Quote of the day: 3 June

Pocock, Nicholas, 1740-1821; The Frigate 'Triton'
The Frigate ‘Triton’
Nicholas Pocock (British, 1740–1821)
Oil on canvas, 1797
National Maritime Museum, London
Photo credit: National Maritime Museum / ArtUK

 

we had the happiness of going to com[muni]on, the Same hour as before. mr neale receiv’d it from mr P. after having given it to us. the weather fine wind fair, some part of the day was almost a calm. I was dressed in a fine Silk petticoat and a chince jacket th[a]t had been given me in alms w[hi]ch was So becoming & made me look So Extraordinarily fine th[a]t all my companions were jealous of me.

Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.
(Frances Dickinson, 1755-1830)
Journal of a Trip to America, 3rd June 1790

 

Mother-Frances-Dickinson_Port-Tobacco
Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.
(Frances Dickinson, 1755-1830)

 

Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D. was one of four foundresses of the Teresian Carmel in the United States of America in the summer of 1790. To her fell the task of keeping a daily journal of their ocean voyage aboard the three-masted, square-sailed, merchant frigate Brothers from Texel, Netherlands — departing 25 April — to New York, where they arrived on “friday Morning the 2d of July”. Although she makes no mention of it in her diary entry on the third of June, Mother Clare Joseph was quietly celebrating the anniversary of her profession in the Carmel of Antwerp on 3 June 1773. As for the mention of the petticoat and jacket: the nuns traveled in civilian attire.

 

The Carmelite Adventure: Clare Joseph Dickinson's Journal of a Trip to America and Other Documents 
Edited by Constance FitzGerald, O.C.D.
© 1990 Constance FitzGerald and the Carmelite Sisters of Baltimore

Marie du jour: 21 May

As prayer is one of the chief objects of the Order of Carmel, the Sisters are constantly called upon from far and near to give the assistance of their prayers in all kinds of spiritual and temporal necessities. The following incident will serve to show with what faith and confidence the people recur to the Community:

The Baltimore Sun, Monday, September 25, 1882
The Baltimore Sun, Monday, September 25, 1882 (p. 4)

In the latter part of the year 1882, small-pox broke out in the city of Baltimore and it was feared that it would become an epidemic. Many persons requested the prayers of the Sisters to avert the calamity, and they chanted daily, in community, the hymn to Our Lady, for help in time of pestilence: “Stella coeli extirpavity” [sic].

La procession des Carmélites_GUILLOT Laurent_Musee Saint-Denis
La procession des Carmélites, Laurent Guillot (French, 18th c.), Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Saint-Denis

In January of 1883, a secular newspaper published the following item: “The Mayor received yesterday a card, signed,  ‘Our City,’ requesting the prayers of the good Carmelite Nuns for the small-pox sufferers.” On hearing of this petition, the Sisters redoubled their supplications and daily went in procession through the cloisters, carrying a statue of Our Lady and chanting the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, with appropriate versicles and prayers. Thus they continued to implore the mercy of God until the faith of the good citizens of Baltimore was rewarded and all danger was at an end.

Charles Currier
Carmel in America: a centennial history of the Discalced Carmelites in the United States (p. 354)


Latin text

Stélla caéli extirpávit
Quae lactávit Dóminum
Mórtis péstem quam plantávit
Prímus párens hóminum.
Ipsa stélla nunc dignétur
Sídera compéscere,
Quórum bélla plébem caédunt
Dírae mórtis úlcere.

O gloriósa stélla máris
A péste succúre nóbis:
Audi nos, nam te fílius
Níhil négans honórat.
Sálva nos, Jésu!

Pro quíbus vírgo máter te órat.

English translation

The star of heaven, she who
suckled the Lord, has uprooted
the scourge of death which the
first parent of mankind planted.
That very star is now worthy
to encompass the world,
whose wars cut down the people
with the sore of dreaded death.

O glorious star of the sea,
save us from the scourge:
Hear us, for the son,
denying nothing, honors you.
Save us, Jesus!

For us, the virgin mother entreats you.

Quote of the day: 16 March

This our American Carmel — your lifted hands are the very strength & hope of all our rising churches

J.M.J.

Eternity.

Now it grows very serious my mother, — the parting, & may be not to see you, o blessed, blessed, blessed souls of this our American Carmel.

Speciosa Deserti & lilia convallium — Every day may be the last on earth for me, for you my Mother & ye all her worthy Daughters — but just so has been the pleasing moment granted to me after 15 years of landing on this shore more endeared to me — it had always been so desired — & you have made it so extremely kind.

May that only joy of meeting as souls who wish to live but to their Jesus, his priests or his sacred spouses, ever be so pleasingly felt as it has been to my own heart these two days. I wish no greater encouragement to my friends when they will succeed me here for, whether simplicity or awkwardness I yield entirely to the pleasure of telling you how delighted I have been, how finding me among you nearer to the Sacred Heart to which you live so beautifully offered & united in this happy solitude.

Speciosa, Speciosissima Deserti — You live under his roof, return continually to praise him in his own presence in that choir, dead & lost to the world, though your very name the sweetest edification abroad while your lifted hands are the very strength & hope of all our rising churches.

0 Speciosa, Speciosissima lilia Deserti — I May I only be faithful to my own share of that common grace of your prayers, best of mothers, & ye all her worthy daughters. Accept my full gratitude & love in J. & M.

Servant of God Simon Bruté
Thank you note to the prioress of the Carmel of Port Tobacco, Maryland written at the close of his first visit, most likely in 1825 since Bruté arrived in the United States in 1810

Mother-Frances-Dickinson_Port-Tobacco
Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart (Frances Dickenson, 1755-1830)

Learn more about the Servant of God Simon Bruté and his cause for beatification

Father Bruté's letter was published in Charles Currier's Carmel in America: a centennial history of the Discalced Carmelites in the United States (1890)

Quote of the day: 28 January

Although separated by an immense ocean, we are no less children of the same family. Our holy Mother Teresa of Jesus watches undoubtedly over you in a special manner, and deigns to cast an eye upon you from her place in Heaven, where her charity and her ardent zeal for the propagation of the faith in those countries which you inhabit are so efficacious before the throne of her Divine Master.

Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Riom, Auvergne
Letter to the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Baltimore, Maryland, 1838

Praying for a nation

When considering the intersection of United States history and the Discalced Carmelite Order, there is one figure who stands out. Currier’s history of Carmel in America provides a fascinating insight into the life of one Mother Teresa of Jesus, a Discalced Carmelite nun from the Carmel of Baltimore (Juliana Sewell, 1799 – 1878).

She was a near relative of Francis Scott Key, author of the ” Star-Spangled Banner,” and she had strongly imbibed the patriotic spirit of her family. She always impressed it as a duty upon the young religious to pray for the political, social and religious welfare of the country. The celebration of the centennial anniversary of American Independence was a great joy to her heart, and she took much pleasure at the time in singing the Star-Spangled Banner and in relating little anecdotes of revolutionary days, which she had heard from her father, who, as we have seen, had been so intimately connected with General Washington. [1] [Clement Sewall was one of Gen. Washington’s staff officers]

 

 

Baltimore Carmelite on Biddle St

 

She took much pleasure at the time in singing the Star-Spangled Banner and in relating little anecdotes of revolutionary days…

 

The Saturday morning edition of The Baltimore Sun on March 29, 1873, devotes several column inches to a notice concerning the “removal of the Carmelite nuns” to a newly constructed monastery at the intersection of Biddle and Caroline Streets in Baltimore. Of notable mention is “the daughter of Clement Sewell, a distinguished citizen of Georgetown, who was on intimate terms with General George Washington.”

 BaltoCarmel_Aisq to Biddle (1)

BaltoCarmel_Aisq to Biddle (2)

BaltoCarmel_Aisq to Biddle (3)

BaltoCarmel_Aisq to Biddle (4)

BaltoCarmel_Aisq to Biddle (5)

[1] Currier, Charles. Carmel in America: a centennial history of the Discalced Carmelites in the United States (pp. 303-304)

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