Saint Teresa of Ávila, Saint John of the Cross and Saint Thérèse of Lisieux are the probably among the most well-known saints from the Carmelite order. However, the Carmelite family has been richly blessed with many other saintly men and women who might not have the name recognition of their better-known counterparts, but are nonetheless ready to be our spiritual companions, to encourage us, and are pleased to share their own unique manner of living their Carmelite charism in the hopes of bringing us ever closer to Jesus Christ.
In anticipation of the feast of All Carmelite Saints on November 14th, we will share a “novena” of nine Carmelite saints you might not have met yet. The lives of these less-famous Carmelites still serve as examples to us and they can teach us something new and different about the beautiful spirituality that comes to us from Carmel, and how the wisdom they freely share can make an impact on those of us still making our journey toward God.
Blessed Josepha is an especially wonderful role model because she herself lived in the secular world, and well understood its distractions and attachments. Despite these allurements, she chose to follow God’s will in all the ordinary circumstances of daily life.
On July 23rd, Mercedes, together with another sister were arrested. The two sisters endured hours of questioning, intimidation and threats, yet they refused to recant their statement that they were religious sisters, fully aware that for this, they would suffer the penalty of death.
Civil war from 1833 to 1839 in Spain brought with it disruption and widespread religious persecution. However, Francis never wavered in his commitment to his vocation, and continued with his theological studies.
In 1601, Barbara was introduced to the writings of St. Teresa of Ávila, and shortly thereafter began having mystical experiences with the saint, who told her that God wanted her to introduce Discalced Carmelite nuns in France.
Jozef’s sympathetic views toward the Poles prompted him to resign from the Russian army, and he soon actively engaged in fighting the Russians.
After studying the works of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross, Maria felt drawn to the contemplative life and joined the Carmelite monastery of El Escorial in Madrid, making her first profession in 1921.
Henry’s profound faith and trust in Divine Providence became the hallmark of his spirituality. With great zeal he preached, gave retreats and was especially dedicated to teaching young people about the faith.
Although drawn to the religious life, Anna Maria was not quite sure of her vocation. It would be none other than St. Teresa of Ávila herself who would dispel Teresa Margaret’s doubts
From an early age, Anne had a deep love for Jesus and desired to become a nun. She experienced a number of dreams in which she realized she was being directed toward a recently-founded Discalced Carmelite monastery in Ávila.