The Sacred Scriptures speak of the the beauty of Mount Carmel where the Prophet Elijah defended the faith of Israel in the living God. There, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, under the title of "Saint Mary of Mount Carmel" the Order of Carmelites had its formal beginning. From the fourteenth century this title, recalling the countless blessings of its patroness, began to be solemnly celebrated, first in England and then gradually throughout the whole Order. It attained its supreme place from the beginning of the seventeenth century when the General Chapter declared it to be the principal feast of the Order, and Paul V recognised it as the feast of the Scapular Confraternity.
The Carmelite Order have great devotion to Saint Joseph, the husband of Mary, our Mother. All Carmelites are entrusted to the care of St. Joseph, our Patront Saint.
St. Joseph, pray for us!
Scripture presents the Prophet Elijah as a man of God, walking continually in God's presence and fiercely defending the worship of the one true God. He stood up for God's rights in a solemn contest on Mount Carmel. Later on Mount Horeb he was granted an intimate experience of the living God. The hermits who instituted a form of monastic life in honour of Our Lady on Mount Carmel in the twelfth century, followed monastic tradition in turning also to Elijah as their model.
Simon, an Englishman, died at Bordeaux in mid-thirteenth century, was elected as one of the first Prior Generals of the Order and served during the difficult days of transition between hermits and friars. He had his famous vision of Blessed Mother's bringing the Brown Scapular to him with the following words, which are preserved in a fourteenth century narrative: "This will be for you and for all Carmelites the privilege, that he who dies in this will not suffer eternal fire." Simon Stock has been venerated in the Carmelite Order for his personal holiness and his devotion to our Lady. A liturgical celebration in his honour was observed locally in the fifteenth century, and later extended to the whole order.
Virgin and Doctor of the Church, our Mother: She was born at Avila (Spaint) in 1515. As a member of the Carmelite Order she made great progress in perfection and received mystical revelations. As reformer of her Order she underwent many trials which she intrepidly overcame. She also wrote books of the greatest spiritual value which reflect her own experiences. She died at Alba in 1582.
Priest and Doctor of the Church, our Father: John de Yepes was born in 1542 at Fontiveros (Spain) and entered the Carmelite Order in 1563. In 1568 he became, at St. Teresa's suggestion, one of the first two friars of the Discalced reform, taking the name of John of the Cross. He was an heroic defender of the reform for the rest of his life. He died at Ubeda in 1591, and from that time he has enjoyed great esteem for sanctity and for the spiritual wisdom to which his writings testify.
Virgin (1626): Ana Garcia was born at Almendral, Castille, in 1549. In 1572 she made her profession as a Carmelite in the hands of St. Teresa , at St. Joseph's, Avila. The saint later chose her as her companion and nurse, and she subsequently brought the Teresian spirit to France and Belgium, where she proved herself, like Teresa, a daughter of the Church in her great zeal for the salvation of souls. She died at Antwerp in 1626.
Martyrs (1638): Denis of the Nativity, priest, whose secular name was Pierre Berthelot, was born at Honfleur (France) in 1600. He was cartographer and naval commander in the service of the French and Portuguese crowns, but in 1635 became a Discaled Carmelite at Goa. It was also at Goa that Thomas Rodriguez da Cunha, born in Portugal in 1598, had been professed as a lay brother under the name of Redemptus of the Cross in 1615. They were sent together to Sumatra, where they were martyred on November 29, 1638 at Achen.
Guillotined at the Place du Trône Renversé (now called Place de la Nation), Paris, 17 July, 1794. They are the first sufferers under the French Revolution on whom the Holy See has passed judgment, and were solemnly beatified 27 May, 1906. Before their execution they knelt and chanted the "Veni Creator", as at a profession, after which they all renewed aloud their baptismal and religious vows. The novice was executed first and the prioress last. Absolute silence prevailed the whole time that the executions were proceeding. The heads and bodies of the martyrs were interred in a deep sand-pit about thirty feet square in a cemetery at Picpus.
Born in 1560 at Tartanedo (Spain) she took the Discaled 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. St. Teresa of Avila thought extremely highly of her. She was a great contemplative, intensely devoted to our Lord, and often drawing inspiration from the liturgy.
Therese Martin was born at Alencon (France) in 1873. At the age of fifteen she entered the Carmel of Lisieux. She practised heroic humility, evangelical simplicity and trust in God, and taught the novices these virtues by word and example. She offered her life for the salvation of souls and the spread of the faith. She died 30 September 1897.
Elizabeth Catez of the Trinity was born in 1880 in the diocese of Bourges. In 1901 she entered the Discaled Carmelite Monastery of Dijon. There she made her profession of vows in 1903 and from there she was called "to light, to Love and 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 nad her mission for the Church.
Raphael Kalinowski was born to Polish parents in the city of Vilnius in 1835. After military service, he was in 1864 condemned to ten years of forced labour in Siberia. In 1877 he joined the Discalced Carmelite Order and in 1882 was ordained a priest. He brought about the restoration of the Order in Poland and guided its growth. His life was distinguished by his zeal for Church unity and by his unflagging devotion to his ministry as a confessor and spiritual director. He died in Wadowice in 1907.
Juanita Fernandez Solar was born at Santiago, Chile, on July 13th, 1900. From her adolescence she was devoted to Christ. She entered the Monastery of the Discaled Carmelite Nuns at Los Andes on May 7th, 1919 where she was given the name of Teresa of Jesus. She died on April 12th of the following year after having made her religious profession. She was beatified by John Paul II on April 3rd, 1987 at Santiago, Chile, and canonised on March 21, 1993, by Pope John Paul II. She was proposed as a model for young people. She is the first Chilean and first member of the Teresian Carmel in Latin Amercia to be canonized.
In 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, Communist troops murdered three Carmelite nuns at Guadalajara, Spain. They were: Sr. Maria of the Angels of St. Joseph (born Marciana Valtierra Tordesillas), thirty-one years oId; Sr. Maria Pilar of St. Francis Borgia (Jacoba Martinez Garcia), fifty-eight; Sr. Teresa of the Child Jesus (Eusebia Garcia y Garcia), twenty-seven.
JVirgin and Martyr (1942): Edith Stein was born to a Jewish family at Breslau on October 12, 1891. Through her passionate study of philosophy she searched after the truth and found it in reading the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Jesus. In 1922 she was baptised a Catholic and in 1933 she entered the Carmel of Cologne where she took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She was gassed and cremated at Auschwitz on August 9, 1942 during the Nazi persecution and died a martyr for the Christian faith after having offered her holocaust for the people of Israel. A woman of singular intelligence and learning, she left behind a body of writing notable for its doctrinal richness and profound spirituality. Pope John Paul II beatified Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross on May 1, 1987 at Cologne and canonized her on Oct. 11, 1998.