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Blessed Elia

One of the delights of the Calendar of Carmelite saints is to discover those of them who are less well-known. Today is the Feast of Italian Carmelite Blessed Elia of St Clement (1901-1927) from the Southern town of Bari. Unusually, her attraction to Carmel came only after she had spent some years in the Third Order Dominicans. This was in spite of the fact that the night before her First Communion in 1911, Therese of Lisieux (not yet canonised) had appeared to her and told her 'You will be a nun like me'. Later it was a Jesuit spiritual director who pointed her towards Carmel, which she joined in 1920. I found this quotation from Blessed Elia:

'My Delight, who could ever separate me from You? Who could be capable of breaking these strong chains that keep my heart attached to yours? Perhaps the abandonment of creatures? It is precisely this that unites the soul to its Creator. Perhaps tribulations, suffering, crosses? It is in these thorns that the canticle of the soul that loves you is freest and lightest. Perhaps death? But this will be nothing other than the beginning of true happiness for the soul. Nothing, nothing can separate this soul from You, not even for a brief moment. It was created for You and is lost if it does not abandon itself to You.'

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