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Displaying items by tag: Calendar of Feasts and Memorials

Wednesday, 13 October 2021 09:06

Feast of St. Teresa of Jesus

On October 15th we celebrate the feast of St. Teresa of Jesus (or of Avila), Virgin and Doctor of the Church.

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 Interior Castle and The Book of 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 center of the Interior Castle.

Her Letters show her occupied with a great variety of everyday problems.

Her doctrine on the unity of the soul with God follows the Carmelite tradition which had preceded her and to which she herself contributed in such a notable way, enriching it as well as passing the tradition on, not only to her spiritual sons and daughters, but also to the whole Church which she served so unsparingly.

Too many confuse being loved with love itself. Love is outgoing, unselfish, active. It means giving rather than self-seeking. It strives to please rather than be pleased.

In Saint Teresa's own words:

“Perhaps we do not know what love is. It would not surprise me, for love consists not in the extent of our own happiness, but in the firmness of our determination to please God in everything.”

“Let nothing disturb thee;
 Let nothing dismay thee:
 All thing pass;
 God never changes.
 Patience attains
 All that it strives for.
 He who has God
 Finds he lacks nothing:
 God alone suffices.”

Read St. Teresa's bio here

Read the Message of Pope Francis to the Bishop of Avila on the occasion of the opening of the Teresian Jubilee year on October 15, 2014, here

Read the words of Pope Benedict XVI on St. Teresa during the General Audience of February 2, 2011, here

To learn more about the life of St. Teresa and her work and legacy, we suggest reading the book The Heirs of St. Teresa of Avila, published by Edizioni Carmelitane.

To access this and many other fine publications at Edizioni Carmelitane, click here.

To place your order please contact:

Libreria Nardecchia
TEL.: (+39) 06-5373901
FAX: (+39) 06-5373902
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Edizioni Carmelitane
TEL.: +39-0646201807
FAX: +39-0646201808
C.C.P.: 14069009
IBAN: IT67 Z076 0103 2000 0001 4069 009
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LFC34 450

Published in Announcements (CITOC)

On October 1st, we celebrate the feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, Virgin and Doctor of the Church.

“Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.”

"Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.”

Read St. Therese's bio here

Read the words of Pope Benedict XVI on St. Teresa during the General Audience of April 6, 2011 here

Read Pope John Paul II 's declaration of St. Therese as Doctor of the Church, the Apostolic Letter Divini Amoris Scientia here

Read A Prayer to Saint Thérèse during COVID-19 here: here

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Thursday, 16 September 2021 14:49

Feast of St. Albert Of Jerusalem, The Law Giver

Sometime before 1214, Albert, as Patriarch of Jerusalem, wrote a Formula Vitae to guide the lives of the community on Mount Carmel into greater holiness.

Read more here

Watch the Reflections on St. Albert of Jerusalem with Br. Patrick Mullins O. Carm here

Watch the Interview with Br. Patrick Mullins O. Carm, an expert on  St. Albert, here


Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Friday, 06 August 2021 08:09

Feast of Isidore Bakanja

A devoted catechist, Isidore Bakanja did not hesitate to offer his life to God, filled with the certain beliefs he found in his faith and in his regular praying of the rosary. A witness for his canonization testified that a Belgian overlord accused Bakanja of teaching prayers and “all sorts of stupidities to my workers, to my servant-boys, and even to the villagers. If that does not stop, no one will want to work anymore for me.” His tirade ended with another beating for Isidore.

The Belgian possession of the Congo since 1885 was no more than crass, unjust exploitation of the native people. Bakanja was employed as a servant-boy, eventually returning to his native village. Mild, honest, respectful by nature, Isidore worked conscientiously and prayed faithfully, as many non-Christian witnesses attested. Often with rosary in hand, he looked for opportunities to share his new-found faith with others, to the extent that many thought of him as a catechist.

Working again for agents of a Belgian company, Isidore was told to discard his scapular. When he did not, he was twice flogged. The second time, the agent flew into one of his rages. He jumped at Isidore, tore the scapular from around his neck and threw him to the ground. He had two servant boys hold Isidore by his hands and feet and a third domestic flogged him. The whip was made of elephant hide with nails protruding at the end. The writhing Isidore asked for mercy. "My God, I'm dying", he muttered. But the colonizer kept kicking Isidore in the neck and head, and ordered his domestic to scourge him harder still. After 100, those assisting lost count of the number of blows.

An inspector for the company physically prevented the worker from killing Isidore. He took Isidore to his own settlement, hoping to help him heal. But Isidore felt death in his bones. He told someone who had pity on him: "if you see my mother, or if you go to the judge, or if you meet the priest, tell them that I am dying because I am a Christian". Two missionaries spent several days with him. He devoutly received the last sacraments.

He told them the reason for his beating: "The white man did not like Christians.... He did not want me to wear the scapular.... He yelled at me when I said my prayers". The missionaries urged Isidore to forgive the agent; he assured them that he had already done so and that he nursed no hatred for him. "Certainly I shall pray for him. When I am in heaven, I shall pray for him very much."

Isidore’s agony, his own cross, lasted six months. He died on either August 8 or 15, 1909, rosary in hand and the scapular of Our Lady of Mt Carmel around his neck.

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Friday, 06 August 2021 07:23

Feast of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Edith Stein was born on October 12, 1891, the Day of Atonement, into an observant Jewish family. She later wrote: "My mother laid great emphasis on the occurrence, and I think more than anything else, it made her youngest child especially dear to her... The Day of Atonement is the most solemn of all Jewish holidays, the day when the high priest entered the Holy of Holies, taking along the sacrifices to be offered in atonement for himself and all the people, after the scapegoat, burdened with the sins of the nation, had been driven into the wilderness."

Edith Stein was clearly a high strung, independent young child, possessing a precocious mind. As a teenager she struggled with her faith. She studied philosophy and became associated with Edmund Husserl, the father of phenomenology. In 1922 she converted to Catholicism. She entered a Discalced Carmelite monastery, professing final vows in April of 1938. She took the religious name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, in honor of St. Teresa of Avila and St. Benedict of Nursia.

Because of the Nazi program to liquidate the Jews in Europe, Edith and her biological sister, Rosa, were moved from their monastery in Cologne, Germany to the Discalced monastery in Echt, Netherlands for safety. Following the pastoral letter of the Dutch bishops complaining about the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews, all baptized Catholics of Jewish origin were arrested. The Stein sisters were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp near Krakow, Poland. They were murdered on August 9, 1941, in the so-called “Little White House” gas chamber at the rear portion of the camp on August 9, 1942.

With the witness of her life, Sister Teresa Benedicta enfleshes the words of St. Teresa of Avila: "I do not regret having given myself to Love." She was given the title “martyr of love” when she was canonized in 1998.

Her final testament says in part: "I joyfully accept in advance the death God had appointed for me, in perfect submission to his most holy will. May the Lord accept my life and death for the honor and glory of his name, for the needs of his holy Church - especially for the preservation, sanctification and final perfecting of our holy Order and in particular for the Carmels of Cologne and Echt - for the Jewish people, that the Lord may be received by his own and his kingdom come in glory, for the deliverance of Germany and peace throughout the world, and finally, for all my relatives living and dead and all whom God has given me: May none of them be lost."

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Thursday, 05 August 2021 14:04

Feast of Saint Albert of Trapani

Born in Trapani (Sicily) in the 13th century. He is also known as Albert of Sicily or Albert degli Abati. He distinguished himself for his dediction to mendicant preaching and the notoriety of his miracles. In the years 1280 and 1289 he was in Trapani and shortly afterwards in Messina. In the year 1296 he was prior provincial of the Carmelite Province of Sicily.

He was celebrated for his passionate love for purity and prayer. He became noted for his austerity in his lifestyle. He traveled around preaching and evangelizing, and maintained a relationship with people of the Jewish faith. He intervened in the siege in Messina that threatened hundreds with starvations and was credited for ending it.

He died in Messina, most likely in 1307.

He was the first saint who received devotion in the Carmelite Order, and was even considered it patron and protector (or “father”), a title he shared with another saint of his time, Angelo of Sicily. In the 16th century, it was decided that every Carmelite church would dedicate and altar to him. Later Carmelite saints Teresa of Jesus and Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi were devoted to him.

He is often depicted holding a lily or receiving the Christ Child from Our Lady.

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Monday, 26 July 2021 07:47

Blessed Titus Brandsma, Carmelite & Martyr

On 27th July, we celebrate our annual memorial of a famous Carmelite martyr.

Anno Sjoerd Brandsma was born at Bolsward, The Netherlands, in 1881, and joined the Carmelite Order in 1898 taking the name ‘Titus’, being ordained priest in 1905. In time he became a professor and then Rector Magnificus at the Catholic University of Nijmegen. He was also a journalist.

During the 1930s he gave a famous series of lectures in the United States on Carmelite mysticism. Throughout the 1930s Nazi propaganda was on the rise but Fr Titus refused to support or print anything in support of the Nazi regime.

Fr Titus was arrested by the Gestapo on January 19, 1942, and imprisoned in his native country before being sent to the concentration camp at Dachau where he brought comfort and peace to his fellow prisoners. In Dachau he was experimented on in the medical wing and was finally put to death by lethal injection on July 26, 1942.

He was beatified in 1985 and the cause for his canonisation continues which, we pray, will soon be successful.

Please avail yourself of the resources prepared for the celebration of Blessed Titus Brandsma on July 27th.

Liturgical Resources Blessed Titus Brandsma


Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Monday, 26 July 2021 07:02

Feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne

Today we commemorate the parents of the Virgin Mary, Saints Joachim and Anne.

Pope Francis referred to Saints Joachim and Anne on his Apostolic Journey to Rio de Janeiro on the occasion of the XXVIII World Youth Day on July 26, 2013:

Today the Church celebrates the parents of the Virgin Mary, the grandparents of Jesus, Saints Joachim and Anne. In their home, Mary came into the world, accompanied by the extraordinary mystery of the Immaculate Conception. Mary grew up in the home of Joachim and Anne; she was surrounded by their love and faith: in their home she learned to listen to the Lord and to follow his will. Saints Joachim and Anne were part of a long chain of people who had transmitted their faith and love for God, expressed in the warmth and love of family life, down to Mary, who received the Son of God in her womb and who gave him to the world, to us. How precious is the family as the privileged place for transmitting the faith!

There is also something to be said for grandparents’ roles as repositories of wisdom and history. Their experience in faith and life has enriched their judgment, rendering them invaluable counsels for the generations that follow. They remember the heritage of the family and share it with future generations. As Pope Francis has also related:

How important grandparents are for family life, for passing on the human and religious heritage which is so essential for each and every society! How important it is to have intergenerational exchanges and dialogue, especially within the context of the family.

To read more

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Tuesday, 20 July 2021 10:02

Feast of Elijah the Prophet

On 20th July Carmelites throughout the world celebrate the Solemnity of the Old Testament Prophet, Elijah. In the Carmelite tradition Elijah is regarded as the spiritual father of and a source of inspiration for Carmelites.

Published in Announcements (CITOC)

Celebrations of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The Rio de Janeiro province of Carmelites will celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in solidarity with those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. Read more

Connect to One of the Oldest Devotions
General Delegation of Kenya
Novena in English
P. Denis Omae, O. Carm.
To participate

Behold Your Mother
Carmelite Institute of North America (CINA)
Novena in English
Fr. Christopher LaRocca, OCD
To participate

9 Days of Prayer for You
Province of Australia and Timor-Leste
Novena in English
To participate

We will be posting news of additional celebrations in the coming days. Please check back to the News section of the Order's website: Announcements (CITOC)

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
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