The island of Malta lies in the Mediterranean, between Tunisia and Sicily. Christianity arrived when St. Paul was shipwrecked there. One practical reason why Malta is such an intensely religious place today is the work of Fr. George Preca (1880-1962). Even as a young priest, he was a pioneer of the Lay Apostolate, long before most people knew what that meant.
On this commemoration of All Carmelite Souls, we call to mind all of these people and their part in the heritage that has been handed down to us. These brothers and sisters of ours may not have been famous spiritual writers nor renowned for extraordinary experiences of prayer, but they made their mark on the Order
Who are the saints of Carmel? They are hermits of Mount Carmel who “lived in small cells, similar to the cells of a beehive, they lived as God’s bees, gathering the divine honey of spiritual consolation.” They are mendicants of the first medieval communities, who discovered the presence of God in the events of ordinary daily life and especially seeing God in his brothers and sisters.
The dawn of the sometimes calamitous 20th Century was marked with the all-too-short life of a spectacular young champion of the joy of contemplation. Juanita Fernández Solar was born in Santiago, Chile on July 13, 1900.
It may surprise more than a few people that the most recently canonized Carmelite saint is also the national hero of Portugal. Although he is not widely known in the rest of the world, just mention “the Holy Constable” in Portugal, and everyone knows who you are talking about.
As we write this, Carmelites from all over the globe are arriving in Leavenworth, Kansas to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Carmelite order in the United States. The sesquicentennial event is being marked with a three-day celebration/symposium in Leavenworth entitled