de Dios. El silencio, la soledad y la oración, propia de nuestro estilo de vida, son los medios para estar atentos a la voluntad de Dios. Él comunica su plan de amor y de salvación a todos, pero, para que […]

via La búsqueda de la voluntad de Dios en los Místicos Carmelitas — Desierto de San José de las Batuecas

Washed-Out Blue: A Poem

“The long dark night, his soul’s winter,
Need not be endless, empty, cold
A restless rest of deep regret.”

We couldn’t agree more… the thought is profoundly sanjuanist in nature and content. We hope you enjoy this poem as much as we did.


washed out blue skyDawn chorus, subdued and sparse,
The birds of summer have flown.
Washed-out blue, an autumn sky,
Autumn life, drifting darkward.
Pale gold late October sun.
A soft light. Not a warm one.

Each born thing comes to fruition,
Welcome or not, still it matures.
That which has been sown will be reaped.
And yet, what was lost may be found.
While the world lives cyclically
Man is not so bound. He can change.

No predetermined unchanged crop
No inescapable karma.
That gentle light both soft and warm
That once he had in golden past
Can be recovered. If he wills.
Can be found. And not lost again.

The rest towards which he travels,
The long dark night, his soul’s winter,
Need not be endless, empty, cold
A restless rest of deep regret.
Though now the journey is far sped
The destination is unclear.

A washed-out blue fades to black

View original post 36 more words

Quote of the day: 19 October

He was very old when I came to know him, and so extremely weak that it seemed he was made of nothing but tree roots.

Saint Teresa of Avila

The Book of Her Life, Chap. 27


Peter of Alcantara shows Teresa d'Avila the way to paradise - Francesco Fontebasso - Cappella Giustinian dei Vescovi - San Francesco della Vigna, Venice
Peter of Alcantara shows, to Teresa d’Avila, the way to paradise Francesco Fontebasso Cappella Giustinian dei Vescovi of San Francesco della Vigna (Venice)

Quote of the day: 18 October

Ordinary Process

Beatification of Thérèse of the Child Jesus
Witness 3 — Marie of the Sacred Heart


Our parents were reputed to be extremely devout. Our mother fasted during Lent, without using the mitigations permitted. Every day my father and mother attended Mass at 5:30 am, because they said it was the poor people’s Mass. They took Communion frequently, more than once a week, which was quite exceptional for the time. In Lisieux, my father took Communion four or five times a week. My mother loathed society life and wanted nothing luxurious in the house. Reading the life of Madame Acarie (Bl. Marie of the Incarnation) one day, our mother said, “How fortunate she was to have given her three daughters to God!” Our mother had an extremely energetic and lively character, but was not harsh, with a very sensitive and very generous heart. Above all she showed great abnegation which meant she was self-forgetful and worked very arduously in order to have the means to give us a thorough Christian education. Also, in hardship, for example when my brothers and sisters died, she showed astonishing strength of character. Yet you can see from her letters that her heart was broken; but her faith helped her overcome everything. Our father’s dominant characteristic was great righteousness. He made it his duty to affirm his faith, even in front of unbelievers. When the priest brought the Holy Viaticum to our dying mother, he decided to accompany the Blessed Sacrament all the way to the church himself, holding a candle. He was very charitable and wholly devoted to his neighbor, never allowing ill to be spoken of anyone. His overall character gave an impression of goodness. He was also noted for his very pure life, which was reflected in his whole person. He was extremely careful to distance us from anything he considered to be a temptation.


The official portrait for the canonization banner of Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, 18 October 2015 | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelites



Apostolic Process

Canonization of Thérèse of the Child Jesus
Witness 7 — Marie of the Sacred Heart


Our parents were models of every virtue; they attended Holy Mass every day, rising at 5 o’clock in the morning to do so. They would fast throughout Lent without slackening. They observed Sunday rest very faithfully. They would not have taken the liberty to arrange a trip on a Sunday, even a needful one. My father lost many sales opportunities because, unlike the other jewelers in town, he refused to open his shop on Sundays, even though his confessor left him free to do so.

My father had a generous character and placed human dignity above all else. He would never pass by a church without bowing, in whoever’s company he was. He would faithfully attend Night Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every month, and when he moved to Lisieux, he obtained permission to establish the practice in the town. My father and mother had a deep faith, and to hear them talk together about heaven, though we were very young, we came to consider the things of the world as pure vanities.

My mother watched over the spiritual life of her children very carefully, and the smallest of faults would never go unchecked. She very much hoped to see signs of future sainthood in us. Referring to Thérèse, she said, “As for Thérèse, I do not yet know what she will be; she is so small! However, she has an intelligence that I haven’t seen in any of my children, and she always wears an angelic smile”.

My father and mother had a great devotion to the Bl. Virgin. That’s why they gave the name Mary to all their children, both boys and girls. Before he married, my father placed a statue of the Bl. Virgin on a path in his garden, and later it would become very dear to the whole family. It was this very statue that was in Thérèse’s childhood bedroom and which came to life and smiled at her when she was very sick. Praying at the foot of the same statue, my mother was granted very great favours. My parents were very helpful to the poor. When a servant happened to fall ill with rheumatoid arthritis, my mother treated her herself, day and night, for several weeks, not wishing to send her back to her parents because they were poor.


On 18 October 2015 Pope Francis canonized Marie Azélie Guérin and Louis Martin, the first spouses to be canonized as a married couple.  You can learn more about the astounding miracle that led to their canonization in the video below. You can view photos of the canonization Mass here. Blessed be God forever!


Quote of the day: 17 October

October 17, 1871

… I’m grief-stricken, my heart is as broken as when I lost my own children. I see you all in tears, next to your little loved one, who died under such distressing conditions [Paul Guérin was delivered stillborn on October 16, 1871]. And yet God has still granted you a great grace since he had time to be baptized. So, my dear friend, you have to have courage, and I don’t think you lack it. You have enough strength and faith to endure the afflictions of life.

I received your letter just as I was sitting down at the table with company because we had people over. I assure you, what I ate didn’t hurt me. I could eat nothing. My heart was so shattered, I couldn’t breathe. If I could only cry when I’m like this, but no, this relief is denied me. When I’m in great pain, I can’t cry.

I was supposed to be the godmother, and I was rejoicing so much over that! Well! It’s destined that all my celebrations turn out this way….

I don’t know why, but I had a vague premonition of some misfortune. Saturday night, on receiving the dress that I’d had made for the occasion, I said to myself, “I’m rejoicing too much, something terrible could very well happen.”

I wasn’t wrong. If the child had died after several days, I would feel less pain, but given the way things took place, I imagine that it was the doctor’s fault.

As you see, my dear friend, I’m giving you peculiar consolations, but I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. I can’t console you because I myself need to be consoled. When I saw our guests, during lunch, enjoying themselves as if nothing upsetting had happened, I felt a lot of bitterness. Don’t think, however, that Louis was one of them, because he was very sensitive to your pain and speaks of it constantly.

We’re going over in our minds all the suffering and all the troubles your poor wife has had to endure the last six months, and we’re bemoaning the sad ending. Yes, this is very hard. However, my dear friend, let’s not complain, God is the Master. For our own good, He may allow us to suffer a great deal, but never without His help and His grace.

Yesterday I received, at the same time, a letter from our aunt, Madame Frédéric Guérin, announcing the death of her husband (the brother of their father, Isidore, Sr.), who was struck down by a stroke last Tuesday. She invited us to the service that will take place on Thursday. She didn’t give me any detail. I don’t know if he had time to see a priest. This saddened me, but not nearly as much as the news you gave me.

If you can write once before I come to see you, you would make me happy. Tell me, above all, if the child was alive when he was baptized. The doctor should really have baptized him before his birth. When they see a child in danger, it’s always there that they should begin.

While waiting for a letter from you, I hug you with all my heart.

Saint Zélie Martin

Letter CF 71 to her brother Isidore Guérin



white lily flower
Photo by Trina Snow on Pexels.com

New Discalced Carmelite Calendar

Proper Calendar
Order of the Discalced Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(unofficial, working translation for our readers)


We present an English translation of the newly revised liturgical calendar for the Discalced Carmelite Order that was published online by the General Curia 16 October 2019 pursuant to the Decree of the Congregation of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments (Prot. N. 345/18) dated 16 July 2019, its effective date. A commentary on the calendar and translation follows below.



4     St. Kuriakos Elias of the Holy Family Chavara,
Priest —
Optional Memorial
In provinces in India: Memorial

8     St. Peter Thomas,
Bishop — Optional Memorial 

9     St. Andrew Corsini,
Bishop — Optional Memorial
In provinces in Italy: Memorial

27     St. Henry de Ossó y Cervelló,
Priest — 
Optional Memorial




4     Bl. Marie Eugene of the Child Jesus Grialou,
Priest — Optional Memorial

24     Bl. Joseph Naval Girbes,
Virgin — Optional Memorial




17     Bl. Baptist Spagnoli,
Priest — Optional Memorial

18     Bl. Mary of the Incarnation Barbe Acarie,
Religious — Optional Memorial

In provinces of France:  Memorial

23     Bl. Teresa Maria of the Cross Manetti,
Virgin — Optional Memorial




4     Bl. Angel Maria Prat Hostench, Lucas of St. Joseph Tristany Pujol, Priests, and Companions,
Martyrs — Optional Memorial
In Spain: Memorial

16     St. Simon Stock,
Priest — Optional Memorial
In the Anglo-Irish province: Memorial

22     St. Joachina de Vedruna,
Religious — Optional Memorial

24     St. Bede the Venerable,
Priest and Doctor of the Church — Optional Memorial
St. Gregory VII,
Pope — Optional Memorial

25     St. Mary Magdalene of the Incarnate Word de’ Pazzi,
Virgin — 




7     Bl. Anne of St. Bartholomew,
Virgin — Optional Memorial

In the Spanish province: Memorial

12     Bl. Alphonsus Mary of the Holy Spirit Mazurek,
Priest, and Companions, Martyrs — Optional Memorial

In the Polish provinces: Memorial




10     St. Henry,
Optional Memorial

12     Sts. Louis Martin and Marie Azélie Guérin,
Optional Memorial

13     St. Teresa of Jesus Fernández Solar,
Virgin — Memorial
In the province of Chile: Feast


17     Bl. Teresa of St. Augustine Lidoine and Companions,
Virgins and Martyrs
Optional Memorial
In the provinces of France: Memorial

18     St. Apollinaris,
Bishop and Martyr — Optional Memorial

19     St. Bridget,
Religious — Optional Memorial


23     Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of Divine Grace — Memorial

24     Bl. Maria Pilar of St. Francis Borgia Martínez García, Bl. Maria Sagrario of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Moragas Cantarero and Companions,
Virgins and Martyrs — Optional Memorial

27     Bl. Titus Brandsma,
Priest and Martyr — Optional Memorial

28     Bl. John Soreth,
Priest — Optional Memorial
In the provinces of France: Memorial




3     St. Sixtus II, Pope, and Companions,
Martyrs — Optional Memorial
St. Cajetan, Priest — Optional Memorial

7     St. Albert of Trapani,
Priest — Memorial

9     St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross,
Virgin and Martyr — Memorial
In provinces of Europe: Patroness of Europe, Feast

18     Bls. Leonard Duverneuil, Michael Aloysius Brulard, and Hubert of St. Claude, Priests, and Companions,
Martyrs — Optional Memorial

25     St. Mary of Jesus Crucified Baouardy,
Virgin — Optional Memorial

26     Transverberation of the Heart of St. Teresa of Jesus Our Mother,
Optional Memorial




1     St. Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Virgin — Memorial
In the provinces of Italy: Feast

11     Bl. Mary of Jesus López Rivas,
Virgin — Optional Memorial
In the Spanish province: Memorial

17     St. Albert of Jerusalem,
Bishop and Lawgiver of our Order — Feast

18     St. Robert Bellarmine,
Bishop and Doctor of the Church —
Optional Memorial






30     Bl. Maria Teresa of St. Joseph Tauscher,
Virgin —
Optional Memorial




6     St. Nuno of St. Mary,
Religious — Optional Memorial
In the province of Portugal: Memorial

7     Bl. Francis of Jesus Mary Joseph Palau y Quer,
Priest — Optional Memorial

8     St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Catez,
Virgin — Optional Memorial


15     Commemoration of all the Departed of Our Order, Optional Memorial

19     St. Raphael of St. Joseph Kalinowski,
Priest — Memorial

29     Bls. Denis of the Nativity, Priest, and Redemptus of the Cross, Religious,
Martyrs — Optional Memorial
In provinces of India: Memorial




11     St. Maria Maravillas of Jesus Pidal y Chico de Guzmán,
Virgin — Optional Memorial



Nota Bene: In its Appendix, the Decree provides for several celebrations to be assigned to specific jurisdictions. For example, Latin American provinces may observe the optional memorial of Blessed Chiquitunga on 28 April; the Italian provinces may observe the optional memorial of Blessed Elia of St. Clement on 29 May. In other jurisdictions, dates of Carmelite feasts have been changed to accommodate local calendars where a conflict exists. These changes primarily affect the Spanish, French, German, and Italian-speaking provinces.

In that which concerns English-speaking Discalced Carmelites, perhaps the most significant of these particular date changes concerns the provinces of Europe, where the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Divine Grace now will be celebrated on 7 July.

The Discalced Carmelite Procurator General, Father Jean Joseph Bergara, explains that the calendar became valid immediately upon the signature of the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal Robert Sarah: “The calendar is already in force. It is in force counting from the date of the signing of the decree, 16 July 2019, but especially from the date of reception of the decree, 24 September 2019. From that date forward, it is the only valid calendar in all communities.”

You may view the Latin text of the Decree, the original Latin text of the newly revised calendar and its appendix, and the introduction from Father Bergara here.

Quote of the day: 16 October

Edith Stein was a Carmelite even while she was in the world.

In all actuality, for Edith Stein entrance into Carmel was a descent from the height of a distinguished career to the depth of insignificance. Maybe she herself did not perceive this as we see it.

But when she left behind the world at her crossing the threshold of Carmel, did not everything that gave her prominence in that world sink with it and lower her to the level of the humanly commonplace?

She was received into the Cologne Carmel as just another postulant.

Most of the Sisters had not even heard of her before. None of them was aware of her public activities; very few would have been able to follow her if she had tried to introduce them into her own intellectual world.

But no one thought about this—least of all Edith herself. Everyone assumed, quite naturally, that she should undertake the thousand and one little tasks that a postulant has to get used to from the first day. And it was moving to watch the childlike way in which Edith struggled to fall in with the regulations of the house at every point, promptly responding to all requests and trying to accustom herself to this new mode of life.

Sister Teresia Renata Posselt, O.C.D.

Edith Stein: The Life of a Philosopher and Carmelite, Chap. 14


Flemish Emblems Humility British Museum AN01132143_001_l
Humility (ootmoedigeyt)
Anonymous Flemish, 17th c.
Engraving on paper, 1685-1686
British Museum
From the Flemish Emblems series, the emblem of humility is exemplified by a nun standing in a room near a bed, holding a ball in her hand and stepping on a crown with her foot.
Photo credit: British Museum Online Collection (Creative Commons)



Posselt, T 2005, Edith Stein: The Life of a Philosopher and Carmelite, translated from the German by Batzdorff S, Koeppel J, and Sullivan J, ICS Publications, Washington DC.


Conversation in Avila — Phyllis McGinley

Teresa was God’s familiar. She often spoke
To Him informally,
As if together they shared some heavenly joke.
Once, watching stormily
Her heart’s ambitions wither to odds and ends,
With all to start anew,
She cried, “If this is the way you treat your friends,
No wonder you have so few!”

There is, however, no record standing by
Of God’s reply.

Phyllis McGinley

Conversation in Avila


Charles Webster Hawthorne (American, 1872-1930)
Watercolor on paper, 1929
Private collection



McGinley, P 1954, The Love Letters of Phyllis McGinley, Viking Press, New York.




15 October: Kontakion and Ikos of St. Teresa of Jesus



You showed the way of perfection
to the point of rapture, you cherished the God of love
who lavished upon you His ineffable visions;
with the zeal of Elijah you conquered souls for Christ;
through your foundations you made the desert blossom again,
and your monasteries sanctify the people of the cities.
O venerable Teresa, having reached the castle of the great King,
intercede for the faithful who celebrate your glory, as they sing:
Rejoice, mystic spouse of Jesus!



Icon of St. Teresa venerated at the Pontifical Faculty of Theology Teresianum, Rome




Rejoice, for so many graces sown in you!
Rejoice, for you were loved by the Lord!
Rejoice, you whose homeland was above!
Rejoice, splendid glory of Avila!
Rejoice, you who were nourished by manna!
Rejoice, you whose desert became a meadow!
Rejoice, shepherdess-friend of the Good Shepherd!
Rejoice, as you bring your lambs to the Creator!
Rejoice, you who were perfect in the Way!
Rejoice, you who radiate holy joy!
Rejoice, you whose passion was for the Eternal One!
Rejoice, for your way leads to heaven!
Rejoice, mystic spouse of Jesus!


Texts from the Byzantine Matins of our venerable mother Teresa of Jesus, mother of the Carmelite Order, graciously provided by Father J. Michael Thompson.



Como cada año, las fiestas de Santa Teresa, patrona de Ávila, vuelven cargada de música, exposiciones, eventos deportivos y muchas más cosas, que hacen de ella una de las fechas más especiales para los abulenses.


Una de las fechas más significativas, es el día 15 de Octubre, donde la procesión que conduce a Santa Teresa de la Catedral a su “casa”, la Iglesia de la Santa, es uno de los momentos más emotivos de este evento, donde la majestuosidad de la talla de la Santa recorre, los sitios más emblemáticos de Ávila. Donde  por la noche y antes de los tradicionales fuegos artificiales, se realiza la procesión de la despedida, en el que la Santa se despide de la Virgen de la Caridad.


El día de antes 14 de Octubre, Santa Teresa es llevada de la Iglesia de la Santa a la Catedral, donde hará noche, en el precioso templo…

View original post 179 more words

Quote of the day: 15 October

But what disorder in the way I write! Really, it’s as though the work were done by one who doesn’t know what she’s doing. The fault is yours, Sisters, because you are the ones who ordered me to write this. Read it as best you can, for I am writing it as best I can. And if you find that it is all wrong, burn it. Time is necessary to do the work well, and I have so little as you see, for eight days must have gone by in which I haven’t written anything. So I forget what I have said and also what I was going to say. Now it is wrong for me to ask you to avoid doing what I have just finished doing, that is, making excuses. For I see that not making excuses for oneself is a habit characteristic of high perfection, and very meritorious; it gives great edification. And although I have often taught it to you, and by God’s goodness you practice it, His Majesty has never given it to me.

Saint Teresa of Avila

The Way of Perfection, Chap. 15



inaguración por Juan Pablo II-1
Saint John Paul II blessed the monument of St. Teresa next to the Gate of Alcazar during his visit to Avila for the closing of the fourth centenary jubilee year of her death, 1 November 1982. During his homily at the Mass, he said, “I have come here today to Avila to adore the Wisdom of God.” | Photo credit: Teresa de la rueca a la pluma



Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

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