OUR WONDERFUL CARMELITE SAINTS
We have so many wonderful saints in Carmel, each with a particular charism. Here we offer a chronological list starting with our patron St Elijah, the only Old Testament hero whom the Church calls a saint. The list contains all the saints of Carmel from before the Teresian Reform and then the OCD saints since Teresa of Avila. Their lives and teachings are a special treasure and a resource for us to grow spiritually.
The list is taken from the Discalced Carmelite Proper Offices compiled by the Anglo-Irish Province of Discalced Carmelites. Those who can access this publication can see each of them and pray with them in the context of their respective feast-days. We hope in the course of time to add a bit more information about them.
Saint Elijah 20 July
Scripture presents the prophet Elijah as a man of God, walking continually in God's presence and fiercely defending the worship of the one true God. He stood up for God's rights in a solemn contest on Mount Carmel. Later, on Mount Horeb, he was granted an intimate experience of the living God. The hermits, who instituted a form of monastic life in honour of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the twelfth century, followed monastic tradition in turning also to Elijah as their model. He is said to lived in a cave or caves on Mount Carmel, which has become associated with him since that time.
Mediaeval Carmelite Saints
Berthold (1155-1195) 29 March
Born in Malifaye in southwest France, Berthold of Calabria was a Norman crusader. He was said to have been in Antioch while it was under siege by the Saracens. There he had a vision of Christ who denounced the soldiers' evil ways. He subsequently established a hermit colony on Mount Carmel in 1185, where he died ten years later. He was introduced into Carmelite literature around the 15th century as Saint Berthold of Mount Carmel and is said to have been a general of the Order before Brocard.
Albert of Jerusalem (c.1150-1214) 17 September
Albert Avogadro was born about 1150 AD at Castel Gualtieri (Italy). He entered the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross at Mortara and was elected Prior in 1180. He became Bishop of Bobbio in 1184, and of Vercelli the following year, and in 1205 was made Patriarch of Jerusalem. In all these offices he was a model pastor in word and example, and he contributed greatly to the establishment of peace. During his patriarchate (1205-1214) he formed the hermit brothers of Mount Carmel in a collegium and wrote a Rule for them. This Rule is still treasured in Carmel today. He was murdered on 14 September 1214 by the Master of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit, whom he had rebuked and deposed for immorality.
St Simon Stock (1166-c.1250) 16 May
Simon, an Englishman, died at Bordeaux in the mid-thirteenth century. He has been venerated in the Carmelite Order for his personal holiness and his devotion to Our Lady. A liturgical celebration in his honour was observed locally in the fifteenth century, and later extended to the whole Order. He has long been associated with a vision in which Our Lady is said to have shown him the scapular, though actual historical evidence for this is in short supply, and very little is known about him for certain.
St Angelus (1185-1225) 5 May
Born in Jerusalem and a convert from Judaism along with his brother, Angelus was ordained a Carmelite priest and later moved to Sicily from Mount Carmel. He was murdered in Licata by a man whose concubine he had told to leave him; a church was built soon after his death at the place where he died and his body was interred there. In 1662 his remains were transferred to the Carmelite church in Licata. The cult of Saint Angelus spread throughout the Order and among lay people. Angelus and St Albert of Trapani are considered the "fathers" of the Order because they were the first two saints to have a cult in the Order and, as a result, they are frequently found in medieval Carmelite iconography alongside the Virgin Mary.
St Albert of Trapani (?-c.1307) 7 August
Albert degli Abbati was born at Trapani, Sicily, in the thirteenth century, and entered the Carmelite Order as a youth. He became renowned as a fervent preacher of the Gospel and a worker of miracles. He was Provincial of Sicily in 1296, and died at Messina, probably in 1307, with a reputation for purity and prayer.
Saint Peter Thomas (c.1305-1366) 8 January
Born about 1305 in southern Périgord, France, Peter Thomas entered the Carmelite Order at the age of twenty. He was elected Procurator General of the Order to the Papal court at Avignon in 1345. In 1354 he was made Bishop of Patti and Lipari, and thereafter often acted as Papal Legate in the cause of peace and of union with the Eastern Churches. He was translated to the see of Corone in the Peleponnesus, and made Papal Legate for the East, in 1359; in 1363 he was made Archbishop of Crete; and in 1364 he became Latin Patriarch of Constantinople. In these offices he distinguished himself as an apostle of Christian unity. He died at Famagosta in Cyprus, in 1366.
Saint Andrew Corsini (?-1374) 9 January
Andrew Corsini was born at the beginning of the fourteenth century in Florence and entered the Carmelite Order there. He was elected provincial of Tuscany at the general chapter of Metz in 1348. He was made bishop of Fiesole on October 13, 1349, and gave the Church a wonderful example of love, apostolic zeal, prudence and love of the poor. He died on January 6, 1374.
Saint Nuno Álares Pereira (1360-1431) 1 April
Nuno was born in 1360 and fought for many years as a soldier for the independence of Portugal. After his wife's death he entered the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as a lay brother in the house he had founded in Lisbon, and took the name of Nuno of Saint Mary (1423). He died there in 1431, after distinguishing himself by his prayer, penance, and filial devotion to the Mother of God.
Angelo Agostini Mazzinghi (1385-1438)
Angelo Mazzinghi was an Italian priest and a professed member of the Carmelite order. A man of humble and pious demeanour, he was a noted preacher in Florence - where he was born - and was known for his pious devotion to the Carmelite Rule, the Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the profession of the Gospel.
Mazzinghi launched the reform of the convent of Santa Maria delle Salve and was appointed as the convent's Prior from 1419 until 1430 and then once again in 1437. Before his death he retired to a Carmelite house where he spent the remainder of his life in contemplation and meditation. He died on 17 August 1438 in Florence at the age of 53.
On the recognition of his widespread cult Pope Clement XIII beatified Mazzinghi on 7 March 1761; he remains a patron of preachers.
Blessed John Soreth (1394-1471) 28 July
John Soreth was born at Caen in Normandy (France) in 1394. He entered Carmel in his youth, and in due course took the degree of Master in Theology at Paris, where he became Regent of Studies. He later became Provincial. He was Prior General of the Order from 1451 until his death at Angers (France) in 1471. He restored an encouraged religious observance, wrote a well-known commentary on the Rule, issued revised Constitutions in 1462, and supported and promoted the foundation of communities of nuns in the Order.
Blessed Frances d'Amboise (1427-1485) 5 November
Frances was born in Thouars, France. She was wife of Peter II, Duke of Brittany. After his death, and with the direction of John Soreth, the Carmelite Prior General at the time, she took the habit of the Carmelite Order in the monastery she had previously founded in Bondon. Afterwards she transferred to another foundation in Nantes, also erected by her, where she held the officeof prioress and nourished the sisters with wise teaching. She is considered the foundress of the Carmelite nuns in France. On her deathbed, with her last words she encouraged her sisters: "In everything, do that which will make God loved the more!"
Blessed Jane Scopelli (1428-1491) 9 July
Born in Reggio d’ Emilia, Italy, from an early age, Jane felt drawn to religious life. Her family opposed the vocation, and she obeyed them, living a pious, austere life in her parents’ home. On their deaths she took the Carmelite habit and founded the Our Lady of the People Carmelite priory at Reggio, Italy, and served as its first prioress. She refused all endowments or gifts to the convent unless they were given as alms with no strings or conditions attached. Her prayers reportedly resulted in miracles. She died in 1491 of natural causes and was beatified in 1771.
Blessed Bartholomew Fanti (? -1495) 5 December
Bartholomew Fanti was born in Mantua: the year is unknown, but in 1452 he was already a Carmelite priest of the Congregation of Mantua. For 35 years at the Order’s Church in Mantua he was spiritual father and rector of the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for which he composed a Rule and Statutes. He is especially remembered for his love of the Eucharist. He died in 1495.
Blessed Aloysius Rabatà (c.1443-1490) 8 May
Aloysius was born at Erice, near Trapani, Sicily, around the year 1443. He served as the prior of the Carmelite Community of St Michael in Randazzo, Sicily. Brother Aloysius is remembered as a model Carmelite prior, living the care, concern and responsibility of a prior as outlined in the Carmelite Rule. His simple, virtuous and exemplary life was a model for the other brothers of his community. He shared in all aspects of work in the community, including the humbler tasks such as begging for the community’s bread. His welcome, hospitality and spiritual counsel were well remembered by visitors to the community. As well, his generosity of spirit overflowed into his care for the poor of Randazzo.
Toward the end of his life, while out collecting wood for the community, he was assaulted and wounded on the forehead and suffered for a long time as a consequence. Aloysius would never reveal who had hurt him and when questioned would only reply, 'I pray that God will pardon him, and will be glorified by what has happened.'
Brother Aloysius died at Randazzo and was buried there in the church. Devotion to the memory of the Christ-like care Aloysius lived out brought healing to many at his tomb following his death.
Blessed Baptist Spagnoli (1447-1516) 17 April
Baptist Spagnoli was born at Mantua, Italy, on April 17 1447, and entered the Carmelite Congregation of Mantua as a young man at Ferrara. He was professed in 1464, and thereafter filled a number of offices. Having been Vicar General of his Congregation six times, he was elected Prior General of the whole Order in 1513. He died at Mantua on March 20 1516. His virtue was outstanding, in particular his love for the Church, and he spared no effort in the cause of reform. He is reckoned one of the best poets of his age.
Blessed Archangela Girlani (1460-1495) 29 January
Archangela Girlani was born Elanor Girliani in 1460 at Trino, on Monte Ferrato in northern Italy to a noble family. Having her early education with the Benedictines, she had intended to become a Benedictine nun but on her way to the convent her horse refused to take her there.
She interpreted this as a sign and along with her two sisters, Maria and Frances (Scholastica), she took the Carmelite habit in the monastery of Parma in 1477 at the age of 17 where she took the name Archangela. She eventually became prioress of the monastery at Parma, and then prioress at the new foundation at Mantua from 1492 until her death. She was reported to have the gifts of ecstasies, levitation and miracles. She was often seen rapt in ecstasy while meditating on the mysteries of the faith.
It is written in an old manuscript that Blessed Archangela lived her religious life so intensely that, just as the monastery was entitled 'Saint Mary in Paradise' she and the other nuns, even though still here on earth, lived as if already absorbed into heaven.
She became fatally ill in her third year as prioress of Mantua. Strengthened with the Sacraments and with her eyes fixed on an image of the Crucified Christ, she repeated her frequently uttered words: 'Jesus, my Love’ and peacefully gave up her soul on January 25, 1495. The religious honors which had been publicly rendered to her were examined by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, and approved by Pope Pius IX who granted that an office should be recited in her honor.
St Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi - O.Carm (1566-1607) 25 May
Although she was younger than Teresa, St Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi entered monastic life before the establishment of the Teresian Reform in Italy, and therefore she can be considered the last of the pre-Reform Carmelite saints. She was born in Florence in the year 1566, and after a pious upbringing she entered the Carmelite monastery there in 1583, setting out on a hidden life of prayer and self-denial. She prayed especially for the reform of the Church. She was endowed by God with many spiritual gifts and directed her fellow sisters along the road of perfection. She died in the year 1607.
Saints of the Teresian Reform
Up to 1800
St Teresa of Avila – Foundress of the Discalced Carmelite Order - OCD (1515-1582) 15 October
Teresa was born at Avila (Spain) in 1515. She is best known in the English-speaking world as Teresa of Avila. As a member of the Carmelite Order she made great progress in perfection and received mystical revelations. As reformer of her Order she underwent many trials which she intrepidly overcame. She founded both the Discalced Nuns and the Discalced Friars – in which she benefited from the great support of St John of the Cross. She also wrote books of the greatest spiritual value which reflect her own experiences. She died at Alba in 1582. It is no exaggeration to say that Teresa’s influence, both through the establishment and expansion of the Discalced over four centuries and through her writings, penned in a highly distinctive and appealing style, make her one of the most extraordinary and influential women in history.
Click here to see a list of recommended books on St Teresa of Avila.
St John of the Cross (1542-1591) 14 December
John de Yepes was born in 1542 at Fontiveros (Spain) and entered the Carmelite Order in 1563. In 1568 he became, at St Teresas suggestion, one of the first two friars of the Discalced reform, taking the name of John of the Cross. He was an heroic defender of the reform for the rest of his life. He died at Ubeda in 1591, and from that time he has enjoyed great esteem for sanctity and for the spiritual wisdom to which his writings testify. St John has a highly respected place in the history of Spanish literature as well as a well merited global renown as a poet. He speaks with especial power to those going through times of spiritual darkness.
Click here to see a list of recommended books on St John of the Cross.
Blessed Anne of St Bartholomew (1549-1626) 7 June
Ana Garcia was born at Almendral, Castille, Spain, in 1549. In 1572 she made her profession as a Carmelite in the hands of St Teresa, at St Joseph’s Avila. The saint later chose her as her companion and nurse, and she subsequently brought the Teresian spirit to France and Belgium, where she proved herself, like Teresa, a daughter of the Church in her great zeal for the salvation of souls. She died at Antwerp in 1626.
Blessed Mary of Jesus (1560-1640) 12 September
Born in 1560 at Tartanedo (Spain), she took the Discalced Carmelite habit at Toledo in 1577 and made her profession the following year. She spent the rest of her life serving God in that Carmel, except for a brief period in 1585 when she helped with a foundation at Cuerva. She died at Toledo on September 13, 1640. St. Teresa of Avila thought extremely highly of her. She was a great contemplative, intensely devoted to our Lord, and often drawing inspiration from the liturgy.
Blessed Mary of the Incarnation, aka Barbe Acarie (1566-1618) 18 April
Barbe Avrillot was born in Paris in 1566. At the age of sixteen she married Pierre Acarie, by whom she had seven children. In spite of her household duties and many hardships, she attained the heights of the mystical life. Under the influence of St. Teresa’s writings, and after mystical contact with the saint herself, she spared no effort in introducing the Discalced Carmelite nuns into France. After her husband’s death in 1613, she asked to be admitted among them as a lay sister, taking the name of Mary of the Incarnation; she was professed at the Carmel of Amiens in 1615. She was esteemed by some of the greatest people of her time, including St. Francis de Sales; and she was distinguished by her spirit of prayer and her zeal for the propagation of the Catholic faith. She died in Pontoise on April 18, 1618 on Wednesday of Easter week, at the age of fifty-two years. She was beatified by Pope Pius VI; her mortal remains are in the chapel of the Carmelites of Pontoise.
Blessed Denis and Redemptus (d.1638) 29 November
Blessed Denis & Redemptus - Martyrs (1638): Denis of the Nativity, priest, whose secular name was Pierre Berthelot, was born at Honfleur (France) in 1600. He was cartographer and naval commander in the service of the French and Portuguese crowns, but in 1635 became a Discalced Carmelite at Goa. It was also at Goa that Thomas Rodriguez da Cunha, born in Portugal in 1598, had been professed as a lay brother under the name of Redemptus of the Cross in 1615. They were sent together to Sumatra, where they were martyred on November 29, 1638 at Achen.
Blessed Mary of the Angels (1661-1717) 16 December
She was born in Turin, Italy, in 1661. She died, after spending her whole life there, in 1717. In 1675 she entered the Discalced Carmelite Convent of St Christina, and several times filled the offices of Prioress and Novice Mistress. She underwent continual spiritual trials, but was constant in her ardent love of God. She was outstandingly faithful to prayer and particularly devoted to St Joseph, in whose honour a convent was founded through her good offices at Moncalieri.
St Teresa Margaret Redi of the Sacred Heart (1747-1770) 1 September
Teresa Margaret belonged to the noble family of Redi, and was born in the Tuscan city of Arezzo (Italy) in 1747. She entered the Discalced (Teresian) Carmelite convent at Florence on September 1 1764. She was granted a special grace of contemplative insight based on St John's phrase 'God is love' through which she felt called to a hidden life of love and self-sacrifice. She progressed rapidly, fulfilling her vocation through heroic charity towards others. She died in Florence in 1770.
Blessed Teresa of St Augustine and Companions, the Martyrs of Compiègne (d.1794) 17 July
As soon as the French Revolution became a serious threat to religion the sixteen Discalced Carmelite nuns of Compiegne offered themselves to God as victims of his justice for the peace of the Church. They were imprisoned in June 24 1794, and they inspired their fellow prisoners by their joy and abandonment to God. They were condemned to death for their refusal to betray the Church and their religious vocation, and for their devotion to the sacred hearts of Jesus and Mary. Having renewed their profession in the hands of their prioress, Teresa of St Augustine, they went to the scaffold, singing hymns, on July 17 1794.
Blessed John-Baptist, Michael-Aloysius, and James, Priests and Martyrs (d. 1794) 18 August
Fr. Jean-Baptiste Duverneuil (b. 1737 at Limoges) in religion Fr. Leonard; Fr. Michael-Louis Brulard (b. 1758 at Chartres); and Fr. Jacques Gagnot (b. 1753 at Frolois) in religion Fr. Hubert of St. Claude, were among a group of 64 martyrs, beatified October 1, 1995, victims of the French Revolution who came from 14 French dioceses and from various religious Orders.
In their loyalty to God, the Church and the Pope, they refused to take the oath of the Civil Constitution for the Clergy imposed by the Constituent Assembly of the Revolution. As a result they were imprisoned, massed like animals, on a slave-trader in Rochefort Bay waiting in vain to be deported into slavery.
During 1794, the first two Carmelites died on board ship: Fr. John-Baptist on July 1st and Fr. Michael-Aloysius on July 25th, both being buried on the island of Aix. After plague broke out on the ship, those remaining disembarked on the island of Madame where Fr. James died and was buried on September 10th.
Not for their loving ministry to their fellow prisoners and their patience in accepting every type of outrage, privation and cruelty not to mention the vicissitudes of weather, hunger and sickness, our three Discalced Carmelite priest martyrs and their companions in martyrdom gave unsurpassable Christian witness to their faith and love.
Carmelite saints since 1800
St Joachina de Vedruna - foundress, Carmelite Sisters of Charity (1783-1854) 22 May
Joachina was born in Barcelona in 1783. In 1799 she married Theodore de Mas, by whom she had nine children. Her husband died in 1816; and in 1826 she was moved by the Holy Spirit to found the Congregation of the Carmelite Sisters of Charity, which spread throughout Catalonia, maintaining many houses for the care of the sick and the education of children, especially the poor. She loved to contemplate the mystery of the Holy Trinity, and this devotion characterised her life of prayer, mortification, detachment, humility and charity. She died at Vich in 1854.
Blessed Francisco Palau y Quer (1811-1872) 7 November
He was born in Aytona, Lerida, Spain on December 29, 1811. Discalced Carmelite from 1832, he was ordained priest in 1836. Civil turmoil forced him to live in exile. On his return to Spain in 1851, he founded at Barcelona his 'School of Virtue’ which was a model of catechetical teaching. The school was suppressed and he was unjustly exiled to Ibiza (1854-60) where he lived at El Vedra in solitude, mystically experiencing the vicissitudes of the Church. While in the Balearic Islands he founded the Congregations of Carmelite Brothers and Carmelite Sisters (1860-1861). He preached popular missions and spread love for Our Lady where ever he went. He died at Tarragona on March 20, 1872 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1988.
Venerable Hermann Cohen (1820-1871)
Hermann Cohen was a star pupil of the great composer/pianist Franz Liszt in Paris in the mid 1800s. He became an international concert pianist in his own right and mixed with many of the famous names of the day.
After converting to Catholicism, Hermann became a Carmelite and preached throughout Europe. In1862, he officially restored the Carmelite Order to England (Kensington Church and Priory). In France he supported St Bernadette and led the first pilgrimage to Lourdes. He also inspired Raphael Kalinowski to turn from a worldly life and become a Carmelite like himself. One of his many Canticles, the The Divine Prisoner's Little Flower, greatly influenced St. Thérèse of Lisieux, often known as the Little Flower.
Click here to read or print a talk on Hermann Cohen by Father Matt Blake OCD
Blessed Josepha Naval Girbés (1820-1893) 6 November
Josefa Naval Girbés was born at Algemesi in the Archdiocese of Valencia, Spain, on December 11, 1820. As a very young woman, she consecrated herself to the Lord by a perpetual vow of chastity. Josefa’s life was simple. She stood out for her ardent love, and she made progress along the way of prayer and evangelical perfection while dedicating herself generously to apostolic works in her parish community. In her own home, she opened a school where she taught needlework, prayer, and the evangelical virtues. She formed many young girls and women and shared with them her wisdom and spiritual understanding. She was a member of the Third Order Secular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Teresa of Jesus and had a special love for the Virgin Mother of God. Her holy death took place on February 24, 1893. She is buried in her parish church of Saint James in her native city.
Louis Martin (1823-1894) and Marie-Azélie Guérin Martin (1831- 1877) 12 July
Louis Martin (22 August 1823 – 29 July 1894) and Marie-Azélie (‘Zélie') Guérin Martin (23 December 1831 – 28 August 1877) were the parents of five nuns, including St Thérèse of Lisieux and Léonie Martin (declared 'Servant of God' in 2015). In 2015, Louis and Zélie became the first spouses in the church's history to be canonized as a couple.
St Raphael Kalinowski (1835-1907) 19 November
Raphael Kalinowski was born to Polish parents in the city of Vilnius in 1835. After military service, he was in 1864 condemned to ten years of forced labour in Siberia. In 1877 he joined the Discalced Carmelite Order and in 1882 was ordained a priest. He brought about the restoration of the Order in Poland and guided its growth. His life was distinguished by his zeal for Church unity and by his unflagging devotion to his ministry as a confessor and spiritual director. He died in Wadowice in 1907.
St Henry de Osso y Cervello (1840-1896) 1 April
Henry was born at Vinebre, Catalonia, Spain, on the 16th October 1840 and was ordained priest on 21st September 1867. He was an apostle to young people in teaching them about their faith and inspired various movements for the teaching of the Gospel. As a spiritual director he was fascinated by St. Teresa of Jesus, the great teacher in the ways of prayer and Daughter of the Church who is better known in the English-speaking world as St. Teresa of Avila. In the light of her teaching, he founded the Company of St. Teresa (1876) dedicated to educating women in the school of the Gospel and following the example of St. Teresa. He gave himself to preaching and the apostolate through the printing press. He underwent many severe trials and sufferings. He died at Gilet, Valencia, Spain, on the 27th January, 1896. He was canonised on 16th July, 1993, in Madrid, by Pope John Paul II.
Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified or Saint Mariam of Bethlehem (1846-1878) 25 August
Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified was born of the Baouardy family, Catholics of the Greek Melchite Rite, at Abellin in Galilee in 1846. In 1867 she entered the Discalced Carmelites at Pau in France and was sent with the founding group to the Carmel of Mangalore in India where, in 1870, she made her profession. She returned to France in 1872. In 1875 she went to the Holy Land where she, with the financial support of a secular lady, Berthe Dartigaux, founded a monastery in Bethlehem and began planning for another in Nazareth. After Mariam saw in a revelation where the Lord Jesus broke bread at Emmaus, Berthe Dartigaux also bought this sacred site for the Carmelite nuns.
Noted for her supernatural gifts, especially for humility, for her devotion to the Holy Spirit, and her great love for the Church and the Pope, she died at Bethlehem in 1878, after an accident that occurred when she brought water to the workmen who helped building the monastery.
Pope Francis canonized Mariam on 17 May 2019 on St Peter's Square.
Blessed Teresa Mary Manetti of the Cross (1846-1910) 23 April
She was born at Campi Bisenzio, Florence on March 2, 1846, where in 1874 she founded the Congregation of Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa whom she also sent to Lebanon and the Holy Land. She lived joyfully, body and soul the mystery of the Cross in full conformity to the will of God and she was outstanding for her love for the Eucharist and her maternal care for children and for the poor. She died at Campi Bisenzio on April 23, 1910.
Blessed Maria of St Joseph (1855-1938)
Blessed Maria Teresa of Saint Joseph (19 June 1855 – 20 September 1938), born Anna Maria Tauscher van den Bosch, was a German religious sister and the founder of the Carmelite Daughters of the Divine Heart of Jesus. Tauscher worked in Cologne and was removed from her position after she converted to Roman Catholicism in 1888 so founded a congregation in the Netherlands upon choosing the Carmelite charism for her life.
Her beatification was held in mid-2006 in the Netherlands.
St Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897) 1 October
Thérèse Martin was born at Alençon (France) in 1873. At the age of 15 she entered the Carmel at Lisieux. She practised heroic humility, evangelical simplicity and trust in God and taught the novices these virtues by word and example. She offered her life for the salvation of souls and the spread of the faith. She died on 30th September, 1897, was canonised in 1925 and declared a Doctor of the Church on Mission Sunday, 19th October, 1997.
Click here to see a list of recommended books on St Thérèse of Lisieux including
books on her parents, Saints Louis and Zélie Martin.
Click here to visit the Archive of the Carmel of Lisieux.
Blesseds Maria Pilar, Teresa, Maria Angeles, Maria Mercedes Prat (1877-1936) 24 July
Mary Pilar of St Francis Borgia (born in Tarazona December 30, 1877); Teresa of the Child Jesus and of St John of the Cross (born in Mochales March 5, 1909); and Maria Angeles of St Joseph (born in Getafe March 6, 1905), Discalced Carmelite nuns from the convent of Guadalajara, Spain, were martyred on July 24, 1936, after witnessing to their faith in Christ the King, offering their lives for the Church. They were the first fruits of the countless martyrs of the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 and were beatified by John Paul II on March 29, 1987.
Mercedes Prat was born on March 6, 1880, in Barcelona, baptised on the following day, and made her First Holy Communion on June 30, 1890. From her childhood she gave herself completely to God, whom she received every day in Communion. She displayed a great love for her neighbour and tried to foster this kind of love in others. During her years in school, she was known for her goodness and her dedication to school work, excelling especially in painting and needlework, which were areas in which she had a natural talent.
Entering the novitiate of the Society of St Teresa of Jesus in 1904, in Tortosa, she made her temporary profession in 1907. She was a religious ‘according to the heart of God:’ prudent, and truthful, calm and gentle in her reactions, having a natural goodness in all her dealing with others, but firm in character. God was her one love, and her love for God kept growing to the point where she would give her life for Him. In 1920 she was assigned to the motherhouse in Barcelona. From there the path to martyrdom began on July 9, 1936, when the community was forced to give up the school and flee. On July 23, because she was a religious, Sr Mercedes was arrested and shot; she died in the early morning of July 24, 1936.
Blessed Maria Crocifissa Curcio (1877-1957) 4 July
Born Rosa Curcio, was an Italian Roman Catholic Carmelite nun. She went on to establish her own Carmelite congregation known as the Carmelite Missionary Sisters of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. Curcio took the name of 'Maria Crocifissa' upon her solemn profession in 1930.
Her sole aim was 'to bring souls to God' while attempting to emulate the example of Thérèse of Lisieux. She aimed to help the poor while providing educational resources to those who required it, and she had elected Thérèse of Lisieux as her model in spreading evangelization and the Carmelite charism.
Her beatification was held on 13 November 2005.
St Elizabeth of the Trinity (1880-1906) 8 November
Elizabeth Catez of the Trinity was born in 1880 in the diocese of Bourges. In 1901 she entered the Discalced Carmelite Monastery of Dijon. There she made her profession of vows in 1903 and from there she was called ‘to light, to love and to life’ by the Divine Spouse in 1906. A faithful adorer in spirit and in truth, her life was a ‘praise of glory’ of the Most Blessed Trinity present in her soul and loved amidst interior darkness and excruciating illness. In the mystery of divine inhabitation she found her ‘heaven on earth,’ her special charism and her mission for the Church.
Click here to see a list of recommended books on St Elizabeth of the Trinity.
Blessed Maria Sagrario of St Aloysius Gonzaga (1881-1936) 16 Aug
She was born at Lillo (Toledo) on January 8, 1881. A pharmacist by trade, she was one of the first women in Spain to be admitted to this qualification. In 1915 she entered the Carmel of St Anne and St Joseph in Madrid.
Through her spirit of prayer and her love for the Eucharist she was a perfect embodiment of the contemplative and ecclesial ideal of the Teresian Carmel. She was Prioress of her community when she was martyred on August 15, 1936. It was a grace she longed for and accepted in perfection of faith and ardent love for Christ.
St Titus Brandsma (1881-1942) 27 July
Born at Bolsward (The Netherlands) in 1881, St Titus Brandsma joined the Carmelite Order of the Ancient Observance (O.Carm) as a young man. Ordained priest in 1905, he obtained a doctorate in philosophy in Rome. He then taught in various schools in Holland and was named professor of philosophy and of the history of mysticism in the Catholic University of Nijmegen where he also served as Rector Magnificus. He was noted for his constant availability to everyone. He was a professional journalist, and in 1935 he was appointed ecclesiastical advisor to Catholic journalists.
Both before and during the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands he fought, faithful to the Gospel, against the spread of the Nazi ideology and for the freedom of Catholic education and the Catholic press. For this he was arrested and sent to a prison and then concentration camps where he brought comfort and peace to his fellow prisoners and did good even to his tormentors. In 1942, after much suffering and humiliations he was killed at Dachau. He was beatified by Pope St John Paul II on November 3rd 1985 and canonised by Pope Francis in 2022.
Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist (1884-1949) 14 June
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.
Blessed Alphonsus Mary Mazurek and Companions, Martyrs (1891-1944) 12 June
He was born in 1891 at Baranowka, near Lubartow, Poland. He entered the Order of Discalced Carmelites in 1908, taking the religious name Alphonsus Mary of the Holy Spirit. He was ordained a priest and appointed as a professor, while dedicating himself to the education of youth. Afterwards he served in his Order as prior and bursar. In 1944, after having been arrested by the troops that had invaded his country, he was shot on 28th August at Nawojowa Gora, near Krzeszowice. He was beatified by John Paul II on 13th June 1999, together with many other Polish martyrs.
St Maria Maravillas of Jesus (1891-1974) 11 December
Maria Maravillas was born at Madrid in 1891. She entered the El Escorial Carmel, Madrid on 12th October 1919. In 1924 she was inspired to found a Carmel at Cerro de los Angeles, alongside the monument to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. From this foundation followed nine others in Spain and one in India. She always gave first place to prayer and self-sacrifice. She had a true, passionate zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Even while living a life of poverty in the cloister she helped those who were in need, initiating apostolic, social and charitable works. In a particular way she helped those of her own order, priests, and other religious congregations. She died in the monastery of La Aldehuela, Madrid, on 11th December 1974. She was canonised on 4th May 2003 in Madrid.
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein 1891-1942) 9 August
Edith Stein was born into a Jewish family at Breslau on October 12, 1891. Through her passionate study of philosophy she searched after truth and found it in reading the autobiography of St. Teresa of Jesus. In 1922 she was baptised a Catholic and in 1933 she entered the Carmel of Cologne where she took the name of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.
She was gassed and cremated at Auschwitz on August 9, 1942, during the Nazi persecution and died a martyr for the Christian faith after having offered her holocaust for the people of Israel. A woman of singular intelligence and learning, she left behind a body of writing notable for its doctrinal richness and profound spirituality. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 1, 1987.
Click here for a list of recommended books on St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.
Blessed Marie-Eugène of the Child Jesus (1894-1967) 4 February
A French priest who held several positions of responsibility within the Order; he founded the Secular Institute of Notre Dame de Vie. He wrote several books of spirituality, most notably his magnum opus running to a thousand pages and more, I Want to See God. He was much in demand to lead retreats and as a speaker. He devoted himself to the spread and appreciation of Carmelite spirituality. He was beatified in Avignon on 19 November 2016.
St Teresa of Jesus of Los Andes (1900-1920) 13 July
Juanita Fernandez Solar was born in Santiago, Chile, on July 13, 1900. From her adolescence she was devoted to Christ. She entered the convent of the Discalced (Teresian) Carmelite nuns at Los Andes on May 7, 1919 where she was given the name of Teresa of Jesus. She died on April 12 the following year after having made her religious profession. She was beatified by John Paul II on April 3, 1987 in Santiago, Chile, and proposed as a model for young people. She is the first Chilean and first member of the Teresian Carmel in Latin America to be canonised.
Blessed Elia of St Clement, 1901–1927, beatified in 2006
Born Janury 17 1901 in Bari, Italy. Given the name Teodora at her baptism. She received a good religious education. She was professed in the Dominican Third Order in 1915. She had a great devotion to the eucharist and prayer, which she practised together with a group of friends. She liked to read the lives of the saints, particularly the life of St Therese of Lisieux (The Story of a Soul). She entered St Josephs Carmel, Bari, in 1920 when she took the name Elia of St Clement. She lived a life of observance and piety, taking as her teachers St Teresa and St Therese. She died on Christmas Day 1927 at midnight.
María Guggiari Echeverria (1925-1959) 28 April (Paraguay)
María Felicia de Jesús Sacramentado was a Paraguayan Catholic professed religious who also served in her adolescence as a member of Catholic Action. Pope Francis confirmed her beatification and it was celebrated on 23 June 2018.
In 1941 Maria became a member of the Catholic Action movement – despite her parents' opposition to it – and she dedicated herself to the movement and the care of the poor and those who suffered while also serving as a catechist for children. She entered the Discalced Carmelite Order on 2 February 1955 - again, against her parents' wishes - and received the habit on 14 August 1955. On 7 January 1959 she became ill with infectious hepatitis and was forced to move into a sanatorium to recover. However, her condition deteriorated and on 28 April 1959 in Asunción she was with her siblings and parents on cushions and sat up and spoke her final words at 4:10 am: ‘Jesus I love You! What a sweet encounter! Virgin Mary!’ She had asked the prioress to read a poem of Teresa of Ávila before she died.