Our Saints and Doctors province
Carmelite Saints and Doctors
The Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel
By God’s grace we bear the name ‘Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel’ and belong to a religious family dedicated to her love and service. This special bond with our Lady influences our whole approach to the pursuit of perfect charity. It pervades our communities and stamps our life of prayer and contemplation, our apostolic zeal and activity and even the kind of self-denial we practice, with a distinctly Marian character.
The prophet Elijah appears in Scripture as a man of God who lived always in His presence and fought zealously for the worship of the one, true God. He defended God’s law in a solemn contest on Mount Carmel, and afterwards was given on Mount Horeb an intimate experience of the living God. The inspiration that was found in him from the very beginnings of the Order so pervades its whole history that the prophet may deservedly be called the founder of the Carmelite ideal.
Teresa de Ahumada was born in 1515 in Ávila, Spain. She entered the Carmelites and made great progress in the way of perfection and was granted mystical revelations. Wishing to share in the spiritual renewal of the Church of her time, she began to live her religious life more ardently and soon attracted many companions, to whom she was a mother. She also helped in the reform of the friars, and in this had to endure great trials. She wrote several spiritual classics like, The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle, which are renowned for their depth of doctrine and which showed her own spiritual depth and experience. She died at Alba de Tormes in 1582. St. Teresa was made the first woman doctor of the Church in 1970.
St. John of the Cross (1542-1591)
Born in Fontiveros, Spain, Juan de Yepes entered the Carmelites and, with the permission of his superiors, began to live a stricter observance. Afterwards he was persuaded by St. Teresa to begin, together with some others, the Discalced reform of the Order; this cost him much hard work and many trials. He is the author of the spiritual classics The Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Dark Night, The Spiritual Canticle and The Living Flame of Love. He died in Ubeda in 1591, known to be outstanding in holiness and wisdom. St. John is a poet, mystic and Doctor of the Church.
St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face (1873-1897)
Thérèse Martin was born in Alençon, France. While still young, she entered the Carmel of Lisieux. There she lived with the greatest humility, evangelical simplicity, and confidence in God. By her words and example she taught the novices these same virtues, offering her life for the salvation of souls and the spread of the Church. Her autobiography is the popular Story of a Soul and is well known for its relating of her Little Way. St. Thérèse was made a Doctor of the Church in 1997 by Pope John Paul II.
Edith Stein was born to a Jewish family in Breslau, Germany. Through her passionate study of philosophy she searched for truth and found it in reading the autobiography of St. Teresa of Jesus. In 1922 she was baptized a Catholic and in 1933 she entered the Carmel of Cologne where she took the name Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She was gassed and cremated at Auschwitz on August 9, 1942 during the Nazi persecution. She died as a martyr for the Christian faith after having offered her life as a holocaust for the people of Israel.
A woman of singular intelligence and learning, she left behind a body of writings notable for its doctrinal richness and profound spirituality. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II at Rome on October 11, 1998 and subsequently named co-patroness of Europe together with St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Catherine of Siena.
St. Raphael Kalinowski of St. Joseph (1835-1907)
Raphael Kalinowski was born to Polish parents in the city of Vilnius in 1835. Following military service, he was condemned in 1864 to ten years of forced labor in Siberia. In 1877 he became a Carmelite and was ordained a priest in 1882. He contributed greatly to the restoration of the Discalced Carmelites in Poland. His life was distinguished by zeal for Church unity and by his unflagging devotion to his ministry as confessor and spiritual director. He died in Wadowice in 1907.
Elizabeth Catez was born in 1880 in the diocese of Bourges in France. In 1901 she entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery of Dijon. There she made her profession of vows in 1903 and from there she was called to “light, love and life” by the Divine Spouse in 1906. A faithful adorer in spirit and in truth, her life was a “praise of glory” of the Most Blessed Trinity present in her soul whom she loved amidst interior darkness and an excruciating illness. In the mystery of divine inhabitation she found her “heaven on earth”, which was her special charism and her mission for the Church.
Miriam Baouardy (also spelled Mariam Bawardy) was known in religion as Sr. Miriam of Jesus Crucified. She was born in Ibillin, located in the hill country of upper Galilee, Palestine. Her family originated in Damascus, Syria. They were Catholics of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Rite. This rite originated in the Archeparchy of Antioch, which was the place where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians.