Quote of the day: 17 June

ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
TO THE BISHOPS OF VIETNAM
ON THEIR “AD LIMINA” VISIT

Tuesday, 17 June 1980


Last year in taking possession of his titular church, your dear Cardinal said that the Church in Vietnam has always found “a mother’s powerful hand” in Mary. I entrust to her protection your ecclesial mission and that of all the Christians in your country.

Just returning from my pilgrimage to Lisieux, permit me also to invoke the little Carmelite, St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, who is linked to Vietnam in many ways. Her Carmel is at the origins of Carmelite life in your homeland and, if her health had permitted it, she would have gladly gone to your country.

Saint John Paul II
Excerpt from the Ad Limina Address

 

Statue of Saint Jean-Paul II Notre-Dame de Paris Tsereteli 2014
Saint John Paul II monument, Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, Zurab Tsereteli (2014) | Amaury Laporte / Flickr

 

Translation from the French is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.

 

 

25 May: St. Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi

May 25
SAINT MARY MAGDALEN DE’ PAZZI
Virgin

Memorial

In 1566 Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi was born in Florence where she received a good religious upbringing, and eventually became a Carmelite nun. In Carmel she led a hidden life of prayer and self-denial, praying fervently for the reform of the Church and helping her sisters in their quest for perfection. After receiving many graces from God, she died in 1607.

From the common of virgins

Office of Readings

Hymn

Fair Star, your rays fall from above
To fill all Carmel with delight;
With humble pride, we sing of you
And praise in you the Lord of might.

All things that are light in the hand
Christ placed in yours, bride of his heart
The God by highest heav’n adored
Espoused you in a place apart.

This Spouse taught you the mystery
of life no death has power to hold;
To seal your life of sacrifice
Placed on your hand a ring of gold.

True bride, apparelled in his blood
Upon the cross with Christ you died,
His passion sharing, shared his life
And rose with Jesus glorified.

L.M.
Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.

Psalmody

Ant. 1 She rejoices like a champion about to run her course (alleluia).

Psalms from the Common of Virgins

Ant. 2 My tongue is as ready as the pen of a scribe (alleluia).

Ant. 3 Forget your father’s house, for the king desires your beauty (alleluia).

V/. You have shown me the path of life (alleluia).
R/. You will fill me with joy in your presence (alleluia).

The second reading and its responsory are from The Liturgy of the Hours

Prayer

Father,
you love those who give themselves completely to your service,
and you filled Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi
with heavenly gifts and the fire of your love.
As we honor her today,
may we follow her example of purity and charity.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Morning Prayer

Hymn

We sing a hymn of holy love
God’s marriage with an earthly bride;
You lead, Mary, in our song:
In Carmel God is glorified.

God’s loving touch upon your soul,
And all earth’s pleasures round you died
No flowers for you but those that spring
Where Love has passed, the Crucified.

He stole your heart, you gave consent,
And now his own throbs in its place
His voice is speaking through your voice,
His features graven in your face.

Love-wounded, by the Spirit drawn,
With Christ you reach the Father’s side
No secret but he shares with you,
No longer servant — perfect bride!

Like precious nard, your life poured out
Is holy, pure, example still;
Throughout the Church, throughout the world
This holy fragrance you distill.

L.M.
Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.
(origin of first verse unknown)

Psalmody

Ant. 1 In a dry and desert land I prepared my heart for you, that I might see your strength and your glory (alleluia).

Psalms of Sunday, Week I

Ant. 2 Christ I freely confess, Christ I ardently long for, with Christ alone I desire to be (alleluia).

Ant. 3 With timbrel and dance, with strings and pipes, let everything that breathes praise the Lord (alleluia).

Scripture Reading

Phil 3:8, 10-11

I reckon everything as complete loss for the sake of what is so much more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. All I want is to know Christ and experience the power of his resurrection; to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life.

Responsory

Easter season
R/. Of you my heart has spoken; I seek your face *
Alleluia, alleluia. Repeat R/.
V/. Lord, I long to see your face. R/. Alleluia, alleluia
Glory . . . R/.

Ordinary time
R/.
Of you my heart has spoken; * I seek your face. Repeat R/.
V/.
Lord, I long to see your face. * I seek your face.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Zechariah
Ant. The love of God has been poured into our hearts, through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (alleluia).

Intercessions

The Father and the Son are eternally celebrating the joy of their love in the Holy Spirit, and we, by their grace, are called to share their life. Let us pray:

R/. We thank you, Father, for choosing us in Christ to praise your glory.

Christ, eternal Word, in your coming to earth you have spread joy like the morning dew; gladden our hearts by the grace of your continued presence R/.

Christ, in the blood you poured out on the cross you intercede for us with the Father; bring us, pure and without sin, into the presence of the undivided Trinity. R/.

Christ, with the Father you have given us the Holy Spirit, the source of all mercy, to guide our thoughts aright, may his abiding presence turn us from anything that would hinder his reign within us R/.

Christ, you gave birth to the Church as you hung on the cross and you nourish it with your precious blood; may your Church, free from every blemish, be joined at last with the Holy Trinity in eternal joy. R/.

Christ, you restored our mortal flesh by living in our midst; give us a full share in the joy of eternal life. R/.

Our Father . . .

Prayer

Father,
you love those who give themselves completely to your service,
and you filled Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi
with heavenly gifts and the fire of your love.
As we honor her today,
may we follow her example of purity and charity.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Prayer During the Day

Weekday prayer from the psalter

Evening Prayer

Hymn

Virgin illustrious through the Spirit’s bounty,
Sharing Christ’s passion, close with him united
God’s Mother also gave you her maternal
Pledge of affection.

Teach all earth’s people how the Cross brings wisdom,
Gives Christ new members, on his Body nourished,
Like fruitful gardens, quick with rain from heaven,
His blood renews us.

Bid Christ’s own flock be undefiled and spotless;
Magdalen, tell them how immense his longing
Since here in exile this is all you worked for,
Prayed for with weeping.

Sister and teacher, may the field of Carmel
Through your example and your brethren’s labor
Shine with rich harvest, fruit of constant giving,
As you have taught us.

Praise to the blessed Trinity eternal
Whom you have worshipped with such yearning ardor;
May we be granted through your intercession
Joys everlasting.

11.11.11.5.
Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.
(origin of verses 3-4 unknown)

Psalmody

Ant. 1 My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God (alleluia)

Psalm 112

Praise, O servants of the Lord, *
praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blessed *
both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to its setting *
praised be the name of the Lord!

High above all nations is the Lord, *
above the heavens his glory.
Who is like the Lord, our God, *
who has risen on high to his throne
yet stoops from the heights to look down, *
to look down upon heaven and earth?

From the dust he lifts up the lowly, *
from his misery he raises the poor
to set him in the company of princes, *
yes, with the princes of his people.
To the childless wife he gives a home *
and gladdens her heart with children.

Ant. My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God (alleluia).

Ant. 2 In the house of the Mother of my Lord I would speak of purity and peace (alleluia).

I rejoiced when I heard them say: *
“Let us go to God’s house.”
And now our feet are standing *
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built as a city *
strongly compact.
It is there that the tribes go up, *
the tribes of the Lord.

For Israel’s law it is, *
there to praise the Lord’s name.
There were set the thrones of judgment *
of the house of David.

For the peace of Jerusalem pray: *
“Peace be to your homes!
May peace reign in your walls, *
in your palaces, peace!”

For love of my brethren and friends *
I say: “Peace upon you.”
For love of the house of the Lord *
I will ask for your good.

Ant. In the house of the Mother of my Lord I would speak of purity and peace (alleluia).

Ant. 3 Redeemed by the blood of Christ and sealed with the Holy Spirit, we live to praise the Father’s glory (alleluia).

Canticle: Eph 1:3-10

Blessed be the God and Father *
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ *
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

He chose us in him *
before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy *
and blameless before him.

He destined us in love *
to be his sons through Jesus Christ,
according to the purpose of his will, †
to the praise of his glorious grace *
which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

In him we have redemption through his Blood, *
the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of his grace *
which he lavished upon us.

He has made known to us †
in all wisdom and insight *
the mystery of his will,
according to his purpose *
which he set forth in Christ.

His purpose he set forth in Christ, *
as a plan for the fullness of time,
to unite all things in him, *
things in heaven and things on earth.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Redeemed by the blood of Christ and sealed with the Holy Spirit, we live to praise the Father’s glory (alleluia).

Scripture Reading

Eph 3:8-11

To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, that through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known. This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Responsory

Easter season
R/.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ fill us with the knowledge of the love of Christ. Alleluia, alleluia. Repeat R/.
V/.
So that we may be filled with the fullness of God. R/. Alleluia, alleluia. Glory . . . R/.

Ordinary time
R/. May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ fill us with the knowledge of the love of Christ. Repeat R/.
V/.
So that we may be filled with the fullness of God, fill us with the knowledge of the love of Christ. Glory   . . . R/.

Canticle of Mary 
Ant. The Word of God became man and lived among us, that he might draw all of us to himself (alleluia).

Intercessions

With the intercession of St Mary Magdalen, let this be our prayer to the Lord: that he will deepen the spirit of love in us and help us to serve him with all our hearts:

R/. Lord, fill us with your spirit of holiness and unite us in your love.

Christ our Savior, be with your Spouse, the Church, to the end of time, as your Holy Spirit leads us to unity, love and truth; may all men come to know the Father, the source of all life. R/.

Christ our Savior, may priests, the ministers of your Blood, be true witnesses of the gospel; may all our brethren be joined with us in one sheepfold, may your blood purify sinners; may your love and light shine on all mankind. R/.

Christ our Savior, lead our Carmelite family, enriched by God’s gifts, to a truly fraternal way of life; may we live the values of the gospel in the Church for the life of the world. R/.

Christ our Savior, may we who share at the table of your love, grow in love for all people, for whom you shed your precious blood; join us to yourself forever by the bond of the Spirit. R/.

Christ our Savior, you descended into hell and opened its gates; bring our deceased brothers and sisters to your kingdom in heaven and give them joy with you forever. R/.

Our Father . . .

Prayer

Father,
you love those who give themselves completely to your service,
and you filled Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi
with heavenly gifts and the fire of your love.
As we honor her today,
may we follow her example of purity and charity.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

 

Mary Magdalene-de-Pazzi_Pedro_de_Moya_-_Vision_of_St_Maria_Magdalena_di_Pazzi_-_WGA16308
Visión de Santa María Magdalena de Pazzi
Pedro de Moya (Spanish, 1610-1674)
Oil on canvas, c. 1640-1674
Museo de Bellas Artes de Granada

Marie du jour: 16 May

FLOS CARMELI

Sequence Hymn for the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 16 July


FLOS Carmeli,
vitis florigera,
splendor caeli,
virgo puerpera
singularis.

Mater mitis
sed viri nescia
Carmelitis
esto propitia
stella maris.

Radix Iesse
germinans flosculum
nos ad esse
tecum in saeculum
patiaris.

Inter spinas
quae crescis lilium
serva puras
mentes fragilium
tutelaris.

Armatura
fortis pugnantium
furunt bella
tende praesidium
scapularis.

Per incerta
prudens consilium
per adversa
iuge solatium
largiaris.

Mater dulcis
Carmeli domina,
plebem tuam
reple laetitia
qua bearis.

Paradisi
clavis et ianua,
fac nos duci
quo, Mater, gloria
coronaris. Amen.

Composition of the Flos Carmeli sequence hymn is attributed to Saint Simon Stock, the Carmelite prior general, whose feast day is observed on 16 May.

Marie du jour: 15 May

During the month of May, the refugees assembled for the daily prayers in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The scholarly journal Teresianum in 1990 published an account by noted Discalced Carmelite historian Father Elias Friedman, O.C.D. concerning the Discalced Carmelite friars’ charitable efforts to shelter refugees at Stella Maris monastery during the armed conflict in Haifa in the year 1948.

A bit of background: Fr. Elias reminds his readers that at the end of 1947 when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution “recommending the partition of Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish state and a corpus separatum for Jerusalem,” Jews and Arabs in the region “jostled for position in view of the approaching termination of the British Mandate.” Bloody violence ensued.

Injured Palestinians lying on cots waiting to be evacuated in Haifa_LIFE 1948
Injured Palestinians lying on cots waiting to be evacuated in Haifa | The Palestine Project / Medium

Photos from the LIFE magazine archives illustrate Fr. Elias Friedman’s documentation. Father Elias carefully noted that in 1944 the population of Haifa was 128,000, with a fair balance of Jews, Christians, and Muslims (52% Jewish); the Discalced Carmelite Fathers’ parish in the city of Haifa, Saint Joseph Church, had a membership of roughly 4000 families. After the violence broke out in 1948, “of a total population of 98,284, Jews numbered 94,718.” Saint Joseph’s parish experienced a dramatic drop in membership: in 1948, there were only about 500 families that remained. When Fr. Elias published his article in 1990, he noted that the membership had “risen slowly, so that at the time of writing, the number of parishioners stands at +/-1,500.” Haifa’s Christian population suffered immensely in 1948.

Beginning in January 1948, Catholics in Haifa began to seek secure shelter at the Monastery of the Carmelite Fathers, now known as Stella Maris, on the promontory of Mount Carmel at Haifa.

THE_STELLA_MARIS_MONASTERY_ON_THE_FRENCH_CARMEL_IN_HAIFA._מנזר__סטלה_מאריס__על_הכרמל_הצרפתי_בחיפה.D397-105_1934
THE STELLA MARIS MONASTERY ON THE FRENCH CARMEL IN HAIFA. 
מנזר “סטלה מאריס” על הכרמל הצרפתי בחיפה.
Date: 01/07/1934
Source National Photo Collection of Israel, Photography Dept. Government Press Office,
under the digital ID D397-105
Photographer: Zoltan Kluger (1896-1977)

Four religious from the Christian Brothers school were the first Catholics who came to the friars asking for a place to stay. “Soon they were followed by Arab families, desperately in search of shelter.” At one point, the number of refugees at the Carmelite monastery across from the lighthouse reached a total of 521.

British soldier sitting guard on a rooftop Haifa_Dmitri Kessel_LIFE 1948
British soldier sitting guard on a rooftop, Port of Haifa, 1948. | Dmitri Kessel, photographer | The Palestine Project / Medium

Father Clemente Casinelli, O.C.D. transferred to Haifa from the friars’ monastery at El-Muhraqa the place of Elijah’s sacrifice in April 1948 and assumed the office of Procurator. When he arrived, he found “the first floor of the monastery to be filled with men, women, and children.  They were mostly Catholics, some three or four families were Greek-Orthodox, and one family was Muslim (the Sabas). The overflow spilled into the grounds of the monastery.”

The refugees were very resourceful and contributed to one another’s well-being given the circumstances. Fr. Clemente took charge of the refugee program. He was an Italian Discalced Carmelite friar who had spent six years in a British prison camp in Lebanon during World War II for no other reason than his nationality; his own harsh experiences there gave him a unique sense of initiative and compassion.

Palestinian child refugee waiting on the dock to leave Haifa
Palestinian child refugee waiting on the dock to leave Haifa | The Palestine Project / Medium

 

Fr. Elias notes that “the refugees assisted regularly at Sunday Mass.” A local family who were benefactors to the friars and their refugees “set a good example by first putting their contributions into the plate and taking it around the congregation at the Offertory.”

“During the month of May, the refugees assembled for the daily prayers in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at 7 o’clock each evening to recite the Rosary together and attend the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.”

 

NCMC Stella Maris closeup
The centerpiece of Stella Maris Church on the promontory of Mount Carmel is the miraculous statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen and Beauty of Carmel. The statue of the Virgin Mary and Infant Jesus enthroned, placed at the center of the main altar, standing on a pedestal carved from a cedar of Lebanon, is devoutly venerated by the local Christians. | Photo: Curia Generalizia Carmelitani Scalzi / Facebook

Friedman, Elias. “Internal Arab refugees at the monastery of the Carmelite Fathers, Mount Carmel, Haifa (Israel).” Teresianum: Ephemerides Carmeliticae, vol. 41, no. 1, 1990, pp. 261-274.

Project, The Palestine. LIFE Magazine: Palestine 1948 — rare photo collection. medium.com, 16 May 2018, https://medium.com/@thepalestineproject/life-magazine-rare-photos-of-palestine-1948-d80e83d4929. Accessed 15 May 2019.

Wikimedia Commons has photo collections concerning historical images of Haifa, the statue of Our Lady of Chile that stands across from the monastery, and several historic images in the Stella Maris Monastery collection.

 

Quote of the day: 14 May

To have had virtuous and God-fearing parents

To have had virtuous and God-fearing parents along with the graces the Lord granted me should have been enough for me to have led a good life if I had not been so wretched. My father was fond of reading good books, and thus he also had books in Spanish for his children to read. These good books together with the care my mother took to have us pray and be devoted to our Lady and to some of the saints began to awaken me when, I think, six or seven years old, to the practice of virtue. It was a help to me to see that my parents favored nothing but virtue. And they themselves possessed many.

Saint Teresa of Avila
The Book of Her Life, Chapter 1



The parents of Saint Teresa, Don Alonso Sánchez de Cepeda (1480?-1543), a widower and Doña Beatriz de Ahumada (1495?-1529) were married in Gotarrendura, Avila on 14 May 1509. 

Garcia_miranda
The Education of Saint Theresa
Juan García de Miranda (Spanish, 1677-1749)
Oil on canvas, 1735
Museo del Prado
A young Theresa of Ávila reads a book in a characteristic sixteenth-century room surrounded by her mother and sisters, who are sewing, and her brother Rodrigo, who listens attentively as he is a keen enthusiast of the lives of saints. The work belonged to a series devoted to the life of Saint Theresa most likely in some Carmelite institution.

 

The Book of Her Life: Chapter 1; The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

 

Marie du jour: 13 May

All of a sudden the Blessed Virgin appeared beautiful to me, so beautiful that I never had seen anything so beautiful; her face radiated an ineffable tenderness and goodness, but what penetrated to the depths of my soul was the “ravishing smile of the Blessed Virgin.”

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Manuscript A, Folio 30 recto

Vierge du Sourire Les Buissonnets
Les Buissonnets – Virgin of the Smile, Lisieux, France | Photo: Jim, the Photographer / Flickr

 

Manuscript A translation is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission

Quote of the day: 13 May

All of a sudden the Blessed Virgin appeared beautiful to me, so beautiful that never had I seen anything so beautiful; her face radiated an ineffable tenderness and goodness, but what penetrated to the depths of my soul was the “ravishing smile of the Blessed Virgin.” Then all of my pains faded away, and two large tears flowed from my eyelids and rolled silently down my cheeks, but they were tears of pure joy. Ah! I thought, the Blessed Virgin smiled at me, how happy I am…

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Manuscript A, Folio 30 recto
Describing her miraculous healing 13 May 1883

2-14-mse-annould-guerison-par-la-vierge-sourire-81x54 (2)

 

Letter from Sr. Agnès de Jésus, O.C.D. (Pauline Martin) to St. Thérèse
May 14-15 (?), 1883


J. M. J. T.

Long live Jesus!

Little Thérésita,

What a joy to see you well! How good the Blessed Virgin really is! I offered her your beautiful bouquet, and she seemed to be all radiant with her little daughter’s flowers. . . . Along with the flowers, I expressed a big “thanks,” which was as tender as it was big, and I begged her to continue her work and to complete it soon.

Poor darling, how eager I am to see your little face so dear to my heart. I can see it from here, that’s true, but for some time my telescope is no longer any good; when you were so sick, I let a tear fall on the lens and suddenly it became blurred.

Well, the Blessed Virgin keeps us together under her mantle; she is watching over us in her heart, blessing us, loving us and caressing us with the same hand!

How can you say that Thérésita is far from Agnes, and Agnes far from Thérésita?

How beautiful the weather is today! Look, how blue the sky is! From time to time, I see little swallows passing by, gay and light, just like a little girl in good health, and I think of my Benjamin, and I pray to the dwellers of this very blue heaven to have a little pair of wings fall down from on high for my own swallow. With this pair of wings she would run through the fields, she would play in the beautiful sun, she would come and rest from time to time in her Agnes’ very sweet nest, up there high on the mount of Carmel where the weather is so good, so good! and where one breathes in heaven’s air and is always able to see, even during the winter, the sun and flowers….

Little child, let us ask our dear Mother not to allow her month to pass by without reuniting us.

Adieu! Let us love the Blessed Virgin, let us love her; she is a Mother, and beneath her glance, beneath her hand, the little [ship] of her heart is safe and is sailing peacefully toward heaven.

I kiss your little [ship], my cherub; always keep at the bottom of its hold the love I know you have for me. I need it just as a little mother needs to be paid in return for the love she has for her child,

Your Agnes

2-14-mse-annould-guerison-par-la-vierge-sourire-81x54
Healing of St. Thérèse| Visit the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux for the full photo and details 

 

Letter from Sr. Agnes of Jesus translation
© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.
Manuscript A translation is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission

 

Quote of the day: 12 May

Have a great love for those who contradict and fail to love you, for in this way love is begotten in a heart that has no love. God so acts with us, for he loves us that we might love by means of the very love he bears toward us.

Saint John of the Cross
Letter 33 to a discalced Carmelite nun in Segovia
Ubeda, October-November 1591

 

cross jesus summit cross
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Letters: Letter 33
The Collected Works of Saint John of the Cross, Revised Edition
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D.
With Revisions and Introductions by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D.
ICS Publications
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

Quote of the day: 11 May

A priest from Villanueva de la Jara brought me letters from the town council there

The Foundation of Villanueva de la Jara and Venerable Catalina de Cardona

Excerpts from the Book of Her Foundations, Chapter 28


One day after I received Communion I was recommending this matter to God as I often used to do. For what made me answer them somewhat favorably was the fear of hindering spiritual progress in souls, for my desire is always to be some means by which our Lord may be praised and that there be more to serve Him. While I was praying in this way, His Majesty reprimanded me sternly, asking me with what treasures that which had been done so far had been accomplished and telling me that I should not hesitate to accept this house, that it would be for His great service and the spiritual progress of souls….

We had to go to the monastery of our Lady of Succor, already mentioned, which is three leagues from Villanueva, and stay there so as to inform the town that we were coming, which had been agreed upon with these Fathers, and it was right that in everything I obey these Fathers with whom we were traveling. This house stood in a delightfully isolated and solitary spot. And as we approached, the friars came out in procession to meet their prior. Since they were discalced and wore their poor, coarse woolen mantles, they inspired us all with devotion and moved me to tender feelings since it seemed to me that I was present in that flourishing time of our holy Fathers of old. In that field, they appeared to be like white fragrant flowers, and indeed I believe that before God they are, for in my opinion He is authentically served there. They entered the church singing the Te Deum with voices very restrained. The entrance to it is underground, as though through a cave, which represented that of our Father Elijah. Certainly, I was feeling so much interior joy that I would have considered a longer journey well worthwhile. I regretted very much that the saintly woman through whom our Lord founded this house was now dead. I didn’t deserve to see her, although I had desired to do so very much.

On seeing the penance that was done by this holy woman, may you realize, my Sisters, how far behind we are and may you try harder to serve our Lord

It seems to me that it would not be an idle thing to tell something here about her life and the means by which our Lord desired that this monastery be founded there. It has been of such benefits to souls in the surrounding area, as I have been told. On seeing the penance that was done by this holy woman, may you realize, my Sisters, how far behind we are and may you try harder to serve our Lord. There is no reason that we should do less, for we do not come from such noble and refined family descent. Although this is not important, I am mentioning it because she had lived a comfortable life in keeping with her status in society, for she was a descendant of the dukes of Cardona and thus she was called Doña Catalina de Cardona. After she had written to me a few times, she signed her letter with only the words, “the sinner.”

she was called
Doña Catalina de Cardona
she signed her letter
with only the words,
the sinner

While this saintly woman was living among the nobility, she was always very concerned about her soul and did penance. The desire for penance greatly increased in her and also the longing to go where she could be alone to enjoy God and dedicate herself to doing penance without any hindrance….

She disclosed her plans to a hermit who was living in Alcalá and, without ever telling anyone about them, asked him to accompany her. They arrived at the place where the monastery now stands, and there she found a tiny cave hardly large enough for her; here he left her. But what love must have been hers since she wasn’t worried about what there might be to eat or about the dangerous things that could happen to her, or about the bad reputation she would have when it was discovered that she had disappeared….

Let us consider this well, Sisters, and reflect on how with one blow she conquered everything. For although what you do by entering this holy religious order, offering your will to God, and professing so continual an enclosure may not be less, I wonder whether, in the case of some, a part of this initial fervor does not pass away and out of self-love we make ourselves subject again to some things. May it please the divine Majesty that this not be so, but that since we imitate this holy woman in desiring to flee from the world we may interiorly stay far away from it in all things.

After these years that she lived there in such solitude, our Lord desired that her way of life become known, and the people began to venerate her so much that she could not get away from them…. She began to have desires that a monastery of friars be founded there, and these persisted for some time without her knowing from which order they would come. Once while praying before a crucifix she always carried with her, our Lord showed her a white mantle, and she understood that they would come from the discalced Carmelites, and she had never known that there were friars like this in the world. At the time only two monasteries of friars had been founded, Mancera and Pastrana. After this experience, she must have inquired. When she learned there was a monastery in Pastrana and since she had been in the past a close friend of the Princess of Eboli, wife of Prince Ruy Gómez, to whom Pastrana belonged, she went there to find out how she might make this foundation which she had been desiring so much.

La_princesa_de_Éboli
Ana de Mendoza de la Cerda y de Silva Cifuentes, Princess of Eboli, Duchess of Pastrana

There at the monastery of Pastrana, in the church of St. Peter, for this it is called, she received the habit of our Lady, although not with the intention of being a nun or of making profession, for she was never inclined toward being a nun since our Lord was leading her by another path. It seemed to her that if she professed obedience her plan to live in harsh austerity and solitude would be frustrated. All the friars were present when she received the habit of our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

In their company was Father Mariano, who I mentioned in these foundations. He told me that he himself had experienced at the time a suspension or rapture that carried him completely out of himself and that while in this state he saw many dead friars and nuns. Some were beheaded, some had their arms and feet cut off as though they were martyred, for martyrdom is what this vision was pointing to. And he is not the type of man who would tell what he had not seen, nor has his spirit ever been accustomed to these suspensions, for God does not lead him by such a path. Pray to God, Sisters, that this vision will come true and that we will merit in our times to see so great a blessing and be ourselves among the martyrs.

All of them have affirmed to me that the odor of sanctity emanating from her was so great that it permeated even her cincture and habit

From here, that is, from Pastrana, the holy woman of Cardona began to seek the means to found her monastery and for this purpose she went back to the court which she had so eagerly left before. Doing this must have been no small torment; it was a place where she underwent much criticism and trial. When she left the house where she was staying, she wasn’t able to protect herself from the crowd. This happened wherever she went. Some cut pieces from her habit, others from her mantle. She then went to Toledo where she stayed with our nuns. All of them have affirmed to me that the odor of sanctity emanating from her was so great that it permeated even her cincture and habit, which she exchanged for another given her by the nuns; it was something to praise God for. And the closer they came to her the greater was this fragrance, even though her manner of dress, because of the intense heat, would rather have caused a bad odor. I know that they wouldn’t say anything but the complete truth, and thus they were left with great devotion.

In the court and elsewhere they gave her the means for the monastery, and once she obtained the license, it was founded. The church was built at the place where her cave was. Another cave was made for her further away in which she had a tomb carved out, and she remained there most of the day and night. She lived this way only a short time, for about five and a half years after the monastery was built. That she lived even as long as she did seemed supernatural because of her harsh, austere life. Insofar as I can remember, she died in 1577. Her funeral services were held with greatest solemnity, for a gentleman named Fray Juan de León had great devotion to her and arranged it all with much care. She is now buried temporarily in a chapel of our Lady, to whom she was extremely devoted, until a church larger than the one they have now will be built to keep her blessed body as is fitting….

VillanuevaJara-ElCarmen
Discalced Carmelite Church “El Carmen” in Villanueva de la Jara, Spain

One day when I had just received Communion in that holy church, very great recollection came over me with suspension that drew me out of myself. In this suspension, through an intellectual vision, this holy woman appeared in a glorified body and some angels with her. She told me not to grow weary but that I should strive to go ahead with these foundations. I understood, although she did not indicate this, that she was helping me before God. She also told me something else but there is no reason to put it here in writing. I was left very much consoled and with a great desire to work hard, and I hope in the goodness of the Lord that with help as good as are these prayers of hers I will be able to serve Him in some way.

You can see here, my Sisters, how her trials have now come to an end, but the glory she enjoys will have no end. Let us now force ourselves for love of our Lord, to follow this sister of ours. Holding ourselves in abhorrence as she abhorred herself, we will finish our day’s journey, for it goes by so quickly and all comes to an end.

Catalina de Cardona had been governess to Don Juan de Austria, son of Charles V, and to Don Carlos, son of Philip II. In 1563 she withdrew to the solitude of La Roda, and in 1571 began to wear the Carmelite habit, but with the friar’s cowl. She died on 11 May 1577, the exact day that she herself had predicted.

Sources: Efemerides Carmelitanas and Teresa, de la rueca a la pluma

The Book of Her Foundations: The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

Quote of the day: 8 May

Alone at the feet of my Crucified Lord, I looked at him for a long time, and in that gaze, I saw that He was my whole life.

Blessed Elia of Saint Clement

Elia-di-San-Clemente_PrimaCommunione
Blessed Elia of Saint Clement (Teodora Fracasso, 1901-1927) on the day of her first Holy Communion, 8 May 1911. After she fell asleep on Sunday night 7 May, St. Therese of Lisieux appeared to her in a dream and said, “you will be a nun like me.” | Discalced Carmelites / Santidad Carmelitana

 

Marie du jour: 8 May

 

Why I Love You, O Mary!

O beloved Mother, despite my littleness,
Like you, I possess The All-Powerful within me.
But I don’t tremble in seeing my weakness:
The treasures of a mother belong to her child,
And I am your child, O my dearest Mother.
Aren’t your virtues and your love mine too?
So when the white Host comes into my heart,
Jesus, your Sweet Lamb, thinks he is resting in you!…

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Why I Love You, O Mary!
PN 54, Stanza 5

The Last Supper Preston-on-Stour
The Last Supper, detail from a window in Preston-on-Stour | Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. / Flickr

On 8 May 1884, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux made her First Holy Communion; on that same day, her sister Pauline professed her Carmelite vows in the hands of the saintly foundress of the Carmel of Lisieux, Mother Geneviève of St Teresa.

Of that day Saint Thérèse wrote, “Ah! how sweet was that first kiss of Jesus! It was a kiss of love; I felt that I was loved, and I said: “I love You, and I give myself to You forever!” There were no demands made, no struggles, no sacrifices; for a long time now Jesus and poor little Thérèse looked at and understood each other. That day, it was no longer simply a look, it was a fusion; they were no longer two, Thérèse had vanished as a drop of water is lost in the immensity of the ocean. Jesus alone remained; He was the Master, the King.” (Ms A, 35r)

Later, Pauline (her religious name was Mother Agnès of Jesus) recalled: “At the end of the afternoon,” she says, “I saw my little Thérèse in the parlor, with her veil as white as my own. She gazed at me with so profound and gentle a look. What a moment for us both! I went out quite comforted, a little like the apostles when they descended from Mount Tabor: a heavenly atmosphere surrounded me. Oh, my God, if the sight of an earthly angel could so fortify me, what will it be to see in eternity the very fountain-head of goodness, from whence proceeds all the beauty of the saints!” (Circular letter, Carmelite death notice for Mother Agnès of Jesus)

Mutter_Agnes_von_Jesus
Mother Agnes of Jesus (Pauline Martin), photo circa 1900 | Photo: Carmel of Lisieux / Wikimedia Commons
Learn more about
Mother Agnès of Jesus here

Marie du jour: 7 May

Ask the Virgin Mary to be your guide – to be your star, the lantern that shines for you amid the darkness of your life.

Saint Teresa of the Andes 

Chile_-_Estampa_de_la_Virgen_del_Carmen
Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the patroness of Chile. Her image is used as the patron of the armies of Argentina and Chile.

Learn more about the Virgen del Carmen

 

Quote of the day: 7 May

Centenary Year

Saint Teresa of Los Andes

Let us praise the Lord and give Him thanks for the great favor He has bestowed on your little daughter. I have permission, and with God’s help, I will fly to the dear little dovecote on May 7.

My father gave me his permission last Sunday. Saint Joseph was the one who wrought this miracle. Yesterday, I went to Communion for the first time since receiving his permission. I assure you that I could not keep from weeping in the face of such a great favor from my dear Jesus. I am at the peak of happiness and pain. When I consider the favor Our Lord granted me and on the other hand, when I see my misery and unworthiness, I am filled with confusion. Then, I throw myself into the arms of the One who is all mercy and, casting myself there, remain completely surrendered to my celestial Bridegroom.

He does everything in me. All I do is love Him and this so imperfectly. I love Him and for Him I am going to give up everything. That everything, however, is such a small thing in comparison with the everything of His love.

Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes
Letter 80

Teresa-de-los-Andes_teenager-formal-portrait_headshot-sepia
Juana Enriqueta Josefina of the Sacred Hearts Fernandez Solar entered the Carmel of the Holy Spirit in the township of Los Andes, some 90 kilometers from her home in Santiago de Chile on 7 May 1919 | Photo: Discalced Carmelites

Read the Vatican biography of Saint Teresa of the Andes here

The Writings of Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes: An Abridgement
Edited by Barbara Haight Garcia, OCDS
Translated by Father Michael D. Griffin, OCD
New Life Publishing Company, 2003

Message for the centenary of the procession of Our Lady of Carmel — DISCALCED CARMELITES

NDMC procession 2018
The annual procession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel from the Discalced Carmelite friars’ Latin Parish of Saint Joseph winds through the streets of the city of Haifa, then slowly climbs up Stella Maris Road to the Discalced Carmelite monastery and Stella Maris Church on the promontory of Mount Carmel. | Photo: Discalced Carmelites (2018)

 

MESSAGE FOR THE CENTENARY OF THE PROCESSION OF OUR LADY OF CARMEL
Haifa, 5 May 2019

Fr. Saverio Cannistrà of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.
Discalced Carmelite Superior General

This year we celebrate the centenary of the procession of Our Lady of Carmel in Haifa. The first procession was held on April 27, 1919, Sunday in albis, and was organized to solemnly bring back to the sanctuary of Stella Maris the statue of Our Lady of Carmel, that in 1914 at the beginning of the First World War, had been transferred to the parish church in the city. The Vicar Father of Mount Carmel at that time, the Englishman P. Francis Lamb (1867-1950), writes in his memoirs that there was an extraordinary participation of the people and that the English authorities were struck by this manifestation of faith and devotion for the Mother of God in the Latin Catholic community of Haifa. It was linked to the end of the Great War and the desire to thank the Lord and Our Lady for the return of peace. The procession was repeated in the following years until it became the most important in the Holy Land after that of Palm Sunday in Jerusalem.

Here in Haifa, devotion to Mary is like a centuries-old tree with large branches and deep roots […]

Via Message for the centenary of the procession of Our Lady of Carmel — DISCALCED CARMELITES

View the photo album of the 2019 Centenary procession from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and read the article in their newsletter

 

Quote of the day: 5 May

One day I felt greatly mortified because my age and weakness would not permit me to perform as much penance as I wished. Our Lord made me understand that the most important thing does not consist in performing wonderful exterior acts and showing great feeling, but a good heart is what He prizes and wishes from us. This, it is to be understood, is when we cannot do the good that we desire.

Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew
Autobiography of the Blessed Mother Anne of Saint Bartholomew
Fourth Book, Chapter Three 

Ana-de-San-Bartolome_praying-before-an-altar-Dutch
Anne of St. Bartholomew praying before an altar
In 1622 and 1624 she prevented, by her prayers, the city of Antwerp from falling into the power of the Dutch, which caused her to receive the glorious title of Guardian and Liberatrix of Antwerp

 

 

 

Quote of the day: 4 May

I am here; I consider you as the light of my eyes

The magistrates came to receive us half a mile outside the city. All the people arranged in procession welcomed us with demonstrations of most lively faith. The gathering was so great, and our entrance made with such solemnity, that we were unable to cross the threshold of our home until evening. There was reason to praise God in witnessing the devotion with which the inhabitants of Pontoise received this new foundation, and even now they retain the same sentiments. Our Lord has granted and ceases not to grant many favors to this city, owing to the prayers of the Sisters.

Witnessing all this, I experienced intense sorrow only at the thought that I was to be head of the monastery. I was like one condemned to death, and so mortified that it seemed to me the office of Prioress, in my case, was a disgrace, and that never in any other circumstances had I been weighed down body and soul by such ignominy. My whole being seemed but a worm of the earth; and that in truth is what I am. But I never saw it in so clear a light as on that occasion.

Being one day before the Blessed Sacrament, I begged our Lord that He, Himself, would be watchful for His glory, and that He would assist me, as I felt entirely alone. He said to me: “I am here; I consider you as the light of my eyes.”

Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew
Autobiography of the Blessed Mother Anne of Saint Bartholomew

Ana-de-San-Bartolome_praying-before-an-altar
Blessed Anne of Saint Bartholomew

 

Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew, despite her fears and trepidation, became one of the great foundresses of the Teresian Carmel in France and Belgium. The Carmel of Pontoise was founded with the aid of Blessed Madame Acarie (Marie of the Incarnation), 15 January 1605, three months after the foundation of the Carmel of Paris on faubourg Saint-Jacques, 18 October 1604. 

Quote of the day: 3 May

Pacelli in Lisieux posing in the cloister
Apostolic Nuncio Eugenio Pacelli makes an official visitation to the Carmel of Lisieux, 12 July 1937 | Photo: Regina.Pacelli / Facebook

PIUS XII
Apostolic Letter
Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
Virgin, Carmelite of Lisieux
Secondary Patron of All of France

As the very noble French nation already, for several centuries, has had for principal patroness the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and for secondary patroness, Saint Joan of Arc, since her canonization, the bishops, by mutual agreement considered it opportune, especially in these times of distress, to arrange for the faithful of France to have another special intercession with God, that of the holy Carmelite of Lisieux who, so that the Catholic faith may always and firmly be preserved among her compatriots, has testified to her country a great love by commending it to God as much as possible…

Given at Rome, near St. Peter, under the ring of the Fisherman, the third day of May in the year 1944, the sixth of Our Pontificate.

Read the original text of the Apostolic Letter in Latin here

Read a French translation of the Apostolic Letter here

Learn more about Cardinal Pacelli’s 1937 visit to the Carmel here

 

Quote of the day: 29 April

Let us now fix our gaze on the bosom of God and the mystery of the Trinity, to the degree that revelation permits. I maintain that the Word of God is total, absolute virginity. Here is the reason why. As you are well aware, there is in the inner life of the Trinity a stupendous cycle, which overwhelms our poor, little minds. The pure intelligence of God conceives the being itself of God. The divine intelligence grasps and sees itself; it speaks and expresses itself. It grasps and expresses itself in a word, which equals the intelligence that sets it forth. With infinite simplicity, the divine nature eternally expresses the Word of God. In this one word is the infinite activity of the divine intelligence. The Word of God, begotten by the Father, is the infinite, equal, and divine expression of the very Being of God. The Word possesses the fullness of the divine nature, just as does the Father, and thus is truly God. In the infinite simplicity of God’s being, this unfathomable, living expression shines forth so brilliantly that a third person, an outpouring of love, unites in a single nature this Word and the One who begets him from all eternity.

These three persons: the Father, the Son begotten by the Father, and the Holy Spirit, whose infinite breath of love unites the three, constitute the perfect purity of God. That divine purity is what I term the fullness of virginity. Such is God himself!

Père Jacques of Jesus, O.C.D.
Conference 6: Virginity in God and in Mary
Listen to the Silence – A Retreat with Pere Jacques

beautiful bloom blooming blossom
Photo by Ben Cheung on Pexels.com
Listen to the Silence - A Retreat with Père Jacques (p. 40)
Translated and edited by Francis J. Murphy
ICS Publications © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

 

 

Quote of the day: 27 April

Wherefore it is imperative for you to strip yourselves completely of every earthly convenience and of all human respect, even though there are but few [who rank] above you. It is imperative, further, that you follow the Vicar of Christ, who holds the place of the glorious apostle Peter; and that you be most obedient to him, just as the other apostles were to Peter, though they were not less anxious for the salvation of peoples and of the human race than was the glorious Peter.

Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi
Letter No. 7 to “the most illustrious Cardinals who are assisting the Apostolic See”

Read more from Letter No. 7 here

Mary-Magdalene-de-Pazzi_PESSCA_ArequipaPeru
Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi
Bernard de Bailliu (Flemish, 1641-1694) and Unidentified Artist
Oil paint illumination of an engraving attached to a panel, 17th or 18th c.
Museo del Convento de Santa Teresa, Arequipa, Peru
Photo: Franz Grupp / PESSCA

Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi was beatified 27 April 1627 by Pope Urban VII

Quote of the day: 17 April

I sought relief in the scriptures

You will find that the reading of sacred scripture is a great and powerful remedy against bodily suffering and depression of mind. In my opinion, there is no other writing, no matter how eloquent and stylish it may be, that can bring such peace to our minds and so thoroughly dissolve our cares as sacred scripture can.

I speak from personal experience: for there have been times when I was beset with anxieties, the worst of which came from the experience of my own weakness, and if on such occasions I sought relief in the scriptures, the hopes and desires that led me there were never disappointed. The word of scripture proved to be a solid bulwark against my anxieties and a relief to my troubled spirit.

Blessed Baptist Spagnoli of Mantua
From the treatise of Blessed Baptist Spagnoli “On Patience”

lake
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

Born in Mantua on April 17th, 1447, as a youth Blessed Baptist Spagnoli joined the Carmelites of the Congregation of Mantua at Ferrara. He made his religious profession in 1464 and served in many positions of responsibility in the community; he was vicar general of his congregation six times, and in 1513 was elected prior general of the whole Order. In his own time, he was a renowned humanist ‘who brought his richly varied poetry into the service of Christ’. He used his friendships with scholars as an opportunity of encouraging them to live a Christian life. He died in Mantua on March 20th, 1516.

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