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All Carmelite saints

Today is the Feast of All Carmelite Saints. If you google 'All Carmelite Saints' you will find an impressive Wikipedia list running to twenty-two pages. Initially on seeing this I was astonished, until I realised that it includes those who have not made it to the official status of 'Saint' or 'Blessed', but who have made it to the status of 'Venerable' or 'Servant of God' (stages passed through by souls on the way to beatification and canonisation). I have printed out the Wikipedia list and will delve into it later, but for some reason one name caught my eye, that of the Venerable Bridget McCrory (1893-1984). Originally from Northern Ireland and then Scotland, she founded the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm in the US in 1929, after having spent some years with the Little Sisters of the Poor. I love a story associated with her that before leaving Scotland to join the novitiate of the Little Sisters in France in 1912, she went to say goodbye to her parish priest, and he suggested she choose a book from the collection in the parish house to take with her. She closed her eyes and reached out and the book she grasped was the Life of Teresa of Avila. It was a life-changer for her - as it has been for so many.

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