Who Started this Order? // The Carmelite Sisters

For all the saints who from their labors rest, who Thee by faith before the world confessed; Thy name, Jesus, be forever blest. Alleluia, Alleluia! But lo! There breaks a yet more glorious day; the saints triumphant rise in bright array; the King of glory passes on his way. Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earths wide bounds, from oceans farthest coast, through gates of pearl streams in the countless host, and singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: Alleluia, Alleluia!

Service Well-Pleasing to God, let mutual love continue. Hebrews 13:1

Blessed John Soreth was born in 1394 in Normandy and ordained a priest in 1417. It was in Normandy that he entered the Carmelite house. Blessed John Soreth was unflagging in his efforts at renewal. He restored observances within the Order and promoted its reform. His love and dedication to the church and the Carmelite order led him to travel across Europe, making canonical visitations and developing a more faithful observance of religious life. He was a breath of renewing air for the Carmelites. Blessed John obtained papal approval for the Carmelites to found a second order of nuns and the third order for lay people.

The spiritual focus of the Carmelite Order is contemplation. Carmelites understand contemplation to include prayer, community, and service which are at the heart of the Carmelite Order. While most see contemplation and action as being opposing, the Carmelites understand contemplation and action to be complementary. Their prayers and contemplation are a service to the Church and those engaged in the work of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, and their inspiration comes from the prophet Elijah and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Carmelites recognize that it is only with Mary that we can truly walk in the steps of Jesus and be wholly committed to him. Mary's whole maternal nature is to lead us to her Son. 

The Carmelites are considered by the Catholic Church to be under the special protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and thus has a deep Marian devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Among the various Catholic orders, Carmelite nuns have had a proportionally high ratio of visions of Jesus and Mary and have been responsible for key Catholic devotions. Sister Lucia, a Carmelite, was one of the most famous visionaries in Fatima, where the Virgin appeared to her as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The deeply devoted interior life of the Carmelite Sisters continues to help lay Catholics live their faith more deeply.

Saint John Soreth pray for us!

To Jesus through Mary-Amelia Maness Gilliland

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