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Displaying items by tag: Calendar of Feasts and Memorials

Wednesday, 15 March 2023 08:32

St. Joseph and the Carmelite Order

A pious medieval legend held that the Holy Family periodically visited and spoke with the hermits who lived near the well of Elijah on Mount Carmel. According to the mentality of the time, this affirmed a particular bond between the Carmelites and the Holy Family.

Once the Middle Ages had passed, these spiritual relations of the men and women of the Order continued until today, uniting veneration to the Virgin Mary with that to the one who for her and for Jesus sacrificed himself in the work and silence of his entire life. Thus were merged, in harmonious contemplation, the three great loves: of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

In Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth, people found a model for their own contemplative and active life. Devotion to Joseph flourished and he became invoked as “protector and patron” of the Order. In Europe during the 13th and 14th centuries, the Carmelites as well as the Franciscans and Servants of Mary spread devotion to St. Joseph. The liturgical feast of St. Joseph appears in the second half of the 15th century with an Office entirely of its own.

The Belgian Carmelite, Arnold Bostius noted this solemn devotion to St. Joseph in 1479. He wrote:

"We still celebrate St. Joseph, chaste and upright, guardian of the eternal God, providential and diligently considered to be father, beloved husband of Mary, most faithful witness and custodian of her virginity. Like his virgin bride, he was very solicitous for the salvation of all, perfect in all virtues" (De Patronatu BVM, n. 1694).

The Office of St. Joseph was printed in the Breviary published in Brussels beginning in 1480, while the Mass Proper was found in missals edited from 1500 onward. The quality of the readings and the hymns were considered eloquent testimony to the fervor with which the Carmelites honored St. Joseph at that time. The general chapter of the Carmelites in 1680 unanimously elected St. Joseph as the primary protector of the Order.

The feast was suppressed for the universal Church with the liturgical calendar reform after the Second Vatican Council. However, both the Carmelites and the Discalced Carmelites obtained permission to add “Protector of Our Order” to the title of the feast on March 19.

From the 17th century to the present-day numerous Carmelite churches and monasteries were dedicated to St. Joseph. Credit for this diffusion of devotion to St. Joseph can be attributed above all to St. Teresa of Jesus, whose ardent expressions regarding St. Joseph are known:

"I took for my advocate and patron the glorious St. Joseph ... I saw clearly that his help to me was always greater that what I could have hoped for …. If my word could be authoritative, I would gladly take the time to narrate in detail the graces that this glorious saint has done for me and for others.” (Life, VI, 6-8)

Of the 17 houses Teresa founded, 12 were dedicated to St. Joseph.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux also had a great devotion to St. Joseph:

“I prayed St. Joseph to watch over me; since my childhood, I had a devotion to him that blended with love for Our Lady. … I was so well protected that it seemed impossible for me to be afraid.” (Ms A, 158)

Alongside the influence of St. Joseph on the life and piety of the Order, there are also the writings of the theologian Andrew Horuken in 1451 and the incredible poems of the Mantuan in Fastorum Libri XII and in Parthenice I. In the 16th-18th centuries, there was no lack of notable preachers and writers reflecting the importance of St. Joseph. In 1723, Raphael "the Bavarian" published a History of St. Joseph. This work had a considerable influence in the devotion of the saint in modern times at the convents and monasteries of the Order.

(from Dizionario Carmelitano, “Giuseppe, Santo”)

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Wednesday, 01 February 2023 07:35

Bl. Candelaria of St. Joseph, Virgin

On February 1, the Carmelite Order celebrates Blessed  Candelaria of St. Joseph. The day is celebrated as an optional memorial in Latin America.

Blessed Candelaria was born Susana Paz-Castillo Ramírez in 1863. She enthusiastically welcomed the call of God to holiness, and since her youth, stood out in practicing living and effective charity, with which she cared for, consoled and healed the sick and wounded that strife had left on the streets of her birth city.

Read more here

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Friday, 27 January 2023 12:41

Memorial of Blessed Archangela Girlani, Virgin

29 January Optional Memorial in the Italian Provinces

Born Eleonora, she was born in 1460 in Trino in the Marquisate of Monferrato.

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.


Father in heaven,
you gave the virgin Blessed Archangela Girlani
particular dedication to the mystery of the eternal Trinity.
Through her prayers
may we taste the delights of your glory
already here on earth,
and look upon you for ever in heaven.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

*Texts taken from the “Carmelite Proper of the Liturgy of the Hours,” Institutum Carmelitanum, Rome: 1993.

Read more here

Published in Announcements (CITOC)

On January 20, the Carmelite Order celebrates the memory of Blessed Angelo Paoli. The day is celebrated as an optional memorial in the Order but as an obligatory memorial in the Italian provinces.

His life can be divided into two periods: the years spent in his religious province of Tuscany, and those spent in Rome. The second part he spent, first, as novice-master, then as bursar, sacristan and organist, and also as director of the conservatory for girls 

Wherever he had worked, he had given a fine impression as a religious steeped in silence, prayer and mortification, but, above all, given to the works of charity, both spiritual and corporal, in favor of the sick and the poor — so much so that at Siena they gave him the name of "Father Charity."

A conference examining the life of Blessed Angelo Paoli was held in Rome on November 12, 2022. The meeting took place at the parish hall of the Carmelite church of Santa Maria in Traspontina. Entitled “Behind the Scenes” the speakers examined various aspects of the Blessed’s very active life. The overall scope of the conference was to present new aspects of Blessed Angelo Paoli that have emerged from the latest archival research.

Through his ministry of visiting Roman hospitals, Angelo had a great impact on the way those without financial resources were dealt with. He established a convalescent home for those poor who were left to care for themselves after leaving the hospital. His charity to the poor of Rome became noted and valued even by the wealthy and powerful whom he constantly encouraged to join him in his ministry.

Marco Papasidero, who recently published a book on the miracles of San Angelo of Licata, gave a presentation on the miracles and the healing practices attributed to the Blessed. Simona Serci of the General Archives spoke about the social network that Angelo created during his 32 years in Rome. Carmelite Matteo Antollini, a student at CISA, presented on the witness to his life given by the other Carmelites. Giovanni Grosso, director of the Institutum Carmelitanum in Rome, further developed the topic of Paoli as one of the great men of charity in Rome.

Emanuele Atzori, from Rome’s Archivio storico Maestre Pie Venerini, and Maria Conforti, of the University La Sapienza of Rome, developed the theme of Blessed Angelo’s work hospital work and his convalescent home.

Other presentations included a study of the iconography of the blessed that are in the General Archives of the Order by Ruggiero Doronzo of the Università degli Studi di Bari A. Moro. We are able to include a few examples of these here.

The conference was sponsored by the General Archives of the Order and the Office of the Postulator General of the Carmelites.

Read more about the life of Blessed Angelo Paoli here.

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Friday, 23 December 2022 11:04

Chapel of St. Andrew Corsini

January 9 Feast
Founded during the fourth century, today the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome, bears a simple but solemn and harmonious façade. The work of Alessandro Galilei (1732-1736) it was commissioned by Pope Clement XII of the Corsini family of Florence. Pope Clement’s ten-year reign over the Papal States, from 1730-1740, saw several important public works built, including the Trevi Fountain, to serve the people of Rome.

The pope also engaged Galilei to design a lateral chapel immediately inside the front entrance of the Lateran basilica. He intended the magnificent chapel as a tribute to his 14 th century ancestor, the Carmelite St. Andrew Corsini, as well as a final resting place for himself.

This chapel, often considered the most perfect building of its kind, is in the form of a Greek Cross. An oil on canvas painting, entitled St. Andrew Corsini in Prayer hangs over the mail altar. It is a work of the Italian artist Guido Reni (1630-1635). A mausoleum terminates each end of the transept. On the left are the mortal remains of Pope Clement XII. On the right are those of Cardinal Neri Corsini. Today St Andrew Corsini, bishop and confessor, is remembered by many for the charity he showed others and his willingness to serve and assist.

The rail that separates the chapel from the aisle of the church is of gilt brass. The pavement of is of marble and the walls are incrusted with alabaster and jasper. They are adorned with bas reliefs. Six pillars adorn the recesses. Two statues of Innocence and Penitence stand on the pediment of the altar.

Each year, on the saint’s feast day, a Mass is celebrated in the chapel and is often televised to the rest of the country.

Read more on St. Andrew Corsini here

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Friday, 23 December 2022 10:43

The Iconography of St. Peter Thomas

January 8 Feast
Francisco de Zurbarán (died 1598) painted St. Peter Thomas with a somewhat unconventional iconography. Zurbarán was a painter in the Spanish baroque period and his works are characterized by a Caravaggesque naturalism and the use of extreme contrasts of light and dark to heighten the dramatic effect. Zurbarán was noted for his religious subjects. Besides St. Peter Thomas, he also painted St. Cyril of Constantinople.

According to the Carmelite historian Joachim Smet, the Spanish master must have known the biography of Philippe de Mézières, a contemporary of the saint. Peter Thomas is seen with the hat which he wore on his constant travels, wearing the habit of a humble Carmelite friar in spite of his patriarchal dignity, and reciting his breviary, which he never neglected on land or sea.

These are all details carefully pointed out by Philippe, his devoted friend. The painting (pictured on St. Peter Thomas’ webpage within the website) now hangs in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.

Read more on St. Peter Thomas here

Published in Announcements (CITOC)

14 December Feast

With all that the Eucharist is for a Catholic Christian, does John of the Cross have a Eucharistic spirituality? His devotion to the Blessed Sacrament or the Mass is not immediately evident. But, if in fact the Eucharist holds central importance for him, why is this obscure in his writings?

Well, there is evidence of his Eucharistic spirituality in some of the testimonies given by those who knew him during the canonical processes for his beatification and canonization. There are approximately thirty published works addressing John’s Eucharistic spirituality. Interestingly two-thirds of these (19 out of 27) focus exclusively on John poem La Fonte: Que bien yo la fonte que mana y corre.

John of the Cross focuses on the interior life in his writings. His exposition of spiritual, passive purification and his illumination of Christian mysticism eventually earned him the accolade “Mystical Doctor.” John devoted most of his writings discussing the interior life. A combination of factors contributed to a kind of breakthrough in the ability to understand and articulate the psychological, interior experience of being united to God, above all, in love.

His audience may also be a reason John’s works contain a small number of Eucharistic passages. His letters and “Sayings” were given to his closest friends. The Canticle and The Living Flame were written “at the request” of two women very close to him. He concludes the prologues of The Ascent explaining he is addressing “only some of the persons of our holy Order of the Primitive Observance.” His poems are written for himself and his Beloved. The people he wrote to went to Mass daily and received Communion frequently. So, the Eucharist was one point upon which John’s readers did not need extended instruction.

The fact that John of the Cross held the Eucharist in great esteem colors, it seems, his doctrine of “nada,” and adds a new consideration in the debate about the kind of purgation John recommends. The documentation associated with the Church’s declaration of John as “Mystical Doctor” is focused on his four treatises—explanations of his poems—and almost none of John’s poetry. Systematically looking at John’s poetry will, perhaps, modify the frequent perception of his theology as narrow and of limited value and application.

Seventy-eight primary sources offered approximately one hundred seventy-five different testimonies, and twenty-six different passages from John’s works declaring that John of the Cross has a Eucharistic spirituality. It can be stated with confidence and irrefutable certainty, and in John’s own words: the Mystical Doctor found his Eternal Bridegroom “within this living bread.”

Edizioni Carmelitane is proud to offer a new book on John of the Cross’ Eucharistic Theology:

Dr. John D. Love’s Within This Living Bread: Exploring the Eucharistic Spirituality of St. John of the Cross.  Dr. Love is a professor at Mount St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland (USA) since 2008. He received his doctorate from the Angelicum in Rome.

This book costs 22 euros and can be purchased at To place your order, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more here

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Friday, 02 December 2022 14:12

Blessed Bartolome Fanti

5 December Optional Memorial

His date of birth is unknown. Already a priest of the Mantuan Congregation of the Carmelites, which had been approved by the pope ten years earlier, Bartolome joined the confraternity of the Virgin that existed in the church of Carmel. On January 1, 1460, he assumed the office of spiritual father and restorer of the group. He took his assignment to the confraternity seriously. He wrote its rule and statutes. Until his death 35 years later, it is known that he dedicated himself almost entirely to this ministry.

In artwork he is usually shown with a group of novices to whom he speaks fervently of the Holy Eucharist. This was, in fact, his particular devotion along with devotion to the Blessed Virgin to whom he also professed a very tender devotion. The tradition that Bl. Bautista Spagnoli was Fanti's novice appears to have no basis in fact: Fanti appears to never have held the office of Master of Novices and Baptista Spagnoli made his novitiate year in Ferrara and not in Mantua.

The rule written by Fanti for the confraternity is in twelve short chapters. It is very simple and concise, and its style resembles the rule given by St. Albert to the first Carmelites on Mount Carmel. He also wrote the statutes of the Confraternity of Carmel and created a register of notable events. One can find these writings, along with an exhaustive introductory examination, in the 1957 Ephemerides Carmeliticae.

In 1516 the Blessed’s body was transferred from its tomb in the church to the Chapel of the Virgin, and in 1598 it was placed under the altar. When in 1783 the convent was suppressed, his remains were transferred to St. Mark's and from there, almost ten years later, to the cathedral where they are still preserved, in an incorrupt form, in the Chapel of the Crowned Virgin. The decree of confirmation of his cult was ratified by St. Pius X on March 18, 1909. His feast is celebrated on December 5.

Read more here

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Monday, 14 November 2022 07:48

Celebration of All Carmelite Saints

November 14 | Feast

From "De Patientia" of Bl. Baptist of Mantua

"I will say something, however, to urge you to desire to see those things that mortal eyes are unable to see. Such desire, by raising the mind from earthly things to heavenly things, causes them, while still remaining earthly and mortal, at least in part to become heavenly. If it is true that where your treasure is, there will also be your heart, if our treasure is in heaven it is necessary that our heart also be in heaven. If it is in heaven, it has heavenly dimensions, and we need the desires of our heart to be heavenly, through the commitment to meditate on great and infinite things starting from the smallest."

For more information, go to

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Friday, 11 November 2022 13:17

Memorial of Bl. Maria Teresa Scrilli

On November 13th the Carmelite Order celebrates the memorial of Blessed Maria Teresa Scrilli.

Mother Maria Teresa was profoundly connected to Carmelite spirituality which she knew, since childhood, from her reading of St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi. The spirit of contemplation, total abandonment to the will of God, and deep union with the Lord were the characteristics of her spiritual life. Her prayer added the aspect of reparation for offences inflicted on God, of praise, of joy in Him, of profound union, of faith. The "pure love" for God pushes one to the generous offering of oneself to others, "to leave God for God," even to the point of making a fourth vow: "to give oneself over to neighbour by means of both Christian and civil moral instruction."

Read more here

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
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