Blessed Josefa Naval Girbés was born at Algemesi in the Archdiocese of Valencia, Spain, on December 11, 1820. As a very young woman, she consecrated herself to the Lord by a perpetual vow of chastity. Josefa’s life was simple. She stood out for her ardent love, and she made progress along the way of prayer and evangelical perfection while dedicating herself generously to apostolic works in her parish community. In her own home, she opened a school where she taught needlework, prayer, and the evangelical virtues. She formed many young girls and women and shared with them her wisdom and spiritual understanding. She was a member of the Third Order Secular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Teresa of Jesus and had a special love for the Virgin Mother of God. Her holy death took place on February 24, 1893. She is buried in her parish church of Saint James in her native city.
4 February: Blessed Marie-Eugène of the Child Jesus Grialou
Henri Grialou was born in Aubin, in Aveyron (France), on December 2, 1894. After his priestly ordination on February 4, 1922, he was captivated by the doctrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and St. John of the Cross and decided to join the Discalced Carmelites. After serving as superior in France, in 1937 he was elected to serve as a General Definitor of the Order in Rome. In 1948, he was appointed Apostolic Visitor of the Discalced Carmelite nuns in France and religious assistant to their federations. From 1955 he was able to devote himself full-time to the secular institute Notre Dame de Vie, which he started in 1932. He died in Venasque on March 27th, 1967, the feast day of the institute. He was beatified in 2016 by Pope Francis.
27 January: St. Henry de Ossó y Cervelló
St. Henry de Ossó y Cervelló was born at Vinebre, Catalonia, Spain, on October 16, 1840, and was ordained a priest on September 21, 1867. He was an apostle to young people in teaching them about their faith and inspired various movements for the teaching of the Gospel. As a spiritual director, he was fascinated by St. Teresa of Jesus, the great teacher in the ways of prayer and Daughter of the Church who is better known in the English-speaking world as St. Teresa of Avila. In the light of her teaching, he founded the Society of St. Teresa of Jesus (1876) dedicated to educating women in the school of the Gospel and following the example of St. Teresa. He gave himself to preaching and the apostolate through the printing press. He underwent many severe trials and sufferings. He died at Gilet, Valencia, Spain, on January 27, 1896. He was canonized on June 16, 1993, in Madrid, by St. John Paul II.
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9 January: St. Andrew Corsini
St. Andrew Corsini was born at the beginning of the fourteenth century in Florence and entered the Carmelite Order there. He was elected provincial of Tuscany at the general chapter of Metz in 1348. He was made bishop of Fiesole on October 13th, 1349, and gave the Church a wonderful example of love, apostolic zeal, prudence, and love of the poor. He died on January 6th, 1374.
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8 January: St. Peter Thomas (not observed in 2023)
Born about 1305 in southern Perigord in France, Peter Thomas entered the Carmelites when he was twenty-one. He was chosen by the Order as its procurator general to the Papal Court at Avignon in 1345. After being made bishop of Patti and Lipari in 1354, he was entrusted with many papal missions to promote peace and unity with the Eastern Churches. He was translated to the see of Corone in the Peloponnesus in 1359 and made Papal Legate for the East. In 1363, he was appointed Archbishop of Crete and in 1364 Latin Patriarch of Constantinople. He won a reputation as an apostle of church unity before he died at Famagosta on Cyprus in 1366.
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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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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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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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6 November: Saint Nuno of St. Mary (Not observed in 2022)
Nuno was born in 1360 and fought for many years as a soldier for the independence of Portugal. After his wife’s death, he entered the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as a brother in the house he had founded in Lisbon and took the name of Nuno of Saint Mary (1423). He died there in 1431, after distinguishing himself by his prayer, penance, and filial devotion to the Mother of God.
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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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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.
26 August: The Transverberation of the Heart of St. Teresa of Jesus Our Mother
"The chief among Teresa’s virtues was the love of God, which our Lord Jesus Christ increased by means of many visions and revelations... she saw an angel with a flaming dart piercing her heart..." (Pope Gregory XV)
25 August: St. Mary of Jesus Crucified Baouardy
Saint Mary (Mariam) of Jesus Crucified was born of the Baouardy family, Catholics of the Greek Melkite Rite, at Abellin in Galilee in 1846. In 1867 Mariam entered the Discalced Carmelites at Pau in France and was sent with the founding group to the Carmel of Mangalore in India where, in 1870, she made her profession. Mariam returned to France in 1872. In 1875 she went to the Holy Land where she built a monastery in Bethlehem and began planning for another at Nazareth. Noted for her supernatural gifts, especially for humility, for her devotion to the Holy Spirit, and her great love for the Church and the Pope, Mariam died at Bethlehem in 1878.
18 August: Blessed Martyrs of Rochefort
Fr. Leonard Duverneuil (b. 1737 at Limoges), Fr. Michael-Aloysius Brulard (Michel-Louis) (b. 1758 at Chartres), and Fr. Hubert of Saint Claude (b. 1753 at Frolois), were among a group of 64 Martyrs beatified 1st October 1995, victims of the French Revolution who came from 14 French dioceses and from various religious Orders. In their loyalty to God, the Church and the Pope, they refused to take the oath of the Civil Constitution for the Clergy imposed by the Constituent Assembly of the Revolution. As a result, they were imprisoned, massed like animals, on a slave-trader ship in Rochefort Bay, waiting in vain to be deported into slavery. During 1794, the first two Carmelites died on board ship: Fr. John-Baptist on 1st July, and Fr. Michael-Aloysius on 25th July, both being buried on the island of Aix. After the plague broke out on the ship, those remaining disembarked on the island of Madame, where Fr. Hubert died and was buried on 10th September. Noted for their loving ministry to their fellow prisoners and their patience in accepting every type of outrage, privation, and cruelty, not to mention the vicissitudes of weather, hunger and sickness, our three Discalced Carmelite priest martyrs and their companions in martyrdom gave unsurpassed Christian witness to their faith and love.
28 July: Blessed John Soreth
John Soreth was born at Caen in Normandy and entered Carmel as a young man. He took a doctorate of theology in Paris and served as regent of studies and provincial of his province. He was prior general from 1451 until his death at Angers in 1471. He restored observance within the Order and promoted its reform, wrote a famous commentary on the Rule, issued new Constitutions in 1462, and promoted the growth of the nuns and the Third Order.
27 July: Saint Titus Brandsma
Born in Bolsward (The Netherlands) in 1881, Saint Titus Brandsma joined the Carmelite Order as a young man. Ordained a priest in 1905, he earned a doctorate in philosophy in Rome. He then taught in various schools in Holland and was named professor of philosophy as Rector Magnificus. He was noted for his constant availability to everyone. He was a professional journalist, and in 1935 he was appointed the ecclesiastical advisor to Catholic journalists. Both before and during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands he fought, faithful to the Gospel, against the spread of Nazi ideology and for the freedom of Catholic education and of the Catholic press. For this, he was arrested and sent to a succession of prisons and concentration camps where he brought comfort and peace to his fellow prisoners and did good even to his tormentors. In 1942, after much suffering and humiliation, he was killed at Dachau. He was beatified in 1985 and canonized by Pope Francis on 15 May 2022.
17 July: Blessed Teresa of Saint Augustine Lidoine and Companions
As the French Revolution entered its worst days, sixteen Discalced Carmelites from the Monastery of the Incarnation in Compiègne offered their lives as a sacrifice to God, making reparation to him and imploring peace for the Church. On June 24th, 1794, they were arrested and thrown into prison. Their happiness and resignation were so evident that those around them were also encouraged to draw strength from God's love. They were condemned to death for their fidelity to the Church and their religious life and for their devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Singing hymns, and having renewed their vows before the superior, Teresa of St. Augustine, they were put to death in Paris on July 17th, 1794.
12 July: Saints Louis Martin and Marie Azelie Guerin
Louis Martin was born in Bordeaux, on August 22, 1823. While he was master-watchmaker in Alençon, he met Marie Azelie (Zelie) Guerin, a lace maker, born in Gandelain (St-Denis-sur-Sarthon), on December 23, 1831. They were married on July 13, 1858,and had nine children, including the future Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus. Model spouses, devoted parents, workers, attentive to the poor, always nourishing a missionary spirit, they found their strength and hope in regular attendance at Holy Mass and in a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin.
12 June: Blessed Alphonsus Mary of the Holy Spirit Mazurek and Companions
Joseph Mazurek was born in 1891 at Baranowka, near Lubartow, Poland. He entered the Discalced Carmelite Order in 1908, taking the religious name Alphonsus Mary of the Holy Spirit. He was ordained a priest and appointed as a professor while dedicating himself to the education of youth. Afterward, he served in his Order as prior and bursar. In 1944, after having been arrested by the troops that had invaded his country, he was shot on 28 August at Nawojowa Gora, near Krzeszowice.