We arrived in Villanueva de la Jara on the first Sunday of Lent, the feast of St. Barbaciani, [21 February] the vigil of the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, in the year 1580. On this same day at the time of the high Mass, the Blessed Sacrament was reserved in the church of the glorious St. Anne.
The city council and some others along with Doctor Ervías came out to receive us, and we got down from our wagons at the church in the town, which was quite far from St. Anne’s. The joy of the whole town was so great.
It gave me much consolation to see the happiness with which they received the order of the Blessed Virgin, our Lady.
We had heard from afar the peal of the church bells. Once we were inside the church, they began the Te Deum, one verse sung by the choir and the other played by the organ.
When it was finished, they carried the Blessed Sacrament on one portable platform and a statue of our Lady on another, and crosses and banners. The procession proceeded with much pomp.
We were in the middle near the Blessed Sacrament with our white mantles and our veils covering our faces, and next to us were many of our discalced friars from their monastery and Franciscans from the monastery of St. Francis that was located there, and one Dominican who happened to be present (even though he was alone it made me happy to see that habit there).
Since the distance was great, there were many altars set up along the way. From time to time the procession stopped and some verses were recited in honor of our order which moved us to great devotion. So did the sight of all of them praising the great God present in our midst and the fact that because of Him they paid so much honor to us seven poor, little discalced nuns who were there.
While I was engaged in all these reflections, I became very ashamed in recalling that I was among them and that if they were to do what I deserved they would all turn against me.
Saint Teresa of Avila
The Book of Her Foundations, Chapter 28
We are grateful to photographer José-María Moreno García for making his photo-documentary of the Fifth Centenary visit to Saint Teresa’s foundation of Villanueva de la Jara available for download under a Creative Commons license. To see the complete photo album from this foundation, click here.
Lord, I am an ignorant child, I am blind;
I come unto you to see.
Come, your eyes will heal me,
and everything will be yours.
One glance is life!
Saint Mariam of Bethlehem
“I propose to have no other purpose in all my activities, either interior or exterior, than the motive of love alone, by constantly asking myself: ‘Now what am I doing in this action? Do I love God?’ If I should notice any obstacle to pure love, I shall take myself in hand and recall that I must seek to return my love for His love.”
Saint Teresa Margaret Redi
God Is Love
Edith’s six months of probation passed quickly. On 15 February 1934, following the custom of the Order, she knelt before the assembled community and asked to receive the habit of Our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel. She was granted her request on 15 April. During the two months that she was preparing for her clothing, she grew in love and gratitude toward her superiors and her sisters. It was not easy for her to grasp that, as the “bride-to-be,” she should be the object of so much attention and solicitude on the part of her Sisters. Everyone was busy helping her to prepare for her clothing as it drew nearer. Besides the bridal dress, all the clothes she would need in the convent had to be made – a long white tunic of wool, a pair of rope sandals, a rosary with big beads and a coarse brown handkerchief. She had to go from one workroom to another to try on first one thing and then another; and though nothing more was done for her than for anyone else, she accepted each service as though it were a special token of love for herself.
Mother Teresia Renata of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.
Edith Stein: The Life of a Philosopher and Carmelite
SERVA DI DIO SR. MARIA LUCIA DI GESÙ E DEL CUORE IMMACOLATO
Lucia dos Santos
Aljustrel [Fatima, Portogallo]
22 marzo 1907 – Coimbra, 13 febbraio 2005
Veggente di Fatima, Carmelitana scalza
Nella plurisecolare storia delle Apparizioni della Vergine Maria, suor Lucia (come era comunemente conosciuta) è stata la veggente vissuta più a lungo; nel quasi un secolo di vita (98 anni), ella ha vissuto la sua vicenda umana e personale, come veggente dialogante con la Vergine e come suora consacrata nella clausura del Carmelo, proiettando per tutto il secolo XX, la luce di un messaggio accorato e materno di Maria, preoccupata della salvezza delle anime, specie quelle dei peccatori…
“I want my life to be a trail of light that shines in the way of my siblings showing their faith, hope, and charity.”
Servant of God Sister Maria Lúcia of the Immaculate Heart
That superabundant share of divine light and grace enkindled in Thérèse so ardent a flame of love, that she lived by it alone, rising above all created things, till in the end it consumer her; so much so that shortly before her death she could candidly avow she had never given God anything but Love…
Therefore do We desire earnestly that all the Faithful of Christ should render themselves worthy of partaking in the abundant profusion of graces resulting from the intercession of “little Thérèse.” But We desire much more earnestly that all the faithful should study her in order to copy her, becoming children themselves, since otherwise they cannot, according to the oracle of the Master, arrive at the Kingdom of Heaven.
If the way of spiritual childhood became general, who does not see how easily would be realized the reformation of human society which We set ourselves to accomplish at the commencement of our Pontificate…
Pope Pius XI
Homily for the Canonization of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus
17 May 1925
VENERABLE MARGARET OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
7 February 1619 – 26 May 1648
Professed Discalced Carmelite nun of the Carmel of Beaune, France
Venerable Margaret of the Blessed Sacrament (Marguerite Parigot) was the promoter of devotion to the Little King of Grace, the Infant Jesus of Beaune. Like another French Carmelite of Lisieux nearly three centuries later who was devoted to the Infant Jesus, Venerable Margaret of the Blessed Sacrament entered the Carmel of Beaune at a tender age and died in the springtime of her life. Yet, the devotion that she promoted and the fame of her sanctity have endured.
Learn more about Venerable Margaret and devotion to the Little King of Grace at the website of the friends of the Infant Jesus of Beaune
The Child Jesus wants us to seek Him alone, in simplicity of spirit; and the Divine Simplicity banishes from our souls all folly and depravity. No amusement: neither in ourselves nor in creatures. Nothing but Jesus who is sought and served simply and in truth.
Venerable Margaret of the Blessed Sacrament
Conversations with Mother Elizabeth of the Trinity
Venerable Margaret of the Blessed Sacrament (Margaret Perigot, 7 February 1619 – 26 May 1648) was a professed Discalced Carmelite nun of the Carmel of Beaune, France. Orphaned in her early adolescence, her uncle, a priest, entrusted the devout child to the Discalced Carmelite nuns of Beaune. She had a particular devotion to the Infant Jesus, and soon discovered that He entrusted her with a special mission: to make him known as the Little King of Grace. Venerable Margaret died at age 20, but devotion to the Infant Jesus of Beaune and Venerable Margaret continues to this day.
Your life will pass like an instant.
On Carmel we are very near Heaven.
My beloved, my love has chosen you.
I have reserved a glorious throne for you!….
Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
PN 16, Song of Gratitude of Jesus’s Fiancée
On 5 February 1895, Céline Martin was clothed in the Carmelite habit and began her novitiate in the Carmel of Lisieux. St. Thérèse wrote the Song of Gratitude of Jesus’s Fiancée as a gift for her sister’s clothing.
Jesus gave us the Cross so the Cross might give us Love
L 106 To Madame de Bobet
[February 10, 1902]
Dijon Carmel, February 10
J. M. + J. T.
Very dear Madame,
I don’t know how to thank you, you have spoiled me so much; if you knew how much pleasure you have given me! I so desired this beautiful Canticle of Saint John of the Cross, and, given by you with this pretty thought on its first page,* it is doubly precious to me. It is right here beside me on my little board in our dear little cell; but will I tell you that I need to look at it in order to think of you, dear Madame?
Oh no, of course not, for my thoughts and my heart, or rather my soul, find you in the One near whom there is neither separation nor distance and in whom it is so good to meet. Would you like Him to be our “Rendez-vous,” our Meeting Place, dear Madame? Our souls have certainly made an impact on each other: we know each other very little and we love each other so much. Oh! it is Jesus who has done that; may He thus bind us together and may He consume us in the flames of His love.
A Dieu, dear Madame, know that behind the grilles of Carmel you have a little heart that keeps a very faithful memory of you, a soul wholly united to yours and deeply fond of you. Thank you again. I don’t know how to say it, it is He who will bring it to you on behalf of His little fiancée.
Elizabeth of the Trinity
A kiss to dear little Simone.
*The book Vie et oeuvres de saint Jean de la Croix, vol. 4, Le Cantique spirituel et La vive Flamme d’amour [Life and Works of Saint John of the Cross, vol. 4, The Spiritual Canticle and The Living Flame of Love], 1892, 3d ed., autographed on February 3, 1902, by Mme. de Bobet, carries this thought: “Jesus gave us the Cross so the Cross might give us Love.” Simone was Mme. de Bobet’s daughter.
The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel
“If one gives one’s time to God there will be time left for everything else.”
Mary of the Incarnation
Biography of Mme. Acarie, Michel Picard
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
The Carmelite often sees herself surrounded by darkness that hides her Beloved. She sees herself rejected and unprotected. Is it possible that there is any greater suffering for a soul who has abandoned all to follow the God she loves than to see herself alone without Him?
St Teresa of the Andes
The Writings of Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes
The one thing that I have is desire; but, I have a great desire to be a saint, to be totally Jesus’… to pay him love for love.
Blessed Teresa of the Child Jesus and St. John of the Cross (Martyr of Guadalajara)
From the Carmelitas Descalzas de San José
My little girl was born last night, Thursday [January 2], at eleven-thirty. She’s very strong and in very good health. They tell me she weighs eight pounds. Let’s say six, which is still not bad. She seems very sweet… I barely suffered a half hour. What I felt before was practically nothing. She’ll be baptized tomorrow, Saturday.
Saint Zélie Guérin Martin
Letter from Mme Martin to Mme Guérin, January 3, 1873
I resolved to do the little that was in my power; that is, to follow the evangelical counsels as perfectly as I could and strive that these few persons who live here do the same.
Saint Teresa of Avila
The Way of Perfection, Chapter 1