Carmelites respond with joy to news of saintly Sister’s visit

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Home > Media > News > Carmelites respond with joy to news of saintly Sister’s visit
Carmelites respond with joy to news of saintly Sister’s visit

Tasmania’s Carmelite community have expressed their excitement at having the relics of one of their Order’s own saints, St Therese of Lisieux, visit their monastery next year – and described the accompaniment of the relics of her saintly parents as an ‘added joy’.

The Carmelite monastery in Launceston are set to receive the relics of Sts Therese, Zelie and Louis Martin on April 16 as part of the Tasmanian leg of the relics’ Australian tour.

The relics are likely to spend some time within the monastery’s enclosure, before being brought out for veneration by the faithful.

Carmelite prioress Mother Teresea Benedicta of the Cross OCD says the visit by the Martin family to the monastery is a ‘very special’ occasion which she believes will be inspiring for the Carmelite Sisters.

“This will be a very special and rare occasion for us to welcome a saint of own Order into our midst – one who has lived the Carmelite life just as we do in hidden solitude and silence for the sake of the Church, and who has lived it with such great holiness.”

She says that receiving the relics of Sts Zelie and Louis will provide the Sisters a “beautiful opportunity to ponder the blessings of our own family life and the role our families played in nurturing our vocations to Carmel.”

The last visit of the relics of St Therese occurred on February 27, 2002, when they spent just under 24 hours at the monastery.

Mother Teresa Benedicta says the Carmelite community ‘never imagined’ that the relics of St Therese would visit again.

“We had assumed that the visit in 2002 was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us. So this is a wonderful gift of divine providence,” she said.

She hopes the visit of the three members of the Martin family will inspire many Catholics to embrace the call to holiness, whatever their vocation.

“I hope the chance to pray with a ‘family of saints’ will encourage our wonderful Catholic families out there to sense more deeply just how beautiful their vocation to marriage and family life is, and how much the Church needs them to witness to Christ in our day, as well as encouraging many young Tasmanians to consider the possibility that the Lord may be calling them to follow Him more closely as priests or religious – and also as Carmelites!”

Mother Teresa Benedicta hopes the relics’ visit will inspire people to spend time in personal prayer.

“The saints teach us to surrender wholeheartedly to God’s plans for our lives, and so I hope the chance to spend time in quiet personal prayer through this visit, and as an ongoing part of life, will enable many people to grow closer to Christ and to seek to do His will with joy – and to know that they have the support of Carmel each day.”