19 November: Saint Raphael of St. Joseph Kalinowski

Raphael Kalinowski was born to Polish parents in the city of Vilnius in 1835. Following military service, he was condemned in 1864 to ten years of forced labor in Siberia. In 1877 he became a Carmelite and was ordained a priest in 1882. He contributed greatly to the restoration of the Discalced Carmelites in Poland. His life was distinguished by zeal for Church unity and by his unflagging devotion to his ministry as confessor and spiritual director. He died in Wadowice in 1907.

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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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Quote of the day, 20 August: Blessed Georg Häfner

In Germany, the Discalced Carmelite family observes the memorial of Blessed Georg Häfner, priest of the Würzburg diocese who was martyred at Dachau on this date in 1942. His most famous quote, "We do not want to curse anyone..." comes from a letter to his parents three days before his transfer from Nazi detention in Würzburg to the concentration camp at Dachau. We have a translation of that tender letter in our quote of the day.

7 August: Saint Albert of Trápani

Albert degli Abbati was born at Trápani, Sicily, in the thirteenth century, and entered the Carmelite Order as a youth. He became renowned as a fervent preacher of the Gospel and a worker of miracles. He was Provincial of Sicily in 1296, and died at Messina, probably in 1307, with a reputation for purity and prayer.

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.

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.

Marie du jour 2022, 11 May: St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity writes to a seminarian in the last days before his ordination: "With the Virgin, you can sing your “Magnificat” and leap with joy in God your Savior, for the Almighty is doing great things in you, and His mercy is eternal... Then, like Mary, “keep all that in your heart.”

17 April: Blessed Baptist Spagnoli

Blessed Baptist Spagnoli served generously in the leadership of the Carmelite Order at the beginning of the 16th century. He was vicar general of his congregation six times, and in 1513 was elected prior general of the whole Order. In his treatise on patience, he wrote, "the word of scripture proved to be a solid bulwark against my anxieties."

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.

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