Sunday, November 19, 2017
Raphael of St. Joseph (in lay life: Joseph Kalinowski) was born at Vilna to a Polish family on 1st September 1835 and died at Wadowice on 15th November 1907. Graduating in engineering at the Academy of Military Sciences at St. Petersburgh, he was appointed to the fortress at Brest Litowski and later promoted to be Chief of Staff in the Russian Army.
In spite of his desire to leave the military life, he took part in the rising against the Czarist occupying forces in Poland, accepting the position of Minister of War in Vilna. The night of the 24th March 1864, he was arrested and put in prison where he was condemned to death but the sentence was later commuted to ten years forced labour in Siberia. He was freed in 1874 and returned to Poland. Being forbidden to live in any of the main Polish cities, he took up a post as tutor to the young Prince Augusto Czartoryski who spent most of his time in Paris.
In 1877, Raphael joined the Carmelites. He was ordained priest in 1882 and began an apostolate centred on the confessional, in the giving of spiritual direction and being full of enthusiasm for ecumenism, he worked strongly for unity in the Church. A great devotee of Our Lady, he revived the Discalced Carmelite Order in Poland. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II on 17th November 1991.