Joseph

Joseph

Joseph has strong arms, a strong grasp
When strength is in demand.
Not only is a child’s soft hand protected
In his brown massive hand,

But he can hold up cities, hold up nations.
Now in the season of weakness, season of search,
He can poise on his shoulder like a child
The ponderous age-old structure of the Church.

There on his shoulder, there in the crotch of his arm,
A church, a people held, a kingdom piled.
And Joseph knows this strength grew great in him
From lifting up a Child.

Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.

Untitled Design (2)
Saint Joseph | Carmel of Terre Haute

Joseph was written by Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, a published poet and Discalced Carmelite nun from the Carmel of Pewaukee, Wisconsin upon a special commission by the Discalced Carmelite nuns of Terre Haute, Indiana to accompany this image of Saint Joseph, which the nuns then used to print holy cards for distribution to their benefactors and to the faithful. We are grateful to them for sending us an image of the prayer card and the text of Sr. Miriam’s poem. Learn more about the Terre Haute Carmel and Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, as well as her published poetry.

Quote of the day: 19 March

On March 19th, Saint Thérèse confides to her older sister, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart:

“I just asked St. Joseph to obtain for me from God the grace of spending my Heaven doing good on earth.”

Her sister replied to her, “You don’t need to ask that of St. Joseph”

But she insisted, “Oh, but yes! I need him to support my request!”

Just days before, St. Thérèse made the novena of grace, an infallible novena to St. Francis Xavier. Thérèse made the novena, as she said to Marie of the Sacred Heart, to obtain the grace of “spending her heaven doing good on earth!”

As Sr. Marie of the Sacred Heart recalled, “she had just asked this of St. Francis Xavier, too, through the novena of grace.”

And, the young Carmelite doesn’t imagine that one day, along with St. Francis Xavier, she will be the co-patroness of the missions…

Learn more about March 1897 and the last year in the life of Saint Thérèse here.

 

 

THERESE - Marie Therese sacristines
In this detail of Photo 39 taken by Céline with her sisters and cousin in the sacristy courtyard at the Carmel of Lisieux, we see Marie and Thérèse showing the making of altar bread and the work of the sacristan. See the complete photo here. Photo dated November 1896, before the 14th. [Source: Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux]

Quote of the day: 18 March

The good Lord is a tender Mother for me.

Blessed Elisha of St. Clement
Teodora Fracasso,  1901-1927

Elia-di-San-Clemente_closeup
LETTERA APOSTOLICA
CON LA QUALE IL SANTO PADRE
BENEDETTO XVI
ISCRIVE NELL’ALBO DEI BEATI 
LA SERVA DI DIO SUOR ELIA DI SAN CLEMENTE
Noi, accogliendo il desiderio del Nostro Fratello Francesco Cacucci, Arcivescovo di Bari-Bitonto, e di molti altri Fratelli nell’Episcopato e di molti fedeli, dopo aver avuto il parere della Congregazione delle Cause dei Santi, con la Nostra Autorità Apostolica concediamo che la Venerabile Serva di Dio Suor Elia di san Clemente, vergine dell’Ordine delle Carmelitane Scalze della Beata Maria Vergine del Monte Carmelo, che ha consacrato la sua vita contemplativa per amore di Cristo al servizio della Chiesa, d’ora in poi sia chiamata Beata e che si possa celebrare la sua festa nei luoghi e secondo le regole stabilite dal diritto, ogni anno, il 29 maggio.
Nel nome del Padre e del Figlio e dello Spirito Santo. 
Amen.
Dato a Roma, presso San Pietro, il 14 marzo dell’anno del Signore 2006, primo del Nostro Pontificato.
BENEDICTVS PP. XVI
The beatification ceremony took place in Bari 18 March 2006.

 

Quote of the day: 17 March

The Far Island

Heaven to me a mystic Erin is,
God’s sea-encircled dwelling, wholly lit
by its own inner and eternal day,
and all my birds of longing nest in it.

I pray to Patrick of the Trinity
to gain for me this isle of the Triune.
Grant me to turn my prow into its port
before the cycle of the next new moon.

I pray to Brigid, Mary of the Gael,
so clothe me with the Virgin it may be
that when my mantle sweeps against the waves
they may take heed to her tranquility.

Brendan the Voyageur I too implore:
through these dark waters take me to my goal.
As once you found my earthland, find for me
the unimagined homeland of my soul.

Have pity, saints of Erin; help my ship
out to the blessed isle! And till I be
anchored in God my postexilic Good,
O Columbkill the exile, pray for me.

(1946)

Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D. 

Ballinacourty Lighthouse County Waterford
Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D. (Agnes Jessika Powers) was born in Mauston, Wisconsin and baptized in St. Patrick’s Church there. Her grandparents’ families were immigrants from County Waterford, Ireland.
Photo: Ballinacourty Lighthouse near Dungarvan, County Waterford | John Finn / Flickr
The Far Island, The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers / Edited by Regina Siegfried and Robert Morneau (page 131) 
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1999 by Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Quote of the day: 15 March

We’re going to have a big mission for the end of Lent. I’m already praying for the success of this mission. Oh, I desire so much to gather souls to my Jesus! I would give my life only to contribute to the redemption of one of these souls that Jesus has loved so much. Ah, I would like to make him known, to make him loved in all the earth.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
Excerpt from her diary, 2 February 1899

Elisabeth_a_18_ans
Elizabeth Catez, age eighteen
At the end of Lent 1899, every parish in Dijon participated in one big mission with preachers in every parish. St. Elizabeth of the Trinity participated with fervor in her home parish, St. Michael’s. For her, it was a grace-filled moment. On 15 March she made a general confession to the mission preacher, Father Lion. “I met a confessor like I had never found before.” [Source: Conrad de Meester, O.C.D., Rien moins que Dieu: sainte Elisabeth de la Trinité, Chap. 8] | Photo: Discalced Carmelite Order

 

THERESE - I hope that with perseverance IGsize
“You see I’m having trouble, but we get nowhere without some troubles, so I hope that with perseverance I’ll get there too.” (Excerpt from Cahier Scolaire No. 5)

Quote of the day: 14 March

They have declared to us to be determined and very resolute to undergo and suffer whatever bitterness, rather than withdrawing from their vocation

Meanwhile, the nuns, who in France are now in the greatest desolation, arouse in our hearts affections of the most tender piety, to the maximum that a great part among them from all these provinces have indicated their anxiety in letters, because they are prevented from persevering in their own institutes and observing solemn vows; together they have declared to us to be determined and very resolute to undergo and suffer whatever bitterness, rather than withdrawing from their vocationTherefore, O our Beloved Sons and Venerable Brothers, we cannot help but testify in the greatest possible manner to their constancy and their strength, and to pray with the most fervent petitions to want to encourage them with your exhortations and to offer them also, insofar as possible, every help.

Pope Pius VI
Quod aliquantum (excerpt)
Papal brief condemning the Civil Constitution of the Clergy
10 March 1791

12-13-07-MC-D-1634
On March 10, 1791, Rome, in Pius VI’s brief, Quod aliquantum, finally condemned the civil constitution of the clergy. The pope issued two further briefs on March 19, both aimed at sustaining the non-juring church in France. The first lauded priests who did not take the oath of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, while the second conferred upon former bishops, or the vicars left administering their dioceses, the power to absolve cases normally reserved for Rome. Should contact with the Holy See be broken, they might now proceed with dates for ordinations without reference to Rome. [Source: Bush, Willilam. To Quell the Terror: The Mystery of the Vocation of the Sixteen Carmelites of Compiègne Guillotined July 17, 1774 (p. 86)] | Photo: Trial scene from the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Dialogues des Carmélites, 2013 | Michael Cooper, Canadian Opera Company / Flickr

Quote of the day: 13 March

“When I have a problem, I entrust it to her. I don’t ask her to solve it, only that she should hold it in her hands and help me. I almost always receive a rose as a sign.”

Pope Francis
Una rosa bianca da Santa Teresa
Avvenire, 24 March 2013

Pope Francis Red Roses
On the 13th March 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church. He is a great devoté of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and states that she often, almost always, sends him a rose as a sign that she is handling a problem when he asks for her help.
SABETH - Let us adore him in Truth IGsize
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore him. God is a spirit; and they that adore him, must adore him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24)

Quote of the day: 7 March

J.M.J.T.

June 1987

You have told me, my dear Mother, of your desire that I finish singing with you the Mercies of the Lord. I began this sweet song with your dear daughter, Agnes of Jesus, who was the mother entrusted by God with guiding me in the days of my childhood. It was with her that I had to sing of the graces granted to the Blessed Virgin’s little flower when she was in the springtime of her life. And it is with you that I am to sing of the happiness of this little flower now that the timid glimmerings of the dawn have given way to the burning heat of noon…

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Story of a Soul, Manuscript C, Folio 1 recto

IMPRIMATUR_StoryOfASoul_trace-imprimatur-HA-par-Godefroid-Madeleine
Father Godefroid Madeleine went to meet Bishop Hugonin March 7th, 1898 shortly before his death in early May, to obtain an oral agreement for the permit to print the first edition of The Story of a Soul (imprimatur). Courtesy of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux, this is the written record of the meeting, via Father Madeleine. These are the several words in violet ink in the right side of the piece of paper, authenticated in 1909 by Mother Marie-Ange in pencil in the left section (which, however, was not entered until 1902…) To see the full image and description of the meeting, click here

Quote of the day: 4 March

THE SPIRITUAL CANTICLE

This commentary on the stanzas that deal with the exchange of love between the soul and Christ, its Bridegroom, explains certain matters about prayer and its effects. It was written at the request of Mother Ana de Jesús, prioress of the Discalced Carmelite nuns of St. Joseph’s in Granada, in the year 1584.

PROLOGUE

1. These stanzas, Reverend Mother, were obviously composed with a certain burning love of God. The wisdom and charity of God is so vast, as the Book of Wisdom states, that it reaches from end to end [Wis. 8:1], and the soul informed and moved by it bears in some way this very abundance and impulsiveness in her words. As a result, I do not plan to expound these stanzas in all the breadth and fullness that the fruitful spirit of love conveys to them. It would be foolish to think that expressions of love arising from mystical understanding, like these stanzas, are fully explainable. The Spirit of the Lord, who abides in us and aids our weakness, as St. Paul says [Rom. 8:26], pleads for us with unspeakable groanings in order to manifest what we can neither fully understand nor comprehend.

Who can describe in writing the understanding he gives to loving souls in whom he dwells? And who can express with words the experience he imparts to them? Who, finally, can explain the desires he gives them? Certainly, no one can! Not even they who receive these communications. As a result, these persons let something of their experience overflow in figures, comparisons, and similitudes, and from the abundance of their spirit pour out secrets and mysteries rather than rational explanations.

If these similitudes are not read with the simplicity of the spirit of knowledge and love they contain, they will seem to be absurdities rather than reasonable utterances, as will those comparisons of the divine Song of Solomon and other books of Sacred Scripture where the Holy Spirit, unable to express the fullness of his meaning in ordinary words, utters mysteries in strange figures and likenesses. The saintly doctors, no matter how much they have said or will say, can never furnish an exhaustive explanation of these figures and comparisons, since the abundant meanings of the Holy Spirit cannot be caught in words. Thus the explanation of these expressions usually contains less than what they embody in themselves.

2. Since these stanzas, then, were composed in a love flowing from abundant mystical understanding, I cannot explain them adequately, nor is it my intention to do so. I only wish to shed some general light on them, since Your Reverence has desired this of me…

Ana_de_Jesús
Mother Ana de Jesús (Lobera) was born in Medina del Campo on November 25, 1545, and entered the Teresian Carmel on August 1, 1570. In 1575 she went to Beas as prioress, where she became an intimate friend of St. John of the Cross. She later served as prioress also in Granada and Madrid. In 1604 she went to France and Belgium where she made numerous foundations. She died in Brussels on March 4, 1621. The cause for her beatification is in process. | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelite Order

Read the official biography of the Servant of God on the website of the Discalced Carmelite General Postulation of the Causes of the Saints 

The Spiritual Canticle and biographic sketch of Ana de Jesús from
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: 2 March

Dreams of You

My dreams of you are like the fallen leaves,
colored with brillance, nomad rustling things,
tossed by the winds of olden memories—
they prate of golden summertimes and springs.

When skies were gray you flung them all away—
but I, who loved them, hoard such gifts as these.
By day I revel in their gilded lights;
at night they whisper tender sympathies.

Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD
(Jessica Powers)
American Poetry Magazine (March-April, 1924)

close up photo of dry leaves
Photo by WARREN BLAKE on Pexels.com

Edith Stein: A service to peace

JOHN PAUL II

ANGELUS

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, 26 February 1995

Dearest Brothers and Sisters!

Among the women who have served the cause of peace, I wish today to remember a “martyr” of our century, that I myself, in 1987, had the joy of raising to the honors of the altars: the Carmelite Edith Stein.

Like many other victims of Nazi savagery, she was killed in the Auschwitz concentration camp. For her, being of Jewish origin and educated according to the traditions of her parents, the choice of the Gospel, which came after painstaking research, did not mean the rejection of her cultural and religious roots. Christ, known in the footsteps of St. Teresa of Avila, helped her to read the history of her people more deeply. With her gaze fixed on the Redeemer, she learned the wisdom of the Cross, which made her capable of new solidarity with the sufferings of her sisters and brothers.

Uniting herself to the pain of God made man, offering her life for her people became her great aspiration. She faced deportation and the prospect of “martyrdom” with the intimate awareness of going to “die for her people”. Her sacrifice is a cry for, and a service to peace.

Edith Stein was also exemplary for the contribution she made to the promotion of women. I wrote in the Message for the World Day of Peace that the building of this fundamental value “cannot ignore the recognition and promotion of the personal dignity of women” (No. 4). Edith Stein played a significant role in this, dedicating herself for a long time, in the years that preceded her withdrawal to the monastery, to initiatives aimed at ensuring that women are recognized the rights of every human being and those specific to femininity. Speaking of women, she gladly emphasized her vocation as “bride and mother”, but together with this Edith exalted the role to which women are called in all areas of cultural and social life. She herself witnessed this socially active femininity, making herself appreciated as a researcher, lecturer, teacher. She was also esteemed as a woman of thought, able to use with wise discernment the contributions of contemporary philosophy to seek the “full truth of things”, in the constant effort to combine the needs of reason and those of faith.

To the Blessed Virgin we desire today particularly to entrust the harmony and peace among the believers of the different religions: God is love, and by his nature unites and does not divide those who believe in him. Above all, Jews and Christians cannot forget their unique fraternity, which is rooted in God’s providential plan that accompanies their history.

Mary, Daughter of Sion and Mother of the Church, pray for us!


To read the original text of this Angelus Address in Italian, click here
To read the text in the Vatican’s Spanish translation, click here
English translation by Elijah’s Breeze 

 

Quote of the day: 27 February

You have asked me twice, I believe, whether I have any connection to Gertrud von le Fort’s Carmelite novella. She hit upon the material without my having anything to do with it.

However, soon thereafter she came to see me in Munich, and one afternoon we spoke about Carmel, from which she was spiritually still rather distant at that time. She only became engrossed in it through her work on the novella. Naturally, she has also visited us when she was here [in Cologne], and was very happy to have the two hours at the grate.

Saint Edith Stein
Letter 196 to Mother Petra Brüning, O.S.U.
27 February 1935

Compiegne_portrait-at-carmel-de-compiegne
The Blessed Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne | Mother Teresa of St. Augustine and her fifteen companions were the subject of Gertrud von Le Fort’s novella, “Die Letzte am Schafott” (English title: The Song at the Scaffold), which was a work of historical fiction published in 1931. The English translation appeared in 1933. In 1947, French author Georges Bernanos wrote a screenplay based on von Le Fort’s novella; the screenplay was produced as a film in 1960 under the title, “Le Dialogue des Carmélites.” But as early as 1951 Bernanos’ screenplay had been adapted for the theatre. This was the script that inspired Francis Poulenc to use as the libretto for his opera of the name title. | Image credit: Le Mémorial des Carmélites Martyres, Carmel of Jonquières

 

 

Quote of the day: 25 February

On Wednesday, the 25th of February 1959, at 9:25 a.m. Sister Geneviève of the Holy Face died at the age of 89 years and 10 months, and 63 years of religious profession.

With her Sisters continually and prayerfully keeping watch by her bedside, she had a peaceful night, happy with the deliverance drawing nigh. At dawn, she was a bit restless, but without any suffering.

“It really is today,” said the Mother Prioress.

“Today!” she repeated, as if she was savoring her joy.

“Yes, you fight, it’s a hard fight! But you will have the victory because Jesus is with you.”

In a tone of triumph, a blurry look in her eyes, but extremely lucid, Sister Genevieve continued: “Jesus!”

That was her last word. She expressed the tenderness of her entire life.

Today! — Jesus!

Céline Martin
Sr. Geneviève of the Holy Face, OCD

Read the complete account of her final day on our post, Adieu Céline

Adieu Céline

The 24th of February is the anniversary of the profession of Céline Martin, Sr. Geneviève of the Holy Face, in 1896 and the vigil of her death in 1959. We have translated for our readers an extract from Céline’s biography on the website of the Carmel of Lisieux’s archives.

Céline Martin
Sr. Geneviève of the Holy Face, OCD

The Chaplain brought her Holy Communion. Since he had sent his best wishes for the occasion to her in a letter, she thanked him with a smile. She did not stop admiring two beautiful wreaths of flowers providentially offered to the monastery’s portresses on the day before.

In the morning, a choking crisis ensued, accompanied by a disturbing decline in blood pressure. In the doctor’s judgment, the danger was imminent. Despite her weakness and collapse, the dying nun completely retained her lucidity.

Later that afternoon, she asked the Sister who was treating her to come to over so that she could tell her: “I truly believe that this time, it’s the real thing. Oh ! What happiness!” As they were about to give her an injection, she said softly, “Why don’t you let the lamp go out slowly, since I’m not suffering and everything is peaceful?”

With her Sisters continually and prayerfully keeping watch by her bedside, she had a peaceful night, happy with the deliverance drawing nigh. At dawn, she was a bit restless, but without any suffering.

“It really is today,” said the Mother Prioress.

“Today!” she repeated, as if she was savoring her joy.

“Yes, you fight, it’s a hard fight! But you will have the victory because Jesus is with you.”

In a tone of triumph, a blurry look in her eyes, but extremely lucid, Sister Genevieve continued: “Jesus!”

That was her last word. She expressed the tenderness of her entire life.

Today! — Jesus!

There were light beads of perspiration on her forehead. Her face, however, remained peaceful, almost radiant. Around 9:00 a.m., the community recited the Act of Offering to Merciful Love. Communicating through signs, the patient showed that she was united to them in the prayer. As the doctor arrived, all the nuns withdrew.

It was then that, stopping suddenly, Sister Geneviève straightened up on her pillows, her eyes wide open and filled with light, staring up above in an attitude of sweet joy. The doctor, impressed, knelt down, then faded into the background, realizing that it was the end. The Community returned immediately and was able to contemplate this spectacle which lasted from eight to ten minutes.

There was in the dying nun a sort of majesty, a sovereign tranquility, where one could read in her face the certainty of the tender welcome that her Father would give her. The support remained firm, the head remained upright, even in death. Only the breath that went out imperceptibly, and a slight contraction of the throat, marked her passing.

It was Wednesday, the 25th of February 1959, at 9:25 a.m. Sister Geneviève of the Holy Face was eighty-nine years and ten months old.

Excerpted and translated from the French. To read the complete biography, click here


Discover more from Flaviane Montenegro on Instagram at @flavimontenegro

TERESA AVILA - I am a daughter of the Church IGsize
At five in the afternoon, Teresa asked that Padre Antonio bring her Communion. When the Eucharist was brought in, her countenance changed and grew radiant with a kind of reverent beauty, making her look much younger. The impulses of love became so ardent that it seemed she who had been dying now wanted to leap from the bed to receive her Lord. She spoke aloud fervent words of love: “O my Lord and my Spouse, now the hour has arrived for us to go forth from this exile, and my soul rejoices in oneness with You over what I have so much desired.” She also uttered fervent prayers of thanksgiving to God for having made her a daughter of the Church and enabling her to die within it. [The Book of Her Foundations: Introduction]

Quote of the day: 21 February

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.

JOSE-MARIA MORENO GARCIA

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.

JOSE-MARIA MORENO GARCIA

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.

JOSE-MARIA MORENO GARCIA

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.

JOSE-MARIA MORENO GARCIA

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

JOSE-MARIA MORENO GARCIA


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.

One glance

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

BOHNSACK - repose-toi RAINBOW GIRL
David Bohnsack, mccj / Facebook

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