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Displaying items by tag: Calendar of Feasts and Memorials

Wednesday, 19 July 2023 07:50

Solemnity of St. Elijah, Prophet

20 July Solemnity

Elijah's memory was kept alive especially on Mount Carmel where he challenged the people to stop hobbling first on one foot and then on the other but to choose who is God in Israel - Yahweh or Baal. According to the story, which can be found in the First Book of Kings, chapter 18, Elijah's sacrifice was consumed by fire from heaven which proved to the people that Yahweh was the true God.

Elijah made himself available for God's work and was sent into various situations to proclaim God's word. Elijah undertook a long journey through the desert where he began to despair. He sat down under a bush and wished he were dead but God would not allow him to die and prodded him to continue his journey to Mount Horeb. When he arrived there, God became present to Elijah. God came not with the signs usual in the Old Testament of fire, earthquake and mighty wind but in the sound of a gentle breeze. Elijah was sent back to his people to carry out God's will.

From Elijah, Carmelites learn to listen for the voice of God in the unexpected and in silence. We seek to allow the Word of God to shape our minds and our hearts so that the way we live and the things we do may be prophetic and therefore faithful to the memory of our father Elijah.

Read more here

Published in Announcements (CITOC)

17 July Optional Memorial

These were a community of sixteen Discalced Carmelite nuns from the monastery of the Incarnation at Compiégne in France. When the full terror of the French Revolution began, they offered themselves as sacrificial victims to beg God for peace for the Church and for their country.

Arrested and imprisoned on the 24th June 1794, they continued to share their joy and their faith with others. Condemned to death for their loyalty to the Church, to their religious vows and for their devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, they were guillotined in Paris on 17th July 1794 whilst singing hymns and after having renewed their vows to their prioress, Teresa of St. Augustine. They were beatified by Saint Pius X on 13th May 1906.

Read more

Image captions:
1. Plaque at Picpus Cemetery dedicated to the Martyrs of Compiègne. By Wikimedia Commons / Mu - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
2. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Quidenham, Norfolk - Windows Two of 16 windows in the clerestory. By John Salmon, CC BY-SA 2.0.
Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Friday, 14 July 2023 06:58

A Video Message to the Carmelite Family

A Video Message for the Solennity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16, 2023, from Fr. Míċeál O’Neill, O. Carm, Prior General of the Order

Watch it on our YouTube channel here
Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Thursday, 13 July 2023 12:19

Celebrating the Feast Around the World

A Novena by the Province of Australia and Timor Leste:  

The Province of Australia and Timor-Leste has made available nine days of prayer intentions which will be available online throughout the year. The prayer intentions are directed at  the needs of people throuhout the world.

Access the Novena here

Weekly Reflections from the British Province: 

Beginning on July 10, the British Province will be posting a weekly reflection on Carmelite Spirituality focusing on different aspects of our way of life and charism. The first reflection is on Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Access the Weekly Reflections here

Distribution of Prayer Cards for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Throughout El Salvador 

              Each year, the Carmelites deliver prayer cards for Our Lady of Mount Carmel throughout the entire country of El Salvador. Seven routes were drawn up for five teams to cover on July 1 and 2. Teams comprised of four Carmelites left from both Centro Xiberta Formation House and St. Alberto de Jerusalem Formation House. Two of the routes were specifically for locations with JUCAR (Carmelite Youth Groups). Other routes visited ten or so parishes each day. Cards were left at each location for distribution to the parishioners to celebrate the feast.

            “An genuine presence of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is always an occasion of joy, fraternity, and sharing with the community,” said Juan Carlos Meléndez who was professed this past January. Noé Marcelo Girón, who also professed vowed in January of 2023, added, “To celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the best way to bring the love that we have to fullness.

The Interesting Story of a Statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Huelva, Spain

            The story of the beautiful 16th century statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel maintained in the Carmelite church in Huelva, Spain. The anonymous work is from the Seville school of art. Our Lady is holding a scapular that is contained in a silver reliquary as the scapular was worn by St. Pope John Paul II. 

Watch the video here

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We would like to hear how others are celebrating the feast in their local communities or ministries. Please send a short writeup and pictures to the Communications Office (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Published in Announcements (CITOC)

Brothers and sisters in the Carmelite Family,

The 16th of July unites people all around the world in celebration and thanksgiving for the gift of our love for Mary, the Mother of God, under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

In our tradition we recognise Mary as both Mother and Sister.  Under both of these titles I would like to reflect with you this year on the world in which we live, that world which God so loves and has always loved that he sent his only Son into it to be its Saviour.

Now that world is in pain, the very earth itself is in pain, and people in all parts of the world live each day without any security or hope in the future. Their conditions are determined, not by good or bad fortune, not by their own willingness or lack of willingness to work and be responsible, but by conditions that are determined by the social and economic policies of those who hold power and the greed and avarice of those who have used their talents to gain more and more for themselves and their immediate circles without any consideration for the people outside those circles. 

That is our world as it is today, or rather, that is but one dimension of the world as it is today. The other dimension is the one in which we see how individuals and organisations work hard to build a world of justice and equality. These people are many and they come from different schools of formation, from different religions and no religions, people who have a sense of equality and who act with justice in their own lives and seek justice from our institutions and governments.  We Carmelites are there. We are there because of our Carmelite calling that teach us the values for which Jesus gave his life, and which Mary and Elijah and our Carmelite saints exemplified in their openness to God and their love for their brothers and sisters living in the world.

My Soul Glories the Lord  Lk 1,46

Our life is made up of relationships. No one lives alone, and we live in a common home that has to be fully a home for all. All that we  try to do is aimed at building and maintaining a good relationship with God, with neighbour, with family, with all other human beings and with the earth itself. Good relationships are those in which the participants grow to maturity. Even God “grows” if we believe that the glory of God is the human person fully mature. The earth too grows to maturity, when it is able to fulfil the plan made for it by the Creator. Right and good relationship is a good way of understanding justice. It is what we have to build all the time in order to live in a way that respects the dignity of every human person as a child of God created in God’s image and likeness.

In Carmel, we honour our Lady as the Lady of the Place. We have understood Carmel to be a place of beauty, a garden full of beautiful flowers, pleasant odours, glorious colours and constant growth and harmony. Mary is the Lady of that place, made holy and beautiful by the lives of people who live in that place under the mantle of Mary.  Just as Carmelites are called to a life of prayer, they are called to dedicate their lives also to the cultivation of the place that belongs to Mary.

If I take a look at the world I will see where people are fulfilling that calling. It is there in all that we do. It is there in the lives of our cloistered sisters, in their monasteries, in the lives of Carmelite sisters working with the sick, or in schools, or in parish ministry, it is there in the lives of lay people who live good lives and do their best to create environments in which people can live in dignity and friendship, it is there in the lives of friars in their communities, their parishes, schools, prison chaplaincy, care for the sick, spiritual accompaniment and the list continues. It is true that sometimes we keep working without a great consciousness of the good we are doing and the difference that exists between our world and the world of the greedy and ruthless and uncaring. But the difference is there and it is motivated by our prayer and by our life in community. 

This quest for justice is also to be seen in the work of people on the margins. In many instances Carmelites around the world have reached out in a particular way, to people who are homeless, people caught up in the tyranny of chemical dependence or in the web of human trafficking, to people who have no access to education or to healthcare and need the help of those who know how to love with a gospel love. Our history speaks to us of a constant commitment to the poor. In that place that Mary watches over, the poor have pride of place. In that place the poor teach us how to hold on to hope when there is very little sign of hope other than our trust in God and our trust in people. It is remarkable that having been so badly treated by people the poor continue to hope in people.  The world of the poor, the place that belongs to Mary, is a welcoming place, the gates, security cameras, guard dogs have been removed, there is nothing to defend. That is our poverty too, that we have nothing to defend, because God is the one who defends us and all we are called to do is defend the name of God so that it is not used to justify selfish interests, and to defend the image of God on the face and in the lives of every one of our brothers and sisters.

If for some reason there are Carmelites who live in a world that is built around themselves and their own needs and ideas, a selfish world that purports to be a religious world, then the celebration of the feast of our Lady of Mount Carmel may be a moment to reflect, and to move out of the pursuit of our own selfish interests. Mary’s Yes is an example for everybody of the person who listens to the voice of God. That voice today comes to us through the Word, the Church and the world, where the cry of the poor is as strong as ever, awaiting a response from people consecrated to living in allegiance to Jesus Christ. Today Mary, our sister, makes that cry her own. She weeps for her sons and daughters who find it difficult to say no to all forms of war, to the pursuit of selfish ends no matter what the cost to others. She weeps to see so much disregard for the elderly, the offering of so many unhealthy values to the young and so many arbitrary decisions about the lives of the unborn.

We cannot any longer be indifferent to the reckless use of weapons, expensive weapons, around the world. There has to be a way of recognising that a gun has no other purpose than to injure or destroy the life of a living organism, more often than not a human person. We cannot see the talents of so many young people go to waste while they live on the streets and find their way into gangs who out of cruelty and desperation destroy the lives of their members and of others who get in their way. We cannot close our hearts to the children who are forced to grow up in refugee camps or on the banks of dried up rivers, with nothing to eat and nothing to drink and lives that only last a few days.  For all who have the kind of commitment and sensitivity that will build a just and peaceful world,  Laudato si. Let God be praised! Let him be praised in our lives and all our actions aimed at building the world that God has prepared for us. To achieve that God will continue to put forth his arm in strength, to scatter the proud hearted, to cast the mighty from their thrones and raise up the lowly, to fill the starving with God things and send the rich away empty. 

May these days of celebration be for all of us an inspiration to do all that we can, knowing that if we do more the Lord will reward us on his return.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us. 


Míċeál O’Neill, O.Carm

Prior General

pdf Download the Message here (76 KB)

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

St. Teresa of Jesus 'de Los Andes' (OCD), Virgin

13 July Optional Memorial in Latin America

Juana Fernandez Solar was born on 13th July 1900 at Santiago in Chile, to Christian middle-class parents. Two days after her birth, she was baptized. The example and the teaching of her parents were the foundation of her Christian education. She was confirmed on 22th October 1909 and made her First Communion on 11th September 1910.

Read more here

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Thursday, 25 May 2023 06:30

St. Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi, virgin

May 25 - Feast

From her childhood, she had a deep sense of the presence of God, a great love for the Eucharist and a longing to live a penitential life.

In addition to her deep spiritual life, she observed conscientiously her religious vows and led a hidden life of prayer and self denial. She was filled with a burning desire for the renewal of the Church: keenly aware of the urgent need for reform, yearning to see it spread, and offering herself so that the "anointed ones" (i.e. priests) would once again be a witness to the world and that the lapsed would return to the Church. 

Read more ...

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Monday, 22 May 2023 05:41

St. Joachina de Vedruna, Religious

22 May Optional Memorial

Saint Joachina was born on 16th April 1783 in Barcelona, Spain. She married Theodore de Mas in 1799 but was widowed in 1816. She brought up nine children with loving care.

She was beatified on 19th May 1940 and canonized on 12th April 1959.


Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Monday, 15 May 2023 14:22

St. Simon Stock, Religious

16 May Optional Memorial (Obligatory Memorial the province of Great Britain)

In the short historical note for his liturgical celebration found in the current Propers of the Liturgy of the Word, we read, "Of English origin, he lived in the 13th century and died in Bordeaux. Venerated in the Carmelite Order for his exalted holiness and devotion to the Blessed Virgin." An attempt has thus been made to summarize the problematic life of the saint.

Indeed, it is not easy to say anything about him with any certainty. The information comes from three kinds of sources, and they have many contradictions between them. Also it is not always possible to know whether they refer to the same person. This is why we think of the existence of "two" persons with the same name as Simon: one a prior general (and in this case his term of office should be either before 1249 or between the years 1253-54 or in 1257-1266, the only spaces available in the list of priors general); and another man, a simple religious person esteemed for his holiness and devotion to Our Lady. These figures would then be merged into one, through a transfer of news from one type of source to another, and with other unreliable reports mixed in.

The Order's tradition links the famous tale of the "vision of the Scapular" to the saint of the Order. To understand the details of this "vision"—of which nothing is known regarding place and date (although traditionally put in 1251)—it is necessary to consider that the story is presented as a literary genre common in the medieval period. The content is similar to that developed by a number of other religious orders: Our Lady told the saint that whoever died piously wearing the scapular would not go to hell. It is a theological truth "dressed up" with the typical form of medieval exempla. (a short tale incorporated into a sermon to emphasize a moral or illustrate a point of doctrine). The story began to spread between the end of the 14th century and the beginning of the following century, while the fact of the "vision" was placed about the middle of the 13th century.

Liturgical worship to St. Simon Stock appears in Bordeaux, France from 1435, in Ireland and England from 1458, while across the Order the feast was introduced later by decree of the general capitol of 1564. In the Carmelite calendar reform of 1584 the feast was dropped. In the 17th century, the celebration of St. Simon reentered but was delisted in 1972. It returned in 1978 with the due approval of the Holy See and with the note “as long as care is taken to eliminate any relation to the problematic view of the scapular.”

(Emanuele Boaga, Simone Stock, Dizionario Carmelitano, 2008)


Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Monday, 08 May 2023 11:53

Memorial of St. George Preca, Priest

9 May Optional Memorial (Mandatory Memorial in the province of Malta)

He was born in Valletta, Malta, on February 12, 1880. As a child, according to the custom of the time, he was incorporated into the Carmelite Family by the imposition of the Scapular. While still young he felt the vocation for the priesthood. He was ordained a priest on 22 Di-December 1906. In the early months of 1907, young Fr. George began his mission by gathering around him and forming a small group of young men in their twenties, inculcating in their hearts moral principles, the fear of God and an awareness of the Lord's infinite love for humanity. They formed the first offshoot of the Society of Christian Doctrine, commonly called MUSEUM, initial letters of Magister, Utinam Sequatur Evange-lium Universus Mundus. Fr. George's work was and is the religious education of children, boys, girls and young people by trained lay people. Central thought of his spirituality and theology was the Incarnation "Verbum Dei caro factum est." He took these words as the motto and distinctive emblem of the Society.

A Carmelite tertiary, he enrolled at Santa Venera on July 21, 1918, and professed on Sept. 26 of the following year. At his profession he chose the name "Franco," after the Blessed Carmelite Franco of Siena. In 1952, in recognition of his tireless spreading of devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Fr. George was affiliated with the Carmelite Order by Prior General Kilian Lynch.

He lived the last years of his life in Santa Venera, in the parish of the Carmelites. He died at the age of 82 on July 26, 1962, and was beatified by John Paul II on May 9, 2000. On June 3, 2007, Benedict XVI canonized him.


Give to us who offer these gifts at your altar
the same spirit of love that filled Saint George.
By celebrating this sacred eucharist
with pure minds and loving hearts
may we offer a sacrifice that pleases you,
and brings salvation to us.
We ask this though Christ our Lord.
For more information about MUSEUM (Society of Christian Doctrine) read here: English, Maltese.


Published in Announcements (CITOC)
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