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St. Raphael of St. Joseph (OCD), Priest (mf)

St. Raphael of St. Joseph
November 19th

Raphael of St. Joseph (in lay life: Joseph Kalinowski) was born at Vilna to a Polish family on 1st September 1835 and died at Wadowice on 15th November 1907. Graduating in engineering at the Academy of Military Sciences at St. Petersburgh, he was appointed to the fortress at Brest Litowski and later promoted to be Chief of Staff in the Russian Army.

In spite of his desire to leave the military life, he took part in the rising against the Czarist occupying forces in Poland, accepting the position of Minister of War in Vilna. The night of the 24th March 1864, he was arrested and put in prison where he was condemned to death but the sentence was later commuted to ten years forced labour in Siberia. He was freed in 1874 and returned to Poland. Being forbidden to live in any of the main Polish cities, he took up a post as tutor to the young Prince Augusto Czartoryski who spent most of his time in Paris.

In 1877, Raphael joined the Carmelites. He was ordained priest in 1882 and began an apostolate centred on the confessional, in the giving of spiritual direction and being full of enthusiasm for ecumenism, he worked strongly for unity in the Church. A great devotee of Our Lady, he revived the Discalced Carmelite Order in Poland. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II on 17th November 1991.


As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."