“Like the prophet Elijah, all the Saints of Carmel have been shaped through a school of spiritual fire. They also intimated the example of Mary and made their truest expression in the experience of love and that love makes the history of the Order. They became a hymn of praise to offer to our God.”
We receive the great gift from our brothers and sisters who have consecrated their lives to God. They embraced the teachings of the Divine Master and lived their lives in “allegiance to Jesus Christ”. They gave themselves to the service of God in prayer, in evangelical self-denial, and in loving for souls. At times, they have shed their own blood to testify this love.
Who are the saints of Carmel? They are hermits of Mount Carmel who “lived in small cells, similar to the cells of a beehive, they lived as God’s bees, gathering the divine honey of spiritual consolation.” They are mendicants of the first medieval communities, who discovered the presence of God in the events of ordinary daily life and especially seeing God in his brothers and sisters. They are teachers and preachers, missionaries and martyrs who searched for the face of God among the people. They are nuns who have contributed to the growth of God’s people by their mystical experience and especially through their fervent prayer and contemplative life. They are religious, who showed us the face of Christ through their apostolate in hospitals or schools, especially in the mission lands. They are laity, who were able to embody the spirit of Carmel and lived that spirit in the midst of the people. Simon Stock, Andrew Corsini, Albert of Trapani, John of Cross, Teresa of Ávila, Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Edith Stein, Titus Brandsma, Angelo Paoli and countless saints and blesseds of Carmel together with Mary, the Mother of Carmel, are now singing a song of praise to the Father in Heaven.
They can be great saints that the whole Church venerates and invokes in the liturgy, or they are humble saints, who are known and venerated by only a few outside the Order. But all of them, through their lives, have offered us a secret of holiness to become saints. They can teach us how to live virtues of hope, love and faith and how to make our daily commitment to God. And they show us how to dedicate their whole heart to Christ.
All Carmelite Saints let themselves be shaped according to the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who lived in intimacy with her Son. It is from her that they have learned to live in Christ and to live the love of Christ. From her they were inspired to consecrate their lives for the Church and for souls. In short, the life of the Virgin has an absolute importance in the experience of all the Carmelite Saints.
We pray that the example of these saints will continue to inspire holiness in a new generation of our brothers and sisters. Like them, we can live in allegiance to Jesus Christ and serve Him with a pure heart and a good conscience. Like them, we can know how to devote ourselves day and night to the contemplation of the Word and to generous service for the humanity. Finally, we ask that the examples of Carmelite saints may impact us immensely and concretely and make us have a deeper love for Christ, for the Church and for the whole world.