Tag Archives: Carmelite saints and blesseds

Saint Teresa Benedicta

In his homily at the canonization Mass of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Pope John Paul II said:

“Because she was Jewish, Edith Stein was taken with her sister Rosa and many other Catholics and Jews to the concentration camp in Auschwitz, where she died with them in the gas chambers. Today we remember them all with deep respect. A few days before her deportation, the woman religious had dismissed the question about a possible rescue: ‘Do not do it! Why should I be spared? Is it not right that I should gain no advantage from my Baptism? If I cannot share the lot of my brothers and sisters, my life, in a certain sense, is destroyed.’”

The witness of this woman is poignant.

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Benedicta of the Cross“Tell my Sisters, I am en route to the East.”

These last recorded words of Saint Teresa Benedicta on 6 August 1942. One of Edith Stein’s former students recognized her at the train station in Schifferstadt, as she stood at the window of a locked compartment.

The Discalced Carmelite Father General shared these words with the Order as he concluded his circular letter:

“Ad orientem. Yes, the last phase of her sacrificial ascent, toward the light, had begun. We do not know when, where, and how she reached her destination. Many rumors, including that of her murder by gas in Auschwitz, have reached us, but not one confirmed reliable report.

“We no longer seek her in this world, but with God, who has accepted her sacrifice and who gives its fruit to the people for whom he prayed, suffered, and died, in the fullest sense of the word.

Blessed Martyrs of Compiègne

Compiegne nunsOur Church liturgically remembers the Blessed Martyrs of Compiègne. The 14 Carmelite nuns and two others were killed during the French Revolution.

The women were fearless before the guillotine. Rather, they sang as each one mounted the steps to her death.

Martyrs of Compiègne, pray for us.

Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified

St Mary of Jesus CrucifiedOn Sunday I posted a brief piece on Saint Mariam Baourady –in the Carmelite Order she is known as Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified (read this link for more info).

Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified has been known as “The Little Arab,” may she intercede for all those currently being religiously persecuted in the Middle East.

May Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified pray for us, for the people of the Middle East.


Saint Mariam Baouardy (St Mary of Jesus Crucified)

St. Mariam BaouardyEarlier today in Rome, the Holy Father canonized some new saints. Among the 4 new saints is Saint Mariam Baouardy  (5 January 1846 – 26 August 1878), a Discalced Carmelite nun of the Melkite Catholic Church. She was born to Greek Catholic parents in Ibillin, Galilee. Saint Mariam had the distinguished reputation of being a mystic and a person gifted with the experience of the holy stigmata (the physical wounds in the hands and feet that Jesus suffered and which redeemed us).

The Pope said of Saint Mariam,

An essential aspect of witness to the risen Lord is unity among ourselves, his disciples, in the image of his own unity with the Father. Today too, in the Gospel, we heard Jesus’ prayer on the eve of his passion: “that they may be one, even as we are one” (Jn 17:11). From this eternal love between the Father and the Son, poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom 5:5), our mission and our fraternal communion draw strength; this love is the ever-flowing source of our joy in following the Lord along the path of his poverty, his virginity and his obedience; and this same love calls us to cultivate contemplative prayer. Sister Mariam Baouardy experienced this in an outstanding way. Poor and uneducated, she was able to counsel others and provide theological explanations with extreme clarity, the fruit of her constant converse with the Holy Spirit. Her docility to the Spirit also made her a means of encounter and fellowship with the Muslim world.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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