Wednesday, August 31, 2016


St. Teresa Margaret Redi
September 1

St. Teresa Margaret Redi of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was born on July 16, 1747, the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, according to the biography by Msg. James Newcomb.

From the Carmelite Proper of the Liturgy of the Hours:

Teresa Margaret was born in Tuscany of the noble Redi family, and entered the Discalced Carmelites in Florence on September 1, 1764. She was given a special contemplative experience concerning the words of St. John, "God is Love." She felt deeply that her vocation was to live a hidden life of love and self-immolation. That vocation was confirmed by her heroic exercise of fraternal charity, but was soon completed: she died in 1770, aged twenty-three. 

From the Decree of Canonization:

The fires of her love were fed principally by the Eucharist, and she looked forward with longing to her communions. She was also especially devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion which did much to curb the advances of Jansenism at that time in Tuscany. She was utterly devoted to Our Lady, whom she regarded as the model and protectress of her own virginal purity. She was endowed to a high degree with the gift of contemplative prayer, and daily grew closer to God, as though reflecting the glories of the eternity she was fast approaching.

Our Carmelite Saint and Sister is a model for the great pillars of our spiritual life: The Eucharist, the Love and Mercy of God manifested in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and devotion to Our Lady. As Carmelites, we cannot go wrong in clinging with great love to these spiritual pillars of our faith.

St. Teresa wanted to find souls that loved God or wished to love him as he deserved to be love. She made a pact with a fellow sister that they become rivals in the holy love of God. She would never let her sister forget this promise and spurred her on to the heights of virtue.

This example should help us as Carmelites to have a real desire not only for ourselves to reach the heights of union with God, but also for our brothers and sisters in Carmel, and yes, for every soul that God has created. May God give us a thirst for souls that will love him and adore him for all eternity!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Transverberation of St. Teresa's Heart-OCD Memorial

Carmelite Feast Day-August 26: 
Saint Teresa of Jesus-Transverberation

From the Carmelite Proper:
Chief among Teresa's virtues was the love of God, which our Lord Jesus Christ increased by means of many visions and revelations. He made her his spouse on one occasion. At other times she saw an angel with a flaming dart piercing her heart. Through these heavenly gifts the flame of divine love in her heart became so strong that, inspired by God, she made the extremely difficult vow of always doing what seemed to her most perfect and most conducive to God's glory
(Gregory XV in the Bull of Canonization)

Our Holy Mother, St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) was gifted with many mystical graces, among them was the transverberation of her heart. Other saints have experienced this gift. In fact, St. John of the Cross describes this singular grace (be prepared if it happens to you!):

"It will happen that while the soul is inflamed with the Love of God, it will feel that a seraph is assailing it by means of an arrow or dart which is all afire with love. And the seraph pierces and in an instant cauterizes this soul, which, like a red-hot coal, or better a flame, is already enkindled. The soul is converted into an immense fire of Love. Few persons have reached these heights."

Even St. Therese of the Child Jesus describes a similar experience after she made the Act of Oblation to the Merciful Love of God on June 9, 1895:

"I felt myself suddenly wounded by a dart of fire so ardent that I thought I should die. I know not how to describe that transport: there is no comparison which would make the vehemence of that flame understood. It seemed as though an invisible force plunged me wholly into fire. Oh that fire! What sweetness!One minute, one second more, and my soul must have been set free..."

These mystical experiences for the saint produced by angelic flame and fire seem to be a mixture of sweetness and pain. 

Our Lady's heart was pierced as well. I think of the prophecy of Simeon to Our Lady:

"Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: "This child is destined to be the downfall and the rise of many in Israel, a sign that will be opposed--and you yourself shall be pierced with a sword--so that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare."
(Luke 2:34-35)

Our Lady's heart was pierced by a spiritual sword of sorrow, bitter pain, and anguish. Although at the time of the Annunciation she did not know all the sorrows that would befall her, she said Yes to all that God desired of her.

St. John of the Cross teaches us that to reach the heights we must take up our cross and suffer with Jesus, to be in union with him and his suffering. The saints did not get to be saints by an easy route. They endured untold sufferings and pains, but our Lord helped them to endure the suffering by these graces. As Jesus was consoled in the desert by an angel, it seems he sends his angel to saints such as St. Teresa and St. Therese to strengthen them.


We don't know why some souls receive greater graces than others.  St. Therese pondered this same question. She was led to the scripture passage, " I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy." 
(Romans 9:15). After this discovery, she begins her great reflection about souls being compared to flowers, that not all are the magnificent rose; some must be content to be daisies.


St. Teresa's heart was aflame for the Living God. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit inflame our heart with this same love for God and neighbor.

Come Holy Spirit
Fill the hearts of your faithful
And kindle in them the fire of your love
Send forth your Spirit
And we shall be created
And you shall renew the face of the earth.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds 


Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified, OCD, Virgin

Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucifed was born of the Baouardy family, Catholics of the Greek Melchite Rite, at Abellin in Galilee in 1846. In 1867 she entered the Discalced Carmelites at Pau in France and was sent with the founding group to the Carmel of Mangalore in India where, in 1870, she made her profession. She returned to France in 1872. In 1875 she went to the Holy Land where she built a monastery in Bethlehem and began planning for another at Nazareth. Noted for her supernatural gifts, especially for humility, for her devotion to the Holy Spirit, and her great love for the Church and the Pope, she died at Bethlehem in 1878.

Read more about this mystic of the church

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Friday, August 19, 2016


Photo: R. Massaro. From very old family book. Photo in public domain.

A Pilgrim's Prayer

O Mother Mary, O Virgin sweet,
I come to pray at they feet,
I come to thee from so very far
O Virgin Queen, be my guiding star.

Lead me right along life's darkening way
Guide my steps lest I should stray.
If I should stumble, falter or fall,
O Blessed Mother, hear my call.

O Lovely Lady in cape so blue,
In direst need I come to you.
Despise not that for which I plead,
O Mother Dear, please intercede.

When the road seems long and all up hill,
Hear my prayer if it be God's will.
And what'er befalls, when life's race is run,
Please let me say, "God's will be done."

Cletus J. Walter

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Monday, August 1, 2016

Novena to St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
(Edith Stein)
Feast Day: August 9

Novena to St. Teresa
This novena is unique in that it gives a glimpse of her life from August 1 through August 9 in 1942.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS