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Displaying items by tag: Calendar of Feasts and Memorials

Monday, 04 December 2023 07:47

Bl. Bartholomew Fanti, priest

5 December Optional Memorial

Bl. Bartholomew Fanti, born in Mantua where a great Carmelite reform started, became a member of the Carmelites in the congregation of that reform. He was ordained priest sometime before 1452. He is remembered for his love of the Eucharist and of the Virgin Mary. Humble and generous he quietly lived an existence consummated in faithful regular observance and attentive assistance, including as a legislator to two lay confraternities in the Carmelite church of Mantua.

He was a well-liked figure. He occupied no posts of great importance within the Order. He is sometimes mentioned as a novice director, but this is not accurate.

He died a model of holiness on December 5, 1495. Devotion began immediately after his death. His cult was only acknowledged and approved on March 18, 1909, by Bishop Giuseppe Sarto who would become Pope St. Pius X.

In recognition of his love of the Eucharist, the Liturgy of the Hours for his memorial offers a selection from the encyclical Mysterium Fidei of Pope Paul VI as the second reading. This is intended to promote some reflection on the Eucharist. The prayer, which is proper to Bartholomew, praises the Lord for having granted the Blessed Fanti the grace to promote devotion of the Eucharist and devotion to the Virgin Mary, and asks that we may imitate him in these two adorations.


Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Tuesday, 28 November 2023 07:37

Celebration of Blesseds Dennis and Redemptus

Blesseds Dennis (priest and martyr) and Redemptus (religious and martyr)November 29 | Optional Memorial

The two left Goa with the delegation on Sept. 25, 1638, and after a successful voyage arrived at Achén on Oct. 25. The joy with which they were received was feigned; they were soon made prisoners. Dionysius and Redemptus were tormented and tried more than the others, for the purpose of making them renounce their Catholic faith and embrace Islam.

While in prison, Dionysius deprived himself even of necessities in his charity for others, whom he strengthened by his words, his help and his example. Both were condemned to death: Redemptus was one of the first to die, while Dionysius was martyred last, as he himself desired, in order to be able to strengthen the others. He was killed on Nov. 29, 1638, by a sword-blow that split his head in two.

Both Carmelites were beatified by Pope Leo XIII on June 10, 1900.

Read more ...

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Monday, 20 November 2023 14:59

St. Martin of Tours Celebrated in Rome

The Feast of St. Martin of Tours Celebrated at the Carmelite Church in Rome

Since November 2018, the Carmelite parish of San Martino ai Monti in Rome has celebrated its patron’s feast day in the traditional way.

“In September 2016, I was made pastor of SS. Silvestro and Martino ai Monti parish,” explains Fr. Lucio Zappatore. “Delving into the figure of one of our patron saints, St. Martin, I dicovered his importance on the European level. In particular I discovered the procession in other places of St. Martin on horseback, followed by children with lanterns (recalling the transport of St. Martin's body from Candes, where he had died on November 8, 397, to Tours, the city where he was bishop). And this procession on the feast is the most popular processions in Europe. It was missing here in Rome, so it seemed important to us to establish it here as well.”

This year Bishop Rino Fisichella, the pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization and the man responsible for organizing the 2025 Jubilee Year, presided. This year’s Mass was extremely crowded; extra chairs provided and then people either sat on the steps of the side altars or stood. This year the 500 lanterns prepared were not enough. In addition to the children from the parish  community, children from German schools here in Rome joined in with their own lanterns.

The procession started in the square in front of the church. It moved along to Via Merulana, a large tree covered street that connects the papal basilicas of St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major. At the square in front of St. Mary Major, the procession paused. As a surprise to the participants, the head of the basilica, Archbishop Rolandas Makrickas, invited all the children to climb, with their lanterns, to the central balcony of the basilica's facade to greet St. Martin from above!

“It was a wonderful sight,” said Fr. Zappatore.

The procession then returned to the square in front of San Martino church. There “St. Martin” met a poor man and gave him half of his cloak. This recalls an episode from St. Martin’s life. This was followed with the distribution of St. Martin's cake to the children and chestnuts with new wine to the adults. The families concluded the feast in the nearby Brancaccio Palace. The manager offered complimentary refreshments to the children and their parents.

One of the characteristics of the figure of St. Martin was his concern for the poor and the least among us ("gli scarti" as Pope Francis calls them) so the Carmelite parish community, for many years, has kept this aspect of charity in the forefront: twice a week the parish provides showers and a change of clothes to those living on the street. The parish also distributes food packages and linens to needy families who are referred by the parish Centro d’Ascolto.

The parish is working on establishing a Confraternity of St. Martin to carry out all the charitable activities of the parish. This will be connected to the large family of Confraternities of St. Martin Brotherhoods scattered around Europe.

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Tuesday, 14 November 2023 15:08

Commemoration of All Carmelite Souls

November 15 | Optional Memorial

Gathered together by one and the same love for Christ and reverence for his most beloved Mother, the members of the Carmelite family continue to love one another fraternally, whether they are engaged in the struggle for Christ on this earth, or, their earthly pilgrimage over, they await the glorious vision of the Lord.

Therefore, the entire Order, united in prayer, commends to God's mercy its deceased brothers and sisters affirn that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, pledge of sure hope and joy, He may receive them among the glorious choirs of saints.

Read more about the commemoration ...

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Tuesday, 14 November 2023 07:57

All Carmelite Saints

14 November Feast

"Like the prophet Elijah, all the Saints of Carmel have been shaped through a school of spiritual fire. They also intimated the example of Mary and made their truest expression in the experience of love and that love makes the history of the Order. They became a hymn of praise to offer to our God."

Read more about the Feast ...

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Friday, 10 November 2023 13:13

Celebration of Bl. Mother Maria Teresa Scrilli

13 November Optional Memorial in the Italian Provinces

Some Observations on the Spirituality of Mother Scrilli

From childhood she showed signs of extraordinary piety and, thanks to the positive influence of her teachers, cultivated her spiritual life through assiduous attendance at the sacraments and readings from the lives of the saints, especially St. Mary Magdalena de'Pazzi. Her mother’s lack of love for having a second daughter and her own long serious illness at the age of 15 drew her ever closer to the suffering of Christ and his Cross. Suffering experienced as an act of love made her delve more and more into the mystery of the Cross. “Patire per amore” (To Suffer for Love) was her motto.

In addition to devotion to Christ’s passion and the Eucharist, she had a tender love for Mary whom she considered her “dear mother.”

When she attempted to live as a cloistered nun at the monastery of St Mary Magdalen de’Pazzi, who she had a devotion to as well, she found that God had other plans for her. She and some friends started teaching. But that too did not work out because of the anti-Church attitudes in Florence at the time. Years later, in 1875, they restarted the Istituto di Nostra Signora del Carmelo knowing that this was God’s will.

To her intense activity, Mother Scrilli united a profound and continuous life of prayer. She knew how to harmonize prayer and work, contemplation and action, self-giving to God and service to her brothers and sisters. This became the goal of the Institute.

While she endured many constant physical sufferings, she also endured moral one with a spirit of faith and conformity to Divine Will. Her whole desire, in fact, was to fulfill God’s will. The “fiat” was the constant that accompanied her throughout her life.

Read more on Mother Maria Teresa Scrilli...

To learn more about the life of Mother Maria Teresa and her work and legacy, we suggest reading The Autobiography of Maria Teresa Scrilli, Foundress of the Institute of Our Lady of Mount Carmel published by Edizioni Carmelitane


From: Dizionario Carmelitani, 2008

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Wednesday, 08 November 2023 07:12

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, virgin

November 8 | Optional Memorial

Elizabeth Catez was born on 18th July 1880 in Campo d'Avor near Bourges, France. In 1894, she took a vow of virginity.

She made her religious profession on 11th January 1903 and 21st January the same year she was given the monastic veil. The five years that she spent in religious life brought her ever closer to God although the Lord tested her with many spiritual trials and severe physical suffering due to Addison's disease which finally brought about her death on 9th November 1906.

Read more ...

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Monday, 06 November 2023 08:08

St. Nuno Alvares as a Carmelite

6 November Memorial

St. Nuno Alvares was always a religious man. As a soldier and knight of the noble class, he carried the sacred images of the crucified Christ, the Virgin Mary, and of the two patron saints of the knight, St. George and St. James.

Having fulfilled his obligations as parent, re-established the peace with Castile, and concluded the African expeditions which he took part in as supreme head of the Portuguese army, the Constable began his work on a promise he had made to the Virgin: the building of a votive church. He chose the highest spot in Lisbon and placed the first stone in 1389. The construction lasted for 30 years. When completed, it was most sumptuous with beautiful gothic architecture and rich decoration. Nuno wanted a Marian order to take possession of the church and chose the Carmelites.

The Constable was very familiar with the Order. A former military companion, Juan Gonçalves, had professed in the monastery of Moura; also he had a great friendship with Alfonso de Alfama, Vicar General in Portugal.

In 1423, the Carmelites celebrated their first Provincial Chapter in Portugal, an occasion for Nuno to publicly request admission into the Order as a layman. He took the name Fray Nuno de Santa Maria and renounced his titles and declined to enter the clerical state despite his family lineage, wisdom, and cultural preparation. For Nuno, to serve the servants of God, to be the lowest in the community, was an evangelical option that he fully embraced. He refused to maintain any honors in the cloister.

The king, down to the lowest of his vassals, were shocked by the news that the Grand Constable intended to become a lay brother in a religious order. Nuno had no doubts however and chose the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady as the date to be invested in the habit.

Numerous stories are told about Nuno’s life with the Carmelites. When he met his old friend and former vassal, Fr. Juan Gonçalves, then prior of the house in Lisbon, Nuno would kiss the prior’s hand and ask permission to go out with the classical formulation “Benedicite Pater” to which the prior would respond “At your orders, my Constable. God bless you.” Both took a humble stance toward the other.

He lived the rest of his life in such humility until he died in April of 1431. His fame for holiness rapidly spread throughout the whole country; for the Portuguese he was always the Holy Constable.

Read more here

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Tuesday, 31 October 2023 08:08

Bl. Frances d’Amboise, Religious

5 November Optional Memorial

On November 5, we celebrate the memory of Frances D’Amboise, once duchess of Brittany, who died as a Carmelite nun in Nantes, France. Her meeting with the prior general, John Soreth, and her subsequent efforts on behalf of the Carmelites had a transforming effect on Carmel in France. The Carmelite historian, Joachim Smet, calls it “one of those warm and human friendships between saints.” In fact, the establishment of enclosed Carmelite monasteries in France is generally attributed to her. She and her husband had already founded a monastery of Poor Clares in Nantes which she intended to join after the death of her husband. However, her health failed her. She considered devoting herself to the care of the poor in a hospital.

Frances received the Carmelite habit on March 25, 1468 from Bl. John Soreth. She insisted on being treated the same as any novice. Later, as prioress, Frances taught, “We are all sisters wearing the same habit and making the same profession. The Rule is not longer for one than for another.”

During the French Revolution the memory of Bl. Frances D’Amboise were dispersed, and her body was desecrated. Unfortunately, most of the instructions and exhortations she gave her nuns for their formation, like the one above, have been lost. The few fragments that remain reveal her to be a strong, loving, generous woman who was truly in love with God. She is depicted wearing an ermine cape* instead of the white wool cape of Carmel to recall her rank as duchess— iconography she herself would not have allowed.

 * Portrait of Blessed Françoise d'Amboise - wearing the habit of a Carmelite nun and the crown and ermine cape signifying her rank as Duchess of Brittany.

Published in Announcements (CITOC)

15 October Feast

Known to her family as Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada, she became the reformer of Carmel, mother of the Discalced Carmelite nuns and friars, "spiritual mother" (as is engraved under her statue in the Vatican Basilica), patron of Catholic writers (from 1965) and Doctor of the Church (1970), the first woman with Saint Catherine of Siena to ever receive this last title.

Saint Teresa is among the most important figures of all time for Catholic spirituality. Her works - especially the four best known (The Life, The Way of Perfection, The Mansions and The Foundations) - together with her more historical works, contain a doctrine which encompasses the whole of the spiritual life, from the first steps right up to intimacy with God at the centre of the Interior Castle. Her Letters show her occupied with a great variety of everyday problems. 

Read more about the life of St Teresa

To learn more about the life of St. Teresa and her work and legacy, we suggest reading the books both published by Edizioni Carmelitane:


Published in Announcements (CITOC)
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