Friday, July 17, 2009

Flos Carmeli

Flos Carmeli,
vitis florigera,
splendor caeli,
virgo puerpera
singularis.


Flower of Carmel,
Tall vine blossom laden;
Splendor of heaven,
Childbearing yet maiden.
None equals thee.


— Beginning of Flos Carmeli, sequence of the Carmelite liturgy, ascribed to Saint Simon Stock (ca 1165 - 1265)
The Novena of Our Lady of Mount Carmel continues at the Discalced Carmelite monastery in Ladue, Missouri.

July is a rich month in the Carmelite calendars; some feasts include yesterday's memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and next Monday is the feast of the Old Testament prophet Saint Elias, spiritual father of the Carmelites.

Today is the feast day of the Martyrs of Compiegne. On this day in 1794, Madeleine-Claudine Ledoine (Mother Teresa of Saint Augustine) and her 15 Discalced Carmelite companions were executed on the Guillotine as “enemies of the Revolution”. This Reign of Terror killed tens of thousands, including many revolutionaries themselves. These revolutionaries would go to the Guillotine screaming about injustice,while the Carmelite sisters received their red crowns of martyrdom in prayerful peace. This shamed the people of Paris, and the Reign of Terror was ended ten days later with the execution of its leaders. The Sisters' relics lie in a mass grave containing the bodies of 1298 victims of the revolution.

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