The Carmelite Order has been blessed by having many of its members canonised or beatified. On 14 November Carmelites celebrate the feast of All Carmelite Saints, a day to remember not only those whose sanctity is recognised by the Church but the many unsung heroes of Carmel, who now rejoice in the fullness of God’s presence. It is a day to remember those who have been great examples to us in our Carmelite life and we give thanks for the thousands who over the past 800 years, all over the world, have given their lives to God’s service in Carmel.
St Teresa of Avila wrote: “What numbers of saints we have in heaven who have worn this habit of ours! We must have the holy audacity to aspire, with God’s help, to be like them. The struggle will not last long, but the outcome will be eternal.” (Foundations 29:33)
Just as the commemoration of All Souls Day on 2 November follows on from the feast of All Saints, on 15thNovember we commemorate All Carmelite Souls. We pray for all our deceased sisters and brothers who are still on their journey to God:
you are the glory of those who serve you.
Look lovingly on our departed brothers and sisters,
united in following Christ and his Mother
by the waters of baptism and the bonds of Carmel.
In your mercy grant them everlasting sight of you,
their Creator and Redeemer.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.
Image: Dr Johan Bergstrom-Allen.