Though her Feast day is celebrated today (October 15), throughout 2015, we've been celebrating the 500th anniversary of the birth of a pioneer in the spiritual life: mystic, saint and Carmelite nun, Teresa of Ávila (1515–1582).
Known to her family as Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada, she became the reformer of Carmel, mother of the Discalced Carmelite nuns and friars,
Countless millions have been touched by her intercession and imitate her “little way.” She has been acclaimed “the greatest saint of modern times.” In 1997, Pope John Paul II declared St. Therese a Doctor of the Church - the only Doctor of his pontificate - in tribute to the powerful way her spirituality has influenced people all over the world.
Albert of Jerusalem, as he is now known, was appointed patriarch of Jerusalem in 1205 by Pope Innocent III. At the time of his election he had been count-bishop of Vercelli for some twenty years. The Avogadro family to which he belonged was the most prominent and richest of all the first families of Vercelli.
Saint Albert was born towards the middle of the 12th century in Castel Gualtieri in Emilia, Italy. He entered the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross at Mortara, Pavia, and became Prior there in 1180.
Immediately after her conversion she wanted to join a Carmelite convent. However, her spiritual mentors, Vicar-General Schwind of Speyer, and Erich Przywara SJ, stopped her from doing so. Until Easter 1931 she held a position teaching German and history at the Dominican Sisters' school and teacher training college of St. Magdalen's Convent in Speyer.
As we prepare for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in a few days I'm reminded of another Carmelite feast we will be celebrating in two weeks time on July 27.
Living in Nazi occupied Holland, being arrested and made a prisoner by the Nazis and, eventually, being sent to die in the concentration camp of Dachau, were all extreme circumstances which tested Titus’ commitment to peace and reconciliation.
In the Hebrew Bible, Elijah is a solitary figure. On Mount Carmel, he challenged his people to choose one God for Israel — Yahweh or Baal. According to the First Book of Kings, chapter 18, Elijah’s sacrifice was consumed by fire, which proved to the people that Yahweh was the true God.
Eternal God, stir our minds and stimulate our hearts with a high sense of patriotism on this Fourth of July. May all that this day symbolizes renew our faith in freedom, our devotion to democracy,