Today, in the Carmelite calendar, the Carmelites celebrate the feast of all the many Carmelite saints: saints like St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila (the two great reformers of Carmel), St. Thérèse of Lisieux (“The Little Flower”), the newly canonized St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), St. Simon Stock (who received the scapular at the hands of Our Lady, a sign of her guidance and protection), all of whom are very famous, and some of whom are counted among the Doctors of the Church.
But, there are many others who are celebrated as well including St. Mary Magdalene dei Pazzi (excerpts found in the Divine Intimacy meditation classic), Bl. Titus Brandsma (the Dutch priest martyred at Dachau for his strong opposition to the Nazis), St. Andrew Corsini (known as the “Apostle of Florence” who was wild and dissolute in his youth but lived a life of great mortification thereafter), St. Mary of Jesus Crucified (who played an important role in the identification of Emmaus due to a private revelation), St. Teresa of St. Augustine and the Martyrs of Compiegne (16 in all, guillotined during the French Revolution), the Prophets Elijah and Elisha, St. Albert of Trapani (whom St. Teresa of Avila had a great devotion to), St. Margaret Redi (whose spirituality was to remain hidden and appear just like everyone else despite her heroic virtue and who has also been quoted in our Divine Intimacy excerpts), St. Angelo Paoli (particularly devoted to the poor and to the Passion of Christ), St. John Soreth (who formally established the first convent of Carmelite nuns in 1453), Ven. Mary Angeline Teresa (who founded the “Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm” in the U.S.), third order Carmelites, and the list goes on and on! All these saints became, as St. Elizabeth of the Trinity famously put it, a “Praise of Glory”.
These saints are an inspiration to many, especially to those in the Carmelite communities. What they had in common is that, hidden in Christ, they climbed Mount Carmel, the Mountain of the Lord, and became transformed in Christ … and holy in the process. Besides being set apart for God, they shared a love for the Church and for the Carmelite order, a love for our Blessed Mother, the Queen of Carmel, and a deep understanding and appreciation for the Cross as both the instrument of our salvation and the manifestation of God’s merciful love for us. They sought to emulate this humble love that is patient and forgetful of self, a love which bears all things for the sake of the other, a love watered by self-denial and prayer. Thus, they began, in their lifetimes, to experience heaven on earth, an eternity begun now and in progress!
May we pray to them today and ask Our Lady, Queen and Mother of Carmel to pray for us as we journey closer to Her Son each day!
Our Lady, Queen and Mother of Carmel, pray for us.
Holy Carmelite Saints, pray for us.
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 41 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 5 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!