The Carmel of the famous Pater Noster celebrate Saint Teresa of Avila

Published: October 17 Wed, 2018

The Carmel of the famous Pater Noster celebrate Saint Teresa of Avila Available in the following languages:

JERUSALEM – On October 15, 2018, the Carmel of Jerusalem celebrated the holy reformer of the Carmelite Order. On this occasion, the nuns opened the doors of their cloister to share a time of friendship and present their mission of prayer in a holy place with a long history.

The feast of October 15 is the day of the consular Mass at Carmel Pater Noster. It is both a great day for the Carmelites who pay homage to the whole Church for the work of reform of Teresa of Avila within the order of Carmel and it is the day when the Consul General of France makes an official visit to the community that lives in one of the four French national domains.

This year, a “piece of France” joined the celebration, which sometimes more modestly brings together the faithful Jerusalemite friends of Carmel, through the presence of the diocese of Coutances having comer on pilgrimage to the Holy Land guided by Bishop Laurent Le Boulc’h.

Teresa of Avila: a spiritual guide fully embodied

Bishop Laurent Le Boulc’h presided over Mass concelebrated by the priests of the neighboring French speaking religious communities, while Father Luc Pareydt, SJ, Counselor for Religious Affairs of the Consul General of France, gave the homily. Father Luc recalled character traits of Teresa of Avila, who always had great spiritual ambitions for the nuns to whom she gave rules and especially her own spiritual experience of union with God. “Even today Sainte Thérèse is a mistress of spiritual life for all of us, “explains the prioress, Sr. Marie-Agnes of Christ, “she is a mother who leads us with good sense and realism in our relationship with Christ.”

A Carmel in the heart of a Muslim neighborhood

The Mount of Olives is a site oh so spiritual because the evangelists often mention it as a place loved by Christ. And yet when Mother Xavier, a Carmelite native of Lisieux, who carried with confidence for most of her life as a religious the project of founding a Carmel in Jerusalem, met Patriarch Valerga, who was hardly inclined to let young nuns settle in the heart of a village of “Mahometans.” But with the support of Princess Aurélie de La Tour d’Auvergne, who devoted much of her life to this site which she acquired in the 1860s, that of Carmel Carpentras, who encouraged Mother Xavier and the financial support from French donors, the first sisters were able to settle in 1873, while the cave of the Our Father had not yet been discovered by the White Fathers.

Today the Carmelites are fifteen, among them a postulant and a novice, who – like Sister Marguerite-Marie, the oldest aged 96 (!) – devotes a large part of their day to prayer. If French nationality is predominant in the community, openness to the world is guaranteed by the presence of sisters from Brazil, Madagascar, US Korea, Peru or Croatia. The balance of this melting pot is made possible because all sisters share a common desire to join the Lord in prayer and silence. “But without the fraternal life, our community would fail, adds St Marie-Agnes; a Carmel really needs both silent prayer and the fraternal life.”

A place of universal prayer

If the sisters are not in charge of the animation of this holy place, they have the opportunity to meet the pilgrims when they go through the shop where they sell their crafts. But what really unites them to these hundreds of pilgrims who pass by every day is of course prayer! The prayer of the Our Father that can be read in more than a hundred languages ​​on the walls of the cloister and everywhere on the site is inevitably prayed, recited or read. It unites the faithful and permanent prayer of the Carmelites who find a way of life in prayer.

Cécile Klos