Quote of the day: 17 February

These nuns can be a burden for you, mi padre; but you are indeed indebted to them, for they have deeply felt your trials, especially in Toledo…

Saint Teresa of Avila

Letter 454 to Padre Jerónimo Gracián (excerpt)
Burgos, 25 June 1582

 


 

On 4 March 1581, in the chapter of Alcalá, Padre Jerónimo Gracián de la Madre de Dios was elected the first provincial of the Teresian Carmel. But not all were in favor of Gracián, and the vote was anything but unanimous. At the end of her life, Teresa herself warned Gracián against being arbitrary and authoritarian. He governed until 1585, attending to the organizational and juridical needs of the new province, extending the discalced friars’ presence outside of Spain and opening the first mission in Africa. He was forty years old at the time and had been superior for as many years as he was a professed religious.

Not all the friars shared Teresa’s judgment of Gracián as “the one who was best able to bring about a union between religious perfection and gentleness.” On finishing his provincialate, Gracián presented to the chapter of Lisbon (May 1585) a detailed defense of his government. According to the opposition, he had been too soft, should have given fewer dispensations, and done more to correct abuses in the strict observance. It seems there were always those who wanted him to do more punishing and threatening.

Gracián proposed Nicolás Doria as his successor. Doria had been in Genoa during the previous three years. He was accepted and Gracián was elected as his first councilor. When the chapter continued in Pastrana, Gracián was elected vicar provincial of Portugal.

At the end of 1586, Gracián published a work zealously promoting the missions, which marked the beginning of trouble with the new provincial. He was ordered to withdraw the book from publication. Furthermore, Gracián had begun to oppose the new form of government devised by Doria at the end of 1585, called the consulta. This was to be a government consisting of a body of five members who would decide matters by vote. He also supported those nuns who opposed changes in Teresa’s constitutions.

The result was a plan to send Gracián to Mexico to serve there as vicar. While Gracián was in Seville preparing to go to Mexico, orders came from the religious authorities in Portugal, commissioning him to make some visitations in Portugal. There was fear that the English would invade, and it was rumored among Castilians that the Carmelite prior in Lisbon, Padre Antonio Calderón, was an antonista [political supporter of Dom Antonio de Avis] hiding arquebuses and making plans for betrayal. Gracián’s task was to find the friars favoring the revolution, calm them down, and urge them to stay out of politics.

This new commission, of course, prevented his going to Mexico. In 1588, Doria obtained the authority to be a vicar general of the discalced friars and nuns. In the meanwhile Gracián was carrying out his assignment as visitator of the Carmelites of the observance in Portugal.

When the nuns obtained a brief from Sixtus V confirming their desire that the constitutions of St. Teresa not be changed, it was seen as opposition to Doria’s government. Gracián was reputed to have given his strong support to the nuns. After he finished his two-year visitation in Portugal, the time seemed ripe for Gracián’s brethren to begin a process against him. He was imprisoned in the monastery of San Hermenegildo in Madrid and forbidden to write any letters without permission from Doria. The investigations and interrogations went on for six months.

On 17 February 1592, the sentence was pronounced against Gracián. He was declared incorrigible, ordered to remove the habit of the discalced Carmelite friars, and expelled for sowing discord and opposition to the superiors.

Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D.

Biographical Sketch (excerpt)

 

Gracian
Discover more in about Padre Jerónimo Gracián on the outstanding Discalced Carmelite blog from Spain, Teresa, de la rueca a la pluma

 

We commend to our readers the letter, A Man on a Journey, marking the Fourth Centenary of the death of Padre Jerónimo Gracián de la Madre de Dios (1545-1614), issued in 2014 by the Prior General of the Carmelite Order, Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm., and the Superior General of the Discalced Carmelites, Saverio Cannistrà, O.C.D. And as always, we continue to recommend O’Mahony’s translation of the magisterial history of the Teresian Carmel by Ildefonso Moriones, O.C.D.

 

 

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.

Quote of the day: 21 December

Sister, I do enjoy peeling potatoes… I think about how the potato that I hold in my hand is one of God’s creatures, and I enjoy praising Him because He made it so perfect.

Blessed Maria Sagrario of St. Aloysius Gonzaga

 

On 21 December 1915, Elvira Moragas Cantarero received the habit of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Carmel of St. Anne and St. Joseph in Madrid, taking the name Maria Sagrario of San Luis Gonzaga. Her name was not without meaning; Maria Sagrario, in honor of the patroness of her hometown of Toledo, the Virgen del Sagrario (the Virgin of the Tabernacle) and San Luis Gonzaga, to recall the date on which she entered the monastery, 21 June 1915. It also was a nod to Doña Luisa, the sister of her first confessor, a friend who greatly helped in her vocation. You can read more details about the life and vocation of Blessed Maria Sagrario here in Spanish.

 

potato-peeler-peeling-hands.jpg
zionfiction / Flickr

 

Timbre de gloria

Hoy me trae a vosotros la clausura —en vez de la apertura— del IV centenario de la muerte de Santa Teresa de Jesús, esa gran santa española y universal, cuyo mayor timbre de gloria fue ser siempre hija de la Iglesia y que tanto ha contribuido al bien de la misma Iglesia en estos cuatrocientos años.

San Juan Pablo II

Discurso, Ceremonia de Bienvenida
Aeropuerto Internacional de Madrid-Barajas
Domingo 31 de octubre de 1982

 

 

Teresa-Avila_1982-centenary_Spanish-postage-stamp
IV Centenario de la muerte de Santa Teresa, sello conmemorativo con timbre postal de Madrid

Quote of the day: 31 October

Today brings me to the closing — instead of the opening — of the IV centenary of the death of Saint Teresa of Jesus, that great Spanish and universal saint, whose greatest stamp of glory was to be forever the daughter of the Church, who has contributed so much to the good of the same Church in these four hundred years.

Saint John Paul II

Welcome Ceremony, Madrid Airport
31 October 1981

 

31oct1982 Madrid airport welcome
Marisa Flórez / El País (See more)

 

August 16: Blessed Maria Sagrario

August 16
BLESSED MARIA SAGRARIO
OF SAINT ALOYSIUS GONZAGA
Virgin and Martyr

Optional Memorial

Maria Sagrario was born at Lillo (Toledo) on 8th January 1881. A pharmacist by trade, she was one of the first women in Spain to be admitted to this qualification. In 1915 she entered the Carmel of St. Anne and St. Joseph in Madrid. Through her spirit of prayer and her love for the Eucharist, she was a perfect embodiment of the contemplative and ecclesial ideal of the Teresian Carmel. She was Prioress of her community when she was martyred on 15th August 1936. It was a grace she longed for and accepted in perfection of faith and ardent love for Christ.

From the common of martyrs or of virgins

THE SECOND READING

From the letters and writings of Blessed Maria Sagrario

Following Christ by way of humility and the cross

May Jesus reign always in my heart! The Lord asks me to be humble, to weep over my sins, to love him much, to love my sisters much, to mortify them in nothing, not to mortify myself uselessly, to live recollected in him wanting nothing for myself, completely surrendered to his divine will.

In this vale of tears, suffering will not be lacking, and we should be content to have something to offer to our most beloved Jesus who wanted so much to suffer for love of us. The most direct way to unite ourselves to God is that of the cross, so we should always desire it. May the Lord not permit that I be separated from his divine will.

Blessed be God who gives us these ways of offering ourselves up to his love! The day will arrive when we will rejoice for having suffered in this way. Meanwhile, let us be generous, suffering everything, if not with happiness, at least in close conformity to the divine will of him who suffered so much out of love for us. However great are our sufferings, they come nowhere near his. If you wish to be perfect, seek first of all to be quite humble in thought, word, deed and desire; learn well what this means and work tenaciously to carry it out. Keep your gaze always on our most beloved Jesus, asking him in the depths of his heart what he desires for you, and never deny him anything, even if it means going strongly against the grain for you.

Blessed be he who arranges everything for our good! In possessing him, we possess everything.

RESPONSORY

I have fought the good fight to the end;
I have run the race to the finish. I have kept the faith;
all there is to come for me now is the crown of righteousness.

Because of the supreme advantage
of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
I count everything else as loss,
that I may partake of his sufferings
by being molded to the pattern of his death.
All there is to come for me now is the crown of righteousness.

PRAYER

O God,
who by a spirit of prayer and devotion to the Eucharist
prepared Blessed Maria Sagrario to suffer martyrdom,
grant that we, through her example,
may freely spend our lives for you
by faithfully and constantly fulfilling your will.

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

Maria-Sagrario_cadaver
“The most direct way to unite ourselves to God is that of the cross, so we should always desire it.”

August 16: Blessed Maria Sagrario

August 16
BLESSED MARIA SAGRARIO
OF SAINT ALOYSIUS GONZAGA
Virgin and Martyr

Optional Memorial

Maria Sagrario was born at Lillo (Toledo) on 8th January 1881. A pharmacist by trade, she was one of the first women in Spain to be admitted to this qualification. In 1915 she entered the Carmel of St. Anne and St. Joseph in Madrid. Through her spirit of prayer and her love for the Eucharist, she was a perfect embodiment of the contemplative and ecclesial ideal of the Teresian Carmel. She was Prioress of her community when she was martyred on 15th August 1936. It was a grace she longed for and accepted in perfection of faith and ardent love for Christ.

From the common of martyrs or of virgins

THE SECOND READING

From the letters and writings of Blessed Maria Sagrario

Following Christ by way of humility and the cross

May Jesus reign always in my heart! The Lord asks me to be humble, to weep over my sins, to love him much, to love my sisters much, to mortify them in nothing, not to mortify myself uselessly, to live recollected in him wanting nothing for myself, completely surrendered to his divine will.

In this vale of tears, suffering will not be lacking, and we should be content to have something to offer to our most beloved Jesus who wanted so much to suffer for love of us. The most direct way to unite ourselves to God is that of the cross, so we should always desire it. May the Lord not permit that I be separated from his divine will.

Blessed be God who gives us these ways of offering ourselves up to his love! The day will arrive when we will rejoice for having suffered in this way. Meanwhile, let us be generous, suffering everything, if not with happiness, at least in close conformity to the divine will of him who suffered so much out of love for us. However great are our sufferings, they come nowhere near his. If you wish to be perfect, seek first of all to be quite humble in thought, word, deed and desire; learn well what this means and work tenaciously to carry it out. Keep your gaze always on our most beloved Jesus, asking him in the depths of his heart what he desires for you, and never deny him anything, even if it means going strongly against the grain for you.

Blessed be he who arranges everything for our good! In possessing him, we possess everything.

RESPONSORY

I have fought the good fight to the end;
I have run the race to the finish. I have kept the faith;
all there is to come for me now is the crown of righteousness.

Because of the supreme advantage
of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
I count everything else as loss,
that I may partake of his sufferings
by being molded to the pattern of his death.
All there is to come for me now is the crown of righteousness.

PRAYER

O God,
who by a spirit of prayer and devotion to the Eucharist
prepared Blessed Maria Sagrario to suffer martyrdom,
grant that we, through her example,
may freely spend our lives for you
by faithfully and constantly fulfilling your will.

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

Maria-Sagrario_cadaver
“The most direct way to unite ourselves to God is that of the cross, so we should always desire it.”

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