Blessed Dionysius of the Nativity (Peter Berthelot, Priest) and Redemptus Cross (Thomas Rodriguez) Martyrs, November 29

November 29, 2009

Blessed Dionysius  of the Nativity (Peter Berthelot) and Redemptus Cross (Thomas Rodriguez) Martyrs

December 12, 1600, Honfleur, France – November 29, 1638, Aachen Ca. 1598, Portugal – November 29, 1638, Aachen

Dionysius was born in Honfleur in France December 12, 1600. Cosmographer and captain of ships of the kings of France and Portugal, in 1635 he became a Discalced Carmelite in Goa, where in 1615 he professed as a “talk” Thomas also Rodriguez de Cunha (born 1598), Portuguese, taking the name of the Cross, Redeemed . Mandates on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, November 29, 1638 crowned with martyrdom, near the city of Aachen, their faith in Christ, witnessed steadfastly to the end. They were beatified by Pope Leo XIII June 10, 1900. Read the rest of this entry »

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Saint George Preca, July 26

July 26, 2009

St. George Preca

Saint George Preca, Priest
July 26
Valletta, Malta, February 12, 1880 – July 26, 1962

First Maltese Saint

He was born in Malta on February 12, 1880. As a child, according to the custom of the time, he was incorporated into the Carmelite Family through the imposition of the scapular. He was ordained a priest on December 22, 1906. In the early months of 1907 a small group of young people in their twenties gathered around him. Began as the Society of Christian Doctrine, known commonly Museum, initial letters of “Magister, utinam sequatur evangelium universus mundus” ( “Master, that the whole world follow the Gospel ‘), a work dedicated to education and religious education of children and of young people. Preca, as an adult, became a Carmelite Tertiary: July 21, 1918 then enrolled and professed his vows on September 26 the following year. When he professed, he chose the name of Franco. In 1952, as recognition of his tireless devotion to the disclosure of the Madonna del Carmine, he was affiliated with the Carmelite Order. He died July 26, 1962. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 9, 2001 in Malta and finally canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on June 3, 2007 in Rome. Read the rest of this entry »


Blessed Father Lucas of St. Joseph (Tristany), July 19

July 19, 2009

Fr Lucas framed

Blessed Father Lucas of St. Joseph (Tristany), O.C.D.

First Pastor of Holy Family Parish, Tucson, Arizona, USA

December 14, 1872 Su, Lerida- July 20, 1936 Barcelona

Fr. Lucas of St. Joseph (José Tristany Pujol) was born on December 14, 1872. He was only six months old when his father died. It became such a hardship that his mother, Rosa, had to ask her older sons and daughter to live on their own. She took with her the two younger boys to live near a hermitage on the estate called Saint Justin. Read the rest of this entry »


Blessed Avertano di Lucca, February 25

February 25, 2009

blessed-avertano-di-luccaBlessed Averto di Lucca

February 25
Roman Martyrology: In  Lucca, Avertano blessed pilgrimage and religious of the Order of Carmelites.
Source: Santi e Beati

June 7: Blessed Ann of Saint Bartholomew

June 7, 2008


Blessed Ann of Saint Bartholomew, 1549 – 1626 Read the rest of this entry »


April 12: Saint Theresa of the Andes

April 12, 2008


Saint Theresa of the Andes, 1900-1920


Byzantine Carmelite Sisters

July 16, 2007

(On the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 2007) In the city I grew up in, there was a monastery for women located in the inner city. Well, more accurately, it was nestled into a cemetary.

Located at the end of a long drive in an old brick building with vines creeping all over the façade, I had figured it was yet one more empty old church building that had seen better days. One more testament to more active days, with more vocations. I had assumed the grounds were kept due to its location on a cemetary where folks are regularly still interred for their period of physical repose before the Second Coming.

I was wrong.

Home to 15 nuns who engage in contemplative life, without active apostalate into the world but rather for the world in prayer, there were still quite active. And, blessedly, attracting every few years, a young member to keep their median age rather lower than a good deal of the orders out there.

Good for them. Better for us!

What is it about the monastic cloistered life and the pursuit of Christian perfection that calls some to – against all impulses instilled in our fallen nature and fallen culture – to leave the world and pursue such a vocation? My best guess would be pure Love.

The image at the start of this post is Bl. Mary of Mary of Jesus Crucified. An Eastern Catholic Carmelite of the the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Palestine of the 1800s and a stigmatist at that she achieved much sanctity even in the context of a belagured and persecuted culture among Catholic Christians in withdrawing to contemplative life. She did not less that participate in the establishment of a missionary Carmel in India. All this in an age where travel was not easy, Christians were especially persecuted in these places, and women traveling abroad were definately targets.

Now I have come to find out that here in America a Carmel has just established its 25th Jubilee in the Byzantine Catholic Church. In Sugarloaf, PA, it has not only been going strong for 25 years, it now has established a daughter Carmel back in Europe after the collapse of Communism, it is now the home of 5 Carmelites from India of the Syro Malabar Church!

So what do these sisters do? They pray. For you. For me. That is what they do.

On the side they do some baking and raise mini-horses…. Yea, I don’t get the mini-horses thing either. (Maybe they get better MPG?) But their true apostalate and goal is prayer.

Folks interested in learning more about the good Byzantine Sisters may visit their website (http://www.byzantinediscalcedcarmelites.com/) or write them at:

Holy Annunciation Monastery
Byzantine Carmelite Nuns
403 West County Road
Sugarloaf, PA 18249

If you could happen to find some extra change between your couch cushions or in the bottom of the washing machine, I am sure they could use it.

Folks interested in hearing the good sisters in prayer and seeing video of their chapel should check out: http://www.byzantinediscalcedcarmelites.com/page17.html The recording was made some several years ago (Pope John Paul II is commemorated in the opening litany) when the community was slightly smaller. I would rather love to hear recordings of them today. I am not sure if any are available.

But what can these folks teach those of us who are not called to monastic life? In a word faith. In two words, hope & faith.

Remember, no matter how over-grown the façade of the Catholic Church becomes in some areas, how abandoned it looks, how quiet it seems, worthy prayers are being offered therein, with total faith and hope.

Pray for this simple sinner.