Tag Archives: Carmelite saints and blesseds

Saint Thérèse, the Little Flower

The little Thérèse, that of the Child Jesus (1873-1897), a daughter of the Great Teresa, of Jesus, is honored today by the Church. In the right perspective, both women of the Carmelite order, Thérèse and Teresa, are magnificent witnesses to another way of living the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Church. Liturgically, we have Avila’s feast on October 15. If we understand nothing more today, know that it was the Lord who was Thérèse’s certainty, He alone her guide (cf. the entrance antiphon).

The Mass Collect identifies the central focus of Saint Thérèse: a little way. What is the little way? The little way taught by Saint Thérèse is see one’s life from a perspective of humility, that of a child (cf. Mt 18:3), that the force of love becomes a reality; the language and method of the little way is that of love, of mercy.

The Catholic Information Service (Knights of Columbus) publishes a handy booklet that you can order, or you read it as a .pdf, “The First Steps on the Little Way of Saint Thérèse Lisieux.” I can’t recommend this text enough!

Saint Thérèse, a child of the Martin family which was quite devoted: several sisters entered religious life, her parents are on the road to sainthood. She was educated by the Benedictines before entering the Carmelite.

Saint Thérèse’s autobiography, The Story of a Soul, I find a compelling narrative of going deeper but that’s only after dealing with my prejudice of seeing the autobiography as saccharine; the depth contained therein is remarkable.

Saint Thérèse Lisieux is one of the the patron saints (with Saint Francis of Xavier) of the missions. John Paul declared her a Doctor of the Church.

Let’s pray for missionaries and for a deeper understanding of Thérèse’s little way.

Saint Simon Stock

St Simon receives scapular.jpg

Saint Simon was the English Carmelite Superior General of the Carmelite Order (†1265) who is most remembered for receiving from the Blessed Virgin the brown scapular with a promise that one is not lost at death if wearing the scapular. Stock was a hymn writer, a good leader and a man of sanctity, whom the Church recognized soon after his death. The liturgical offices were approved by the Church in the 15th century.


It is said that Simon heard the Mother of God say,


Hoc erit tibi et cunctis Carmelitis privilegium, in hoc habitu moriens salvabitur.


(This shall be the privilege for you and for all the Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall be saved.)

The bestowal of the scapular was given to the Carmelite friars alone but now any priest can bless and enroll someone in the scapular. The brown scapular is associated with the Carmelite friars with the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The brown scapular is one 18 approved scapulars worn in devotion.


There is a lot of pious legend about today’s saint, but there are some things that we are reasonably sure about. The Bollandists write the following of Saint Simon Stock:

Saint Simon Stock was born of one of the most illustrious Christian families of England, at the castle of Harford in 1164. Certain prodigies marked him, while an infant in the cradle, as a soul chosen by the Mother of God for Her own. Not yet one year old, he was heard to say the Angelic Salutation distinctly, before he had reached the age to learn it. As soon as he could read he began to recite the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, and he would never cease to do so daily. He read Holy Scripture on his knees at the age of six. He became the object of the jealous persecution of one of his brothers, and at the age of twelve determined to leave and go to live in a forest.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read more ...

Saint Teresa of Avila

Avila Let nothing disturb.jpg

St Thérèse of Lisieux

Français : Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux. Italiano...

“For me, prayer is the heart’s impulse, a simple gaze toward heaven,” Saint Thérèse of Lisieux said. And let this be our guiding thought for today.

With the Church we pray, 
O God, who ope your Kingdom to those who are humble and to little ones, lead us to follow trustingly in the little way of Saint Thérèse, so that through her intercession we may see your eternal glory revealed.
She tells us to keep on going, and to do things with love.
Have you read The Little Way?

Jesuit Father James Martin, talks on Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, and importance for us today, material from his Who Cares About the Saints?, a DVD on saints (Loyola Productions, 2009).

Enhanced by Zemanta

Blessed Teresa of St Augustine and Companions, the Martyrs of Compiègne

martyrs of compiegne.jpg

Unless you are clued-in on the Carmelite martyrs, Blessed Teresa of St Augustine and Companions — (d. 1794), also known as the Martyrs of Compiegne, are commemorated today as Virgins and Martyrs. These nuns are the subjects of the opera by François Poulenc, Dialogues of the Carmelites, for which Georges Bernanos provided the libretto.

The 1790 a decree of the new French Republic suppressed all religious communities, except for those engaged in teaching and nursing. You had show the government you were a utilitarian entity that did something for the common good.

July 1794 saw sixteen nuns were arrested on the charge of continuing their illicit way of life. The nuns were “enemies of the people by conspiring against its  sovereign rule.” On July 17, 1794, the nuns were taken to the place of execution, all the while singing the Salve Regina and the Te Deum and reciting the prayers for the dying.

Mother Teresa of St. Augustine and companions were beatified in 1906, the first martyrs of the French revolution. The believed what they said: “We are the victims of the age, and we ought to sacrifice ourselves to obtain its return to God.”

It’s important to give the names of the martyrs so as not to forget their history:

Madeleine-Claudine Ledoine (Mother Teresa of St. Augustine), prioress, born in Paris, September 22, 1752, professed 16 or May 17, 1775;

Marie-Anne (or Antoinette) Brideau (Mother St. Louis), sub-prioress, born at Belfort, December 7, 1752, professed September 3, 1771;

Marie-Anne Piedcourt (Sister of Jesus Crucified), choir-nun, born 1715, professed 1737; on mounting the scaffold she said “I forgive you as heartily as I wish God to forgive me”;

Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret (Sister Charlotte of the Resurrection), sacristan, born at Mouy, September 16, 1715, professed August 19, 1740, twice sub-prioress in 1764 and 1778. Her portrait is reproduced opposite p. 2 of Miss Willson’s work cited below;

Marie-Antoniette or Anne Hanisset (Sister Teresa of the Holy Heart of Mary), born at Rheims in 1740 or 1742, professed in 1764;

Marie-Francoise Gabrielle de Croissy (Mother Henriette of Jesus), born in Paris, June 18, 1745, professed February 22, 1764, prioress from 1779 to 1785;

Marie-Gabrielle Trezel (Sister Teresa of St. Ignatius), choir-nun, born at Compiegne, April 4, 1743, professed December 12, 1771;

Rose-Chretien de la Neuville (Sister Julia Louisa of Jesus), widow, choir-nun born at Loreau (or Evreux), in 1741, professed probably in 1777;

Anne Petras (Sister Mary Henrietta of Providence), choir-nun, born at Cajarc (Lot), June 17, 1760, professed October 22, 1786.

Concerning Sister Euphrasia of the Immaculate Conception accounts vary. Miss Willson says that her name was Marie Claude Cyprienne Brard, and that she was born May 12, 1736;

Pierre, that her name was Catherine Charlotte Brard, and that she was born September 7, 1736. She was born at Bourth, and professed in 1757;

Marie-Genevieve Meunier (Sister Constance), novice, born May 28, 1765, or 1766, at St. Denis, received the habit December 16, 1788. She mounted the scaffold singing “Laudate Dominum.”

In addition to the above, three lay sisters suffered and two tourieres.

The lay sisters are:

Angelique Roussel (Sister Mary of the Holy Ghost), lay sister, born at Fresnes, August 4, 1742, professed May 14, 1769;

Marie Dufour (Sister St. Martha), lay sister, born at Beaune, 1 or October 2, 1742, entered the community in 1772;

Julie or Juliette Vero-lot (Sister St. Francis Xavier), lay sister, born at Laignes or Lignieres, January 11, 1764, professed January 12, 1789. The two tourieres, who were not Carmelites at all, but merely servants of the nunnery were:

Catherine and Teresa Soiron, born respectively on February 2, 1742 and January 23, 1748 at Compiegne, both of whom had been in the service of the community since 1772.

The miracles proved during the process of beatification were:

The cure of Sister Clare of St. Joseph, a Carmelite lay sister of New Orleans, when on the point of death from cancer, in June, 1897;

The cure of the Abbe Roussarie, of the seminary at Brive, when at the point of death, March 7, 1897;

The cure of Sister St. Martha of St. Joseph, a Carmelite lay sister of Vans, of tuberculosis and an abcess in the right leg, December 1, 1897;

The cure of Sister St. Michael, a Franciscan of Montmorillon, April 9, 1898.

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.
coat of arms

Categories

Archives

Humanities Blog Directory