Carmelite ChroniclesThe Visitation of Castile

January 24, 2013 |

On January 23, 1567, Rossi left Lisbon to begin the visitation of the province of Castile. His first stop was the interprovincial house of studies in Salamanca. Rossi found there four students of theology and seven of the arts. They were all to distinguish themselves in their later careers. One of them, John of St. Matthias, of Fontiveros, a third year student of the arts, with permission of his superiors was following the primitive Rule and was considering becoming a Carthusian. He was, of course, St. John of the Cross. Unfortunately, the account of the visitation of Salamanca is wanting, but one early biographer of St. John, Alonzo of the Mother of God, states that the young friar made an impression on the prior general, who in later years remembered the encounter at Salamanca.

Rossi entrusted the visitation of Toledo, the principal house of the province, to Mariano di Leone, successor of Desiderio Mazzapica as procurator of the Order at the court, and like him a Sicilian.

On February 12, Rossi began the visitation of the beaterio in Piedrahita. The sisters wore the white veil and took the three vows of religion, but were not cloistered. Like many sisters in Spain, they felt they should not be bound by Trent to a cloister they did not profess, nor did Rossi press the point. “Certainly these nuns have embraced the three vows of religion with fervor,” Rossi concludes, “excellent morals prevail among them, they dedicate themselves to divine cult with great diligence and integrally keep the cloister.” At this time, Rossi apparently was unaware of Pius V’s legislation of the previous May 29, which put an end to all discussion. Back in Italy, in May or June, 1568, Rossi revoked all dispensations from cloister granted in Spain.

From The Mirror of Carmel by Joachim Smet, O. Carm.

Share This

Sign up for our Email newsletter