4 January: St. Kuriakos Elias of the Holy Family Chavara

Saint Kuriakos Elias Chavara, co-founder and first prior general of the congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, was born at Kainakary in Kerala, India, February 10, 1805. He entered the seminary in 1818, and was ordained priest in 1829. He made his religious profession in 1855, in the congregation he founded. In 1861, he was named vicar general for the Syro-Malabar church; in this capacity he defended ecclesial unity threatened by schism when mar Tomas Rochos was sent from Mesopotamia to consecrate Nestorian bishops. Throughout his life he worked for the renovation of the church in Malabar. He was also co-founder in 1866 of the congregation of the Sisters of the Mother of Carmel. Above all, he was a man of prayer, zealous for the Eucharistic Lord, and devoted to the Immaculate Virgin Mary. He died at Koonammavu on January 3, 1871. His body was transferred to Mannanam in 1889.

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14 December: SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS OUR FATHER

John was born at Fontiveros in Spain about 1542. He entered the Carmelites and with the permission of his superiors began to live a stricter life. Afterward, he was persuaded by Saint Teresa to begin, together with some others, the Discalced reform within the Order; this cost him much hard work and many trials. He died in Ubeda in 1591, outstanding in holiness and wisdom, to which his many spiritual writings give eloquent witness.

11 December: Saint Maria Maravillas of Jesus Pidal y Chico de Guzmán

Maria Maravillas was born at Madrid in 1891. She entered the El Escorial Carmel, Madrid on 12th October 1919. In 1924 she was inspired to found a Carmel at Cerro de los Angeles, alongside the monument to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. From this foundation followed nine others in Spain and one in India. She always gave first place to prayer and self-sacrifice. She had a true, passionate zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Even while living a life of poverty in the cloister she helped those who were in need, initiating apostolic, social and charitable works. In a particular way, she helped those of her own order, priests, and other religious congregations. She died in the monastery of La Aldehuela, Madrid, on 11th December 1974. She was canonized on 4th May 2003 in Madrid.

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29 November: Blesseds Denis of the Nativity and Redemptus of the Cross

Denis of the Nativity, a priest, called in the world Pierre Berthelot, was born in Honfleur in France in 1600. He was a cartographer and naval commander for the kings of Portugal and France before he joined the Discalced Carmelites in Goa in 1635. It was also at Goa that the Portuguese lay brother, Thomas Rodriguez da Cunha, born in 1598, had made his profession in 1615, taking the name Redemptus of the Cross. They were sent to the island of Sumatra (Indonesia), where, in the town of Achen (Aceh), they received the martyr’s crown on November 29, 1638.

15 November: Commemoration of all the Departed of Our Order

Just as the love of Christ and the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary have brought us together in a single family, fraternal charity unites those of us still striving to lead a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ in this world, and those already awaiting the vision of God in purgatory. Today the whole Order commends our departed brothers and sisters to God’s mercy through the intercession of Our Lady, sure sign of hope and consolation, and begs for their admission to the courts of heaven.

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14 November: ALL SAINTS OF OUR ORDER

The whole family of Carmel in the homeland, with Mary its Mother at its head, is the reason for our joy and praise to the Father on this day. We recall our brothers and sisters who once dedicated their lives to continual prayer on earth and now share in the worship of heaven. We unite ourselves spiritually to their glory, all the while journeying along the paths they traveled with courage, as they lived in obedience to Christ and followed in the footsteps of Our Lady.

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7 November: Blessed Francis of Jesus Mary Joseph Palau y Quer

Born in Aytona, Lerida, on December 29, 1811, Blessed Francis Palau y Quer entered the Order in 1832 and was ordained priest in 1836. Civil turmoil forced him to live in exile and outside his community. On his return to Spain in 1851, he founded his "School of Virtue"—which was a model of catechetical teaching—at Barcelona. The school was suppressed and he was unjustly exiled to Ibiza (1854-1860) where he lived at El Vedra in solitude and experienced mystically the vicissitudes of the Church. While in the Balearic Islands he founded the Congregations of Teresian Carmelite Missionary Brothers and Sisters (1860-1861). He preached popular missions and spread love for Our Lady wherever he went. He died at Tarragona on March 20, 1872, and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1980.

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8 November: Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity Catez

Elizabeth Catez of the Trinity was born in 1880 in the diocese of Bourges. In 1901 she entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery of Dijon. There she made her profession of vows in 1903 and from there she was called “to light, to love, and to life” by the Divine Spouse in 1906. A faithful adorer in spirit and in truth, her life was a “praise of glory” of the Most Blessed Trinity, present in her soul and loved amidst interior darkness and excruciating illness. In the mystery of divine inhabitation, she found her “heaven on earth,” her special charism, and her mission for the church.

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30 October: Blessed Maria Teresa of St. Joseph Tauscher

Anna Maria Tauscher van den Bosch was born in 1855 in Sandow, Brandenburg (now in Poland), the daughter of a Lutheran pastor. At a young age, she was attracted to the Catholic Church and desired to become a "sister". While serving as Director of Nursing at a mental hospital in Berlin, her desires were realized; she made her profession of faith on 30 October 1888. In the following year, she read the autobiography of St. Teresa and understood that her vocation was profoundly Carmelite and one of service to the poor. She opened her first home for needy children in Berlin; others followed. In 1906, she received permission to gather her companions, to profess vows, and establish the religious institute "Carmel of the Divine Heart of Jesus", taking the name Maria Teresa of St. Joseph. Despite much suffering, her work grew and prospered in Europe and North America. After a long illness, she died in the odor of sanctity, 20 September 1938 and was beatified on 13 May 2006.

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15 October: SAINT TERESA OF JESUS OUR MOTHER

Teresa was born at Avila in Spain in 1515. She entered the Carmelites and made great progress in the way of perfection and was granted mystical revelations. Wishing to share in the spiritual renewal of the Church of her time, she began to live her religious life more ardently and soon attracted many companions, to whom she was like a mother. She also helped in the reform of the friars, and in this had to endure great trials. She wrote books that are renowned for their depth of doctrine and which showed her own spiritual experiences. She died at Alba in 1582.

1 October: SAINT THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS

Thérèse Martin was born at Alencon in 1873. At the age of fifteen, she entered the Carmel at Lisieux. She practiced heroic humility, evangelical simplicity, and trust in God, and taught the novices these virtues by word and example. She offered her life for the salvation of souls and the growth of the Church. She died on September 30, 1897. Canonized in 1925, she was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1997.

17 September: Saint Albert of Jerusalem

Albert Avogadro was born about the middle of the twelfth century in Castel Gualtieri in Italy. He became a Canon Regular of the Holy Cross at Mortara and was elected their prior in 1180. Named Bishop of Bobbio in 1184, and of Vercelli in 1185, he was made Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1205. There, in word and example, he was the model of a good pastor and peace-maker. While he was Patriarch (1206-1214) he formed the hermit brothers of Mount Carmel into a collegium and wrote a Rule for them. He was murdered at Acre on September 14, 1214, by the Master of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit, whom he had rebuked and deposed for immorality.

11 September: Blessed Mary of Jesus López Rivas

Born in 1560 at Tartanedo (Spain) Maria López de Rivas took the Discalced Carmelite habit at Toledo in 1577 and made her profession the following year. She spent the rest of her life serving God in that Carmel, except for a brief period in 1585 when she helped with a foundation at Cuerva. She died at Toledo on September 13, 1640. Saint Teresa of Jesus thought extremely highly of her. She was a great contemplative, intensely devoted to our Lord, and often drawing inspiration from the liturgy.

1 September: St. Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Teresa Margaret belonged to the noble family of Redi, and was born in the Tuscan city of Arezzo in 1747. She entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery at Florence on September 1, 1764. She was granted a special grace of contemplative insight based on Saint John’s phrase God is love, through which she felt called to a hidden life of love and self-sacrifice. She progressed rapidly, fulfilling her vocation through heroic charity toward others. She died in Florence in 1770, aged twenty-three.

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