Monthly Archives: May 2013

St. Therese Quote

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May 31, 2013 · 8:45 pm

Ven Margaret of the Most Holy Sacrament – Life, Free Relic Card, Prayers to the Infant Jesus

margaret-1619-1648
“Margaret was born at Beaune (Cote d’Or) on Feb. 6, 1619. From her earliest childhood she gave proof of extraordinary virtue: she was only seven years old, in fact, when she would spend entire nights at prayer, even during the winter; moreover, she cared for the sick in the hospice and did not hesitate to kiss their wounds. After the death of her parents, when she was twelve and a half years old, she asked to be admitted among the Discalced Carmelite nuns of her native city (1630). Her youthful age not withstanding; her request was granted, thanks to the reputation that she enjoyed. Critical studies leave no doubt about this fact.The young postulant thus entered into an exceptional environment, one profoundly permeated by the most authentic traditions of Carmel, among them a touching devotion to the Child Jesus. This devotion had its origins in two sources: the teaching of Cardinal de Berulle, and the practices of the Spanish foundresses of the French Carmel. Peter de Berulle, during the course of a trip to Spain, made in 1604 in order to study the introduction of the Teresian Carmel into France, had had occasion to meet with the protagonists of devotion to the infancy of Christ. At Alcalá de Henares he had been able to talk with the lay brother Francis of the Child Jesus, whose role in the development of this devotion was to be so important. Moreover, the cardinal had met the provincial of Castile, Joseph of Jesus Mary, the admirer and future biographer of the holy lay brother. Finally, he had chosen as prioress of the first French monastery Anne of Jesus, to whom Francis wrote that the foundation was willed and protected by the Child Jesus Himself.

It was for Margaret Parigot, who in taking the habit in the Carmel of Beaune had become Margaret of the Most Blessed Sacrament, to spread it among the masses, to bring closer to popular simplicity the devotion to the infancy as conceived by Brother Francis of the Child Jesus.

From the first months of her novitiate, in fact, Margaret saw herself chosen by Jesus to honor His infancy and His crib. She confided as much to the novice mistress, Mary of the Trinity, of Quatrebarbes: «The holy Child Jesus,» she said, «keeps me constantly intent on the moment of His holy birth, and He has made me concentrate on the first twelve years of His infancy in such a way that He has given them to me wall and an outwork beyond which He does not permit me to venture.» This mission, therefore, will be the grand, unique occupation of Margaret’s life; and her entire existence will be a continuous dialogue with the Child Jesus, a total adhesion to His state.

Margaret’s prayer was incessant, silent and meditative. She remained united to Him Who had completely separated her from the things of earth in order to seize her for Himself. It was He Who had destined her to experience, not one of those sorrowful states that purify the soul and transform it, as is the case with so many other saints, but one of those joyful states that adorn the soul with the rarest of virtues and add to the charm of purity and simplicity the graces of the divine infancy.

It was the privilege of the venerable to reproduce within herself, interiorly as well as exteriorly, this state of the Child Jesus. Frequently consoled by special illuminations on the state of God as a child at Bethlehem, she carried about «the impression of His holy and divine infancy.» For a long time she manifested exteriorly «a participation in the state of the Child Jesus in the crib,» even remaining «lying on the floor for many days without being able to rise, and from time to time emitting a little infant’s cry. Her appearance and all the movements of her face were changed and became altogether like those of a new-born child…» During this period she received ineffable insights and knowledge about the state of the Child Jesus in the manger:.. His littleness, His divine weaknesses and His abasement..::. (Ms. n. 9, f. 255, of the Carmel of Beaune,. a text partially cited by Deberre, Histoire de la Venerable Marguerite, pp. 108-9).

For many years these divine favors remained Within the ambit of the community of Beaune, but after 1638 great changes took place. The Child Jesus called Margaret to work actively for the salvation of souls; He revealed to. her that in His divine infancy she was to find the means of obtaining the mercy of the Father. At the same time He taught her the way of honoring His holy infancy from the moment of His incarnation until his twelfth year. The Child Jesus wanted the project that He communicated to her to have as its title: «the family of the Child Jesus.» Following these directives, Margaret, beginning on March 24, 1636; brought together the «household and associates of the Child Jesus.» The associates were to celebrate the twenty-fifth day cf every month in memory of the Annunciation and of the Nativity, every day to recite the abbreviated rosary, called «the rosary, of the Holy Child», and to meditate, week after week, on «all the actions, words and mysteries» of the Child Jesus. But the fundamental obligation which they assumed when they inscribed themselves in the association was that of following the states of the Incarnate Word «in a holy union of heart and of spirit,» since the best way of «honoring the simplicity and the kindness of the holy Child Jesus is that of constantly practicing a most perfect simplicity, kindness, pleasantness and deep humility» (Manual of the Archconfraternity of the Holy Infancy of Jesus, established in the monastery of the Carmelite nuns of Beaune, in Deberre, Histoire, pp. 385-421, and ms. n. 23, ff. 1-5 of the Carmel of Beaune). In other words, it was necessary for the associates to submit themselves to the divine will with the candor of infancy.

Circumstances were to favor a rapid diffusion of the association, which.the Holy See was very soon to erect into a confraternity that is still flourishing. France was then in a very serious crisis, her frontiers were menaced on all sides, the future of the dynasty was uncertain. The royal family and the masses sought for help from all the praying communities. It was the moment at which, through the initiative of the Calvarine Anne de Goulaine, the consecration of France to the Blessed Virgin was being prepared in accord with the vow of Louis XIII that was reputedly imposed by Richelieu: Hence, as soon as the existence of the association of the holy Child Jesus became known, enrollments multiplied. Anne of Austria confided her worries to the venerable; for twenty years she had been praying in vain for the birth of an heir. The restoration of peace and the birth of an heir, which followed one after the other, increased the fame of the humble Carmelite.

During the course of the first world war an analogous phenomenon was to be verified: the confidence placed in St. Therese of the Child Jesus was to create a favorable climate for her glorification. Just as the Saint of Lisieux would protect the soldiers who were entrusted to her, so Margaret defended the interests that were entrusted to her and she became the symbol of the power of devotion to the infancy. Surrounded by veneration, she continued her mission of peace and of union — something that is illustrated with so much eloquence by the statue of the Little King of Grace still preserved at Beaune.

When Margaret died, on May 26, 1648, in an ecstasy of love; devotion to the infancy of Jesus was in its full flower. Associations were being created everywhere to honor the mystery of the crib, most often through the inspiration of the Oratorians, since the school of Berulle was not long in coming under the influence of Beaune. Works dedicated to the infancy of Jesus multiplied to such an extent that these themes were among those most often treated by spiritual writers of the XVII and even of the XVIII centuries. Any number of names could be cited, but it is sufficient to recall those of Father Barre, Minim; of St. John Eudes, who depends on both Berulle and Margaret; and of St. John Baptist de La Salle, who owes her so much.

— Adapted (abridged) from the biography by Raymond Darricau

***A great book on her life and revelations of the Infant Jesus, “A Gem From the Diamond Mine” (see book picture below), can be found HERE.
a-gem-from-the-diamond-mine-ven-margaret-of-the-blessed-sacrament
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PRAYERS

 In 1636 Our Lord made a promise to Venerable Margaret of the Most Holy Sacrament that has become very famous:  “Whatever you wish to obtain, request it by the merits of my infancy, and your request will be heeded it”. 

The Carmelite Fathers and the Carmelite Sisters, following the lead of their founding saints, St. Therese and St. John of the Cross, have set out to propagate wherever they arrive, the devotion to the Divine Child Jesus, which consists in honoring the first 12 years of Jesus’ infancy on earth, and by Jesus’ merits during those 12 years of childhood, to request from God all needed graces. 

Many devotees throughout the world have requested graces from God by the merits of Jesus’ infancy, and have obtained admirable graces.

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Memorare of the Infant Jesus

Remember, oh sweetest Child Jesus, that you said to the Venerable Margaret of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and through her, to all your devotees, these so consoling words for our poor overwhelmed and suffering mankind:  “Everything that you want to request, ask for it through the merits of my infancy and nothing will be denied to you”.   Full of trust in You, oh Jesus! Who are truth itself, I come to present my necessities.  

Help me lead an authentic Christian life, to obtain a happy eternity.  By the infinite merits of your incarnation and your childhood, grant me the grace that I am requesting of you (here state the requested grace).   I commit myself to you, oh Omnipotent Child, confident that you will heed my plea and will fortify me in hope.  Amen.

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CHAPLET OF THE DIVINE CHILD JESUS 

The Venerable Margaret of the Most Holy Sacrament, Barefoot Carmelite of Beaune (France), who died in scent of sanctity at the early age of 27, most devoted to the Child Jesus, is responsible for this devotion.  The Child Jesus promised her to grant very special graces of innocence and purity to those who said it with devotion. 

Here is the Chaplet:    

In  the name of the Father ………….  

Adored and glorified be the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, forever and ever.  Amen. 

Adored and glorified be the Father,  

The Word became flesh,

– And came to live amongst us.

Our Father who art in heaven ………..  

Adored and glorified be the Son,  

The Word became flesh,

– And came to live amongst us.

Our Father who art in heaven………..  

Adored and glorified be the Holy Spirit,  

The Word became flesh,

– And came to live amongst us.

Our Father who art in heaven………..  

Sweetest Child Jesus, I adore to you in the mystery of your Incarnation.

The Word became flesh,

– And came to live amongst us

Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit……..            

Sweetest Child Jesus, I adore you in the mystery of the Visitation.  Glory be…..

Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit……..  

Sweetest Child Jesus, I adore you in the mystery of your Birth.  Glory be…. 

Sweetest Child Jesus, I adore you in the mystery of the Adoration of the Shepherds.

Glory be ……..  

Sweetest Child Jesus, I adore you in the mystery of your Circumcision.  Glory be ……..

Sweetest Child Jesus, I adore you in the mystery of your Epiphany.  Glory be……..  

Sweetest Child Jesus, I adore you in the mystery of your Presentation in the Temple.

Glory be   ……..  

Sweetest Child Jesus, I adore you in the mystery of your Escape to Egypt.  Glory be….. 

Sweetest Child Jesus, I adore you in the mystery of your Stay in Egypt.  Glory be …..  

10º Sweetest Child Jesus, I adore you in the mystery of your Return to Nazareth.  Glory be …….. 

11º Sweetest Child Jesus, I adore you in the mystery of your hidden Life in Nazareth.

Glory be  ……..  

12º Sweetest Child Jesus, I adore you in the mystery of your three day Loss and subsequent encounter in the Temple.   Glory be …….. 

PRAYER FOR VEN. MARGARET’s INTERCESSION

O divine Jesus, you deigned to manifest to Venerable Margaret of the Blessed Sacrament the mysteries of your holy childhood.  You revealed to her who you are and relived in her the phases of your life.  You filled her with the most precious graces.  We beg you, for the glory of your name and the extension of your reign in souls, to hasten the day of her beatification so that we may give fitting praise for her merits and virtues according to the designs of your divine wisdom and the accomplishment of your adorable will.  We therefore humbly ask you.  Amen.

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TO GET A FREE RELIC CARD IN ENGLISH WITH THE MEMORARE AND PRAYER TO ST. MARGARET LIKE THE ONES ABOVE WITH RELIC , GO TO Devotion to the Child Jesus Around the World .

CLICK TO THE RIGHT, UNDER “LINKS”, “The Relic Card” order a free relic card.  Under the picture of the relic ard is a CONTACT US in a tannish color – click on this to order the card.  The looks like this but with the added prayers (as seen on the above website link):

venerablemargaret relic card ex2310

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Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist

“Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist was born on 16 January 1884 in Catanzano. Her parents, Pietro Barba and Giovanna Florona, returned to Palermo, Sicily, where she received First Holy Communion 3rd April 1894. In 1919 she entered the Discalced Carmelite Monastery, Ragusa, making solemn profession 23rd April 1924. She was Prioress and Mistress of Novices many times, radiating a sense of Carmelite holiness both within and outside of the community, influencing others with her love for the Eucharist, as well as by her numerous writings. She died on 12th June 1949, the solemnity of the Holy Trinity, and was beatified 21st March 2004.”

— From the Discalced Carmelite Proper

“To contemplate with deep faith our Beloved in the Sacrament, to live with Him Who comes to us every day, to remain with Him in the depths of our hearts, this is our life! The more intense this intimate life is, the more we will be Carmelites and make progress in perfection. This contact, this union with Jesus is everything: what fruits of virtue will come from it! You must have this experience. To live with Jesus and to live by His virtues, is to listen to His beautiful voice, to His most loving wish and immediately obey it, to please quickly Him. Our eyes close, longing to find Him again, to contemplate Him in the depths of our hearts: is this not the reason why He gives us Holy Communion in the morning? Is it not the attraction for Him that remains in the Blessed Sacrament, where He lives? I do not know how to separate the ciborium in the sacred Tabernacle from the ciborium in our hearts! Oh how many times, even though we are in the choir, before His sacred Presence, at times exposed, we experience the great need to go deeply into ourselves, and there rediscover and remain with our Jesus!

What mystery of love is this intimacy with our Beloved! I reflect on this, sometimes with emotion, and give praise to Him Who is Love! And with tears I contemplate this intimacy. Everything here on this earth is nothing for us, withdrawn as we are, far from Him Who loved us so much; our eyes no longer see anything: and even though we close them again to lose ourselves from the same sacred environment, we close them anxious to find Him again, to see Jesus! The most delightful Mystery of Love! He allows Himself to be found by the heart that searches for Him, by the soul that knows how to do without many things for love of Him.

To be close to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, like the Saints in Heaven, who contemplate the supreme Good, is what we must do, according to our Holy Mother Teresa. Seven times a day, we come together around the throne (of our Good God), the sacred Tabernacle, reciting the divine praises: oh how much faith merits such lofty activity, what dying to self! May adoration and love accompany and beautify everything!”

— From the writings of Bl Mother Candida of the Eucharist, OCD.

** Though Mother Candida (Kahn-dee-DAH) passed away on 12 June, her feast is observed on the 14th.

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St. Therese – God is Love

St th as novice at foot of crucifix in yard

“God is Love”
by Fr. Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus
 French Discalced Carmelite priest, now in process of beatification

ST THÉRÉSE OF THE CHILD JESUS AND THE HOLY FACE

God is Love: certitude in times of darkness

A little later her sister, Mother Agnes, now Prioress, gave her to Mother Marie de Gonzague as an assistant in the formation of the novices,28 among whom in 1894 was her sister Celine. Assigned to the novitiate, Thérèse found an opportunity to explain her teaching, which otherwise she would never have formulated. Obliged to speak to her sisters, she told them what she felt and experienced. When they questioned her, she quoted by heart passages from St. John of the Cross – as she often did at recreation – for that was her life.

Thérèse thus explained a little of her doctrine, but always in the midst of distress, because of the opposition of her surroundings and the sermons she had to listen to. Her teaching was quite different from all this. In her obscure contemplation she had made the discovery of the God who is Love, an obscure discovery but one which she grasped almost by second nature and which created certitude in the depths of her soul. God is Love. She could say:

“I contemplate and adore the other divine perfections … through Mercy. All of these perfections appear to be resplendent with Love.” There was nothing but this in God.

The searching went on in darkness. Thérèse only explained what she had to explain, either for the novices or when asked to write the story of her life later. Habitually she lived in the dark. We might say that she found herself bogged down in what is often called the purification of the spirit. This consists far less in keen sufferings marked by distinct stages – some of these there were indeed – than in a muddled fog or kind of quicksand in which one becomes enmired and unable to move.” This trial continued in anguish, but with upward thrusts toward God and convictions that she had found him. There was an apparent contradiction between her progressive discovery of sin and of sinful tendencies in herself and others, and her discovery of God.

The God whom Thérèse discovered was the God of Love. At the same time she saw that around her, and even in her Carmel, God was not known. The God who is Love was not known! They knew the God of justice, quid pro quo, and they tried to acquire merits. But, thought Thérèse, this was not the way to win him. God is Love, God is Mercy. But what is Mercy? It is the Love of God which gives itself beyond all demands and rights.

The Council of Trent declared that God bestows his gifts in two ways: out of justice, that is, as a reward for merits, and out of Mercy, that is, surpassing all merit. Thus he is true to his own nature, for he is Love, Goodness which pours itself out. He has a need to give. Therein ties his joy.

Thérèse read the Gospels. What did she find there? Mary Magdalen: God had forgiven her much, and therefore she loved much.” Thérèse also contemplated the prodigal son and the fathers joy in receiving him back: joy, for this was his opportunity to give himself. There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting than over ninety-nine upright people who have no need of repentance. What glorifies God and “delights him’ is to be able to give himself, and give himself freely. This was Thérèse’s discovery: what gives God joy is the power to give more than what is required by strict justice, freely, based on our needs and the exegencies of his nature which is Love, and not on our merits.

Thérèse felt acutely the tension of her surroundings, the opposition between her light, her needs, and what she saw being practiced around her . People kept score with God. When you stood before the eternal Father who was to judge you, he would look at your list of merits. You would have obtained so many indulgences, you would have so many merits, and your place would be assigned. For her part Thérèse said: I shall take care not to present any merits of mine, but only those of our Lord. As for me, I shall have nothing, I do not want to present anything, I prefer to let God love me as much as he wants.” Then she added, “It is because of this that I shall get such a good reception.” Here we have the heart of her teaching.

Surrender to Love

Seeing that God was not loved, she, Thérèse, would ‘make reparation’ too. The Love of God, Merciful Love, was not known. So seldom did people have recourse to Mercy; everyone appealed to Justice. They kept accounts with God, while he wished to give himself according to his own exigencies. Thérèse said to herself. “God has so much Love to give, and he can’t do it; people present only their own merits, and these are so paltry.” She therefore presented herself before God, saying: “Give me this love; I accept to be a victim of Love that is, to receive all the Love which others do not receive because they will not let you Love them as you wish. Such was her confidence in the Mercy which exceeds justice.

She then dreamt of making her offering to Merciful Love. But it was not directly in order to receive Love, it was ‘to please God”-, it was so that God might have the opportunity to give himself as intensely as he desired. She would be a victim of Love, she accepted to be consumed by Love, if only God could have his way. Her object was to please him, no to be a saint; it was not even directly to give him to others, but only to please him. Her offering was God-centered. Thérèse looked only at God and she lived by this Love. She wanted to delight God, to give him joy, to let him Love.

In the Gospels she also pondered the scene with the children. To enter God’s kingdom, one must be a child. True, one must also be a saint. But who is greater? The smaller, because it is the weaker. Not by reason of any merits, but because the child, in its weakness and poverty, offers God the widest vessel, capable of holding all. Here we have the essence of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus’ mystical theology.

She also found in St. John of the Cross the most distant horizons of Love, In the Living Flame and the Spiritual Canticle he describes in a rich and comprehensive way the working of God’s Love in the soul. These descriptions correspond clearly to Thérèse’s experience”

God is Love, Goodness pouring itself out.  

A new spirituality
The teaching of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus was based on this central experience. The greatest grace of her life was her understanding of Mercy. The theology she elaborated flowed from a personal insight, something which came naturally to her. At times she experienced suffering so intense that she said, “When I am in heaven, if I have been mistaken about this, I will come and let you know. But in the depths of her being she was certain. Her entire teaching flowed from this light in the next talk I shall try to enlarge on this, but now I should like to show how this doctrine has changed our spirituality, so to say. She was not the only one, there had been other messages of Love through the ages, but I believe that Thérèse’s is still the most important one from a theological and spiritual point of view.

In the years following her death Pius X recommended frequent Communion, which points us toward positive holiness. The holiness and asceticism of the 19th century were negative: people sought above all to purify themselves and make reparation to God. The characteristic note of spirituality in our times is the positive aspect of love which has become a part of our way of life. This is why it succeeds. in each era we follow the grace and light God gives us. Formerly the stress was more on sacrifice; today it is on presence and contact. There was a grandeur about former times, but people did not have the same understanding of Love and Mercy. Their spirituality did not appeal to the majority, since few were strong enough to live by it. Now, on the other hand, as the concept of divine Mercy has been brought to the fore, it has been a powerful influence in opening up the mystical life to the many.

Two periods can be distinguished here. I believe St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus is the herald of the new one. She has exemplified and modernized, in a certain sense, the spirituality of St. Paul, who said, “Through the grace of God I am what I am, and the grace he gave me has not been without result”

Thérèse’s greatness lay in her discovery of Mercy. On one occasion she said to her infirmarian, “You know well that you are taking care of a little saint.” They cut her finger nails. ‘Keep them,’ she said, “some day someone will treasure them.” She also  remarked: ‘They say I have virtue but that isn’t true; they are mistaken. I do not have virtue. God gives me what I need at each instant. I have only what I need for the present moment. These paradoxes are extraordinary and disconcerting. There is a certain quality of greatness in St. Thérèse. I assure you that I have studied her in depth for forty years and her greatness has often overwhelmed me. She has renewed our understanding of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as we see them operating in her contemplation. It harmonizes with the teaching of St. Thomas. It is not a matter of sentimentality or of novelties. It is a rediscovery, an illustration of the traditional doctrine. I believe this is one of the great graces granted to our times.

In her surroundings, Thérèse was unique. I have known Mother Agnes since 1927. I loved and revered her deeply. She was a very holy soul, and the same was true of Sister Genevieve. But St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus was a giant in comparison and far surpassed them. She is the only one, we could say, to have read and perfectly understood St. John of the Cross. In spite of her superior intelligence and spiritual knowledge, however, she showed perfect submission – a sure proof that her understanding was indeed supernatural.

To be practical, we should exploit this theological knowledge of God, of Mercy. St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus has left her mark on our times. She has, so to say, popularized contemplation and sanctity itself.

(above from http://www.ourgardenofcarmel.org/thereselove.html)

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Litany of the Saints of the Carmelite Order

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us,

Holy Mary,
Pray for us. *

Queen of All Saints, *
Mother, Ornament of Carmel, *Saint Joseph, Protector of Our Order, *

Our holy Father, the Prophet Elias, who by thy prayer and contemplation laid the foundation of our Order on Carmel,*

Saint Eliseus, who through thy disciples didst preserve the spirit of Elias on Carmel, *

St. Telesphorus, watchful guardian of the Church, *

St. Anastasius, invincible amid the most fearful torments, *

St. Gerard, who didst die a glorious martyr’s death for the spread of the Faith, *

St. Angelus, glorified with the triple crown of Confessor, Virgin and Martyr, *

St. Peter Thomas, great servant and imitator of Mary, who adorned thee with all virtue, and strengthened thee in martyrdom, *

Blessed Dionysius of the Nativity, invincible soldier of Christ and His holy martyr, *

Bl. Redemptus of the Cross, who through thy holy zeal hast earned the martyr’s crown, *

St. Dionysius, zealous believer in the Mystery of the Holy Trinity and the defender thereof, *

St. Serapion, renowned for thy virtue and sanctity, and for thy wisdom and knowledge, *

St. Spiridion, great lover of evangelical simplicity, *

St. Cyril of Alexandria, vigilant defender of Mary, Mother of God, *

St. Albert, our most wise lawgiver and director, *

St. Andrew Corsini, wonderful peacemaker and despiser of worldly honors, *

St. Hilarion, admirable for thy life of prayer and mortification in solitude, and for thy power over evil spirits, *

St. Berthold, who didst unite the dwellers on Carmel into one ecclesiastical Order of Mary, *

St. Brocard, great zealot for the observance of religious discipline, *

St. Cyril of Constantinople, eminent for virtue, wisdom and learning, *

St. Simon Stock, privileged servant of Mary, *

St. Albert of Sicily, exalted model of unspotted purity, *

St. Avertanus, example of perfect obedience, *

St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church, and sure guide in the mystical life, *

Bl. Franco Lippi, outstanding for severe mortification and holy silence, *

Bl. Romaeus, model of humble monastic virtue, *

Bl. Angelus Augustine, marvel of eloquence in preaching the Word of God, *

Bl. John Soreth, burning with love of the primitive observance, *

Bl. Aloysius Rabatha, model of holy and severe penance, *

Bl. Jacobinus, renowned for thy profound meekness and great humility, *

Bl. Bartholomew Fanti, burning with love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, *

Bl. Nonius Pereira, loyal servant and devotee of Mary, *

St. Euphrasia, perfect example of obedience, *

St. Euphrosina, wonderful lover of purity, *

St. Teresa, illustrious reformer of Carmel, full of heavenly wisdom, *

St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, victim of crucified love, *

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, teacher of the “Little Way” and Patroness of the Missions, *

Bl. Frances of Amboise, noble by birth, but nobler in virtue and steadfast confidence in God, *

Bl. Jane Scopelli, perfect model of prayer and mortification, *

Bl. Archangela, most tender in thy love for Jesus and Mary, *

Bl. Mary of the Incarnation, lover of real meekness, *

Bl. Anne of Saint Bartholomew, one with Teresa in the reform of Carmel, *

Bl. Mary of the Angels, like to the angels in innocence and purity, *

Bl. Jane of Toulouse, admirable for love of solitude and prayer, *

Bl. Therese and Companions, martyrs for Christ in the French Revolution, *

St. Teresa Margaret, great venerator and humble disciple of the Sacred Heart,*

All ye holy Virgins and Matrons of Carmel,*

All ye holy men and women who by thy virtues have given glory to Carmel, *

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, all ye Saints of Carmel:
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

Almighty and merciful God, Who dost rejoice us by the memory of all the Saints of the Carmelite Order: grant that, inspired by their example and merits, we may live for Thee alone in the continual observance of Thy law and in the perfect abnegation of self, and that we may attain to perfect happiness with them in heaven. Through Christ Our Lord.  Amen


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St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi

Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, Virgin
(by Fr. Prosper Gueranger 1870)
Our Paschal Calendar gives us three illustrious Virgins of the beautiful Italy. We have already kept the feast of the valiant Catharine of Sienna; in a few days, we shall be honouring the memory of Angela de Merici, surrounded by her school-children; today, it is the fair lily of Florence, Magdalene de Pazzi, who embalms the whole Church with the fragrance of her name and intercession. She was the loving imitatrix of our Crucified Jesus; was it not just, that she should have some share in the joy of His Resurrection?

Magdalene de Pazzi was one of the brightest ornaments of the Order of Carmel, by her angelic purity, and by the ardour of her love for God. Like St. Philip Neri, she was one of the grandest manifestations of the Divine Charity that is found in the true Church. Magdalene in her peaceful Cloister, and Philip in his active labours for the salvation of souls, both made it their ambition to satisfy that desire expressed by our Jesus, when he said: I am come to cast fire on the earth; and what will I, but that it be kindled (St. Luke, xii. 49)?

The life of this Spouse of Christ was one continued miracle. Her ecstacies and raptures were almost of every day’s occurrence. The lights given to her regarding the Mysteries were extraordinary; and in order to prepare her for those sublime communications, God would have her go through the severest trials of the spiritual life. She triumphed over them all; and her love having found its nourishment in them, she could not be happy without suffering; for nothing else seemed to satisfy the longings of the love that burned within her. At the same time, her heart was filled to overflowing with charity for her neighbour: she would have saved all mankind, and her charity to all, even for their temporal well-being, was something heroic. God blessed Florence on her account; and as to the City itself, she so endeared herself to its people, by her admirable virtues, that devotion to her, even to this day, which is more than two hundred years since her death, is as fervent as ever it was.

One of the most striking proofs of the divine origin and holiness of the Church is to be found in such privileged souls as Magdalene de Pazzi, on whom we see the Mysteries of our salvation acting with such direct influence. God so loved the world, as to give it his Only Begotten Son (St. John, iii. 16); and this Son of God deigns to love some of His creatures with such special affection, and to lavish upon them such extraordinary favours, that all men may have some idea of the love wherewith His Sacred Heart is inflamed for this world, which he redeemed at the price of His Blood. Happy those Christians that appreciate and relish these instances of Jesus’ special love! Happy they that can give Him thanks for bestowing such gifts on some of our fellow-creatures! They have the true light; whereas they that have an unpleasant feeling at hearing of such things, and are angry at the thought that there can be an intimacy between God and any soul of which they are not worthy, this class of people prove that there is a great deal of darkness mixed up with their faith. We regret extremely that we have not space for a fuller development of the character and life of our Saint.

We therefore proceed at once to the Lessons given in her Office. Even they are too short, and give us but an imperfect idea of this admirable Spouse of Christ.
0480e-stmarymagdalenedepazzi

Mary Magdalene was born at Florence, and was of the illustrious family of the Pazzi. It might be said of her, that she entered the way of perfection when a babe. When ten years of age, she took a vow of perpetual virginity; and having taken the habit in the Carmelite Monastery of Our Lady of the Angels, she became a model of every virtue. Such was her purity, that she utterly ignored everything that is opposed to that virtue. She received a command from God, which she fulfilled, of fasting on bread and water for five years, Sundays alone excepted, on which she might partake of Lenten diet. She mortified her body by a hairshirt, discipline, cold, abstinence, watching, want, and every kind of suffering.

Such was the ardour of divine love that burned within her, that not being able to bear the heat, she was obliged to temper it by applying cold water to her breast. She was frequently in a state of rapture, and the wonderful ecstasies she had were almost daily. In these states, she was permitted to penetrate into heavenly mysteries, and was favoured by God with extraordinary graces. Thus strengthened, she had to endure a long combat with the princes of darkness, as also aridity and desolation of spirit, abandonment by all creatures, and divers temptations: God so willed it, that she might become a model of invincible patience and profound humility.

She was remarkable for her charity towards others. She would frequently sit up the whole night, either in doing the work of the Sisters, or in waiting upon the sick, whose sores she sometimes healed by sucking the wounds. She wept bitterly over the perdition of infidels and sinners, and offered to suffer every sort of torment, so that they might be saved. Several years before her death, she heroically besought our Lord to take from her the heavenly delights wherewith He favoured her; and was frequently heard saying these words: “To suffer; not to die.” At length, worn out by a long and most painful illness, she passed hence to her Spouse, on the twenty-fifth of May, in the year 1607, having completed the forty-first year of her age. Many miracles having been wrought by her merits, both before and after death, she was canonized by Pope Clement the Ninth. Her body is, even to this day, preserved from corruption.

Prayer:

Thy life here below, O Magdalene, resembled that of an Angel, who was sent by God to assume our weak and fallen nature, and be subject to its laws. Thy soul was ceaselessly aspiring to a life which was all heavenly, and thy Jesus was ever giving thee that thirst of Love which can only be quenched at the waters of life everlasting (St. John, iv. 14). A heavenly light revealed to thee such admirable mysteries, such treasures of truth and beauty, that thy heart, unequal to the sweetness thus given to it by the Holy Ghost, sought relief in sacrifice and suffering. It seemed to thee, as though there was but one way of making God a return for his favours, the annihilation of self.

Seraphic lover of our God! how are we to imitate thee? what is our love, when we compare it to thine? And yet, we can imitate thee. The year of the Church’s Liturgy was thy very life. Each of its Seasons did its work in thee, and brought thee new light and love. The divine Babe of Bethlehem, the bleeding Victim of the Cross, the glorious Conqueror of Death, the Holy Ghost radiant with his seven gifts, each of these great Realities enraptured thee; and thy soul, renewed by the annual succession of the Mysteries, was transformed into Him, Who, that He might win our hearts, gives these sublime celebrations to His Church. Thy love of souls was great during thy sojourn here; it is more ardent now that thou art in possession of the Sovereign Good; obtain for us, O Magdalene, light to see the riches which enraptured thee, and love to love the treasures which enamoured thee. O riches! O treasures! is it possible that they are ours too?
St. Magadalen of Pazzi
by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876

St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi, a shining example of virtue and holiness, was born at Florence, in 1566, of illustrious parents. She received the name of Catherine in baptism, but on entering the Convent, she changed it to Mary Magdalen. The lessons of her office in the Roman Breviary testify that her life was perfect from her earliest youth. Her only enjoyment, when yet a small child, was to be taken to church, or to listen to the histories of the lives of the saints. She prayed for hours before she was able to read. Being asked what she was doing, she replied: “I pray God for grace to learn what I should do to please Him.” When she was sent to school, they gave her, as is the custom of the country, a little basket of refreshments. She, however, gave it to some prisoners whom she passed on her way, and thus fasted until noon. At another time she abstained from food or drink until she had been to church. When scarcely seven years of age, she began to mortify herself in divers ways. She denied herself her favorite fruit; took only two meals, one at noon and one at evening; refused to be present at the theatre; read with great avidity spiritual books, especially those which treated of the life and sufferings of our Saviour, and which implanted in her heart that ardent love of Christ of which her life gives so bright a record. In her eighth and ninth years, she had so intense a longing to receive holy Communion, that she could not, without tears, look at those who had the grace to partake of this food of angels. She was therefore permitted to receive her first communion, at the age of ten years. How this holy act filled her heart with joy and happiness is more easily conceived than described. She herself declared it was the happiest day of her life. Soon after, she consecrated herself entirely to God by taking the vow of perpetual chastity. Having reached her twelfth year, she had increased her mortifications to such an extent, that she wore a penitential robe, of hair-cloth, slept upon the floor and wore, during the night, a crown of thorns upon her head.” She mortified her tender body in these and many other ways, in order to become more like her beloved Jesus. When 15 years old, several rich and noble young men asked her hand in marriage; but she assured her parents that she had already chosen a much richer and more noble bridegroom, to whom she would always remain faithful, namely, Jesus.

In her 17th year, after having overcome many obstacles, she entered the convent of the Carmelites at Florence, on the same day on which St. Teresa left this world and went to Heaven. As she had taken the name of the woman so devoted to our Lord, she endeavored also to imitate her in her love of Christ and in all her other virtues. On the feast of the Holy Trinity she took her vows with such piety and fervor, that after the ceremony she remained for two hours in raptures. The same happened for 40 days in succession, after she had received holy Communion. At other times, also, she fell into raptures, and had most extraordinary visions as well as revelations, in which she received many wise instructions from the Almighty, and the gift of prophecy. The fire of heavenly love in her was sometimes so ardent, that she had frequently to cool her hands and her breast with cold water. She would often seize the crucifix and exclaim: “O Love! O love! I shall never cease to love Thee!” On the Festival of the Invention, or finding of the holy Cross, she ran through all the corridors of the convent crying: ” O love! how little Thou art known! how little Thou art appreciated! Ah! come, come, all ye souls, and love your God! ” She often wished to possess so loud a voice that it might be heard through the whole world, when she would cry to all mankind: “Love God! love God!”

Nothing caused her more pain than to hear that the All mighty had been offended by others. She daily offered certain prayers and penances to God for the conversion of pagans and sinners, and exhorted her sisters in the convent to do the same. For the salvation of souls she offered herself to the Almighty to be afflicted with all possible diseases and pains; she was even willing to bear the torment of hell, provided that she were not forced to blaspheme God there. One day she said: “Were the Almighty to ask me what reward I desire for the little good I have done with His grace, my answer would be: nothing but the salvation of souls.” The time of Carnival was for her a time of prayers and severe penances, which she performed in order to appease the wrath of Almighty God, whom she knew so many offended at that time. She tortured her body by wearing hair-shirts, by flagellation, watching, enduring cold and heat, and by most austere fasting. During 22 years all the nourishment she took was bread and water, except on Sundays, when she partook of Lenten diet.

Meanwhile it pleased the Most High to prove His faithful handmaiden by great affliction. Five long years she was I tormented day and night with impure and blasphemous thoughts; but she always struggled with them valiantly, not allowing herself to become downcast or despondent. She often took the image of Christ or of the Blessed Virgin, and embracing it, prayed to God for aid. For the last three years of her life she had to endure divers painful maladies, and suffered so greatly from decay of the gums, that she lost one tooth after another. To this was added a burning fever and violent headache. To increase her suffering, God deprived her of all the spiritual comfort she had heretofore enjoyed. She had constantly to keep her bed, except at the time of Mass and Communion, and it was wonderful to behold how, during the first of these three years, she was strengthened by the Almighty to be present at the divine sacrifice and to receive the Blessed Eucharist, while directly afterwards she had to return to her room, where she I remained so totally exhausted that it was to be supposed she was dying. They tried to dissuade her from so frequently receiving holy communion; but she said that without it she would not be able to endure her suffering, as it endued her with strength. Therefore it was daily given to her when she was no longer able to leave her room. The patience with which she bore her sufferings is not to be described. Her continual saying was: “To suffer, not to die.” She desired to suffer as long as possible out of love to Christ. One day when her confessor, in order to comfort her, said that her sufferings would come to an end at last, she replied: “No, my father, I desire no such comfort, but hope that I may be permitted to suffer unto my life’s end.” At another time, she said: “I hope to die like my Saviour, on the cross,” by which she meant, in agonies and pain.

When her sufferings had continued for three years, the physicians pronounced her end near. Magdalen requested Extreme Unction after holy Communion; and having begged her sisters to forgive her all her faults, she exhorted them specially to love God and hate themselves. After this, she continued during twelve days in the most edifying exercises, and then ended her holy and wonderful life, not so much consumed by the violence of her bodily suffering as by her fervent love to God, in the year 1607, on a Friday, and almost at the same hour at which our Saviour died for us on the Cross. A few days before her death she said: “I die without even being able to comprehend how it is possible for any one to commit a mortal sin.” Soon after her death, God made her entering into the abode of the Blessed known to the world, not only by many miracles, but also by the change that took place in her holy body. From being emaciated and pale by severe penances and a painful sickness, it suddenly became resplendent with beauty and moved all who beheld it to glorify the Almighty. The most delicious fragrance emanated from it. In 1663 when, by order of the Government, the body of the Saint was examined, it was found entirely uncorrupted and exhaling the same fragrance. It is rightly believed that God thus rewarded the virginal purity which the Saint had preserved unspotted by means of penances and prayers, fervent partaking of the holy Sacrament and filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin. She had always evinced the greatest horror of the vice of impurity, and could not remain in the presence of persons addicted to it, without a feeling of abhorrence. This was manifested even after her death. A youth of loose morals approached the bier, on which the body of the Saint was lying, to gaze at her remains. When he, however, imprudently cast his eyes upon her face, the corpse averted it from him, which made so deep an impression on him, that he confessed his fault and promised with tears to reform his life.

st mary mag with jesus OL

Practical Considerations

I. “To love God and hate ourselves” was the last instruction which St. Magdalen gave to her sisters in Christ, and by which she had regulated her own life. The hatred which she bore to herself she clearly manifested by her severe fasting, by her many austere penances, by her love to God, by her horror of sin, by her victories over temptation, by her heroic patience in suffering, by her insatiable desire to suffer out of love to God, and also by her mortifications, as she never partook of either food or drink except at stated times, never participated in the frivolous enjoyments of the Carnival, nor went to theatres, and deprived herself of fruit, of which she was very fond. In which point will you follow her example, and show not only your hatred to self but your love to God? You can best imitate her by depriving yourself, on certain days, of all food, except at your meals, and by abstaining from profane amusements. Do this out of love to God, and you will manifest your love to Him and your hatred to yourself. If you will not consent to this, you plainly show that you love yourself too well, as you allow your body all it craves. And though this may not be a sign that you hate God, since the pleasures of which you refuse to deprive yourself may be harmless; yet it is a sign that you do not love God as you ought to love Him. II.

For five years St, Magdalen was tormented almost day and night with the most horrible temptations to impurity, blasphemy and despair; but she always combated them, without allowing herself to be cast down or despondent. She called God to her aid and, sustained by His grace, she always conquered. Satan endeavors generally to torment with manifold temptations, those who are assiduous in serving the Lord. For, as St. Gregory says: “Those of whom he is sure, he does not torment much.” A servant of God ought therefore not to be grieved, but pray and combat. The Almighty who permits such temptations for our own good, will surely not forsake us, and, strengthened by Him, we shall conquer hell. Therefore no one ought to despond, as by so doing he prepares an enjoyment for the enemy of man and causes him to increase the temptations. “When our enemies, writes St. Climacus, see that we fear and tremble they attack us so much the more violently.” Hence, let us courageously arm ourselves and fight against them. In truth we have no reason to fear or become downcast, whether we, regard God, ourselves, or Satan. Regarding God, faith teaches us that he does not permit us to be tempted beyond our strength, as St. Paul assures us. (I Cor. x.) He also offers us His grace that we may overcome our temptations. He strengthens us in our weakness, as we are also taught by Holy Writ. If we regard ourselves, faith teaches us that we have our free will, by the power of which, we can either resist temptations with the grace of God, or consent to them. ” Man has his free will, says St. Cyril of Jerusalem; Satan may tempt him, but cannot force him against his will.” If we regard Satan, we know, as has just been said, that he cannot force us to consent. “Behold, says St.Bernard, the weakness of our enemy. He is able to conquer him only who is willing to be overcome. Our enemy can tempt, but it is in our power to consent or not.” What reason have we therefore to fear? If we combat courageously, the victory will be ours.

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May 29, 2013 · 7:14 pm