The Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux

A Blessed Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux to One and All

Having been privileged to visit the Carmelite Monastery in Buffalo, NY over the years, I thought that some might enjoy reading about its actually miraculous foundation, obtained through St. Therese.

In December of 1914, Mother Mary Elias of the Blessed Sacrament was brought before a firing squad of Mexican revolutionaries, having been arrested for persevering in her vocation as a Discalced Carmelite Nun. While she and her companion knelt as the order was given to shoot, Mother interiorly offered a somewhat skeptical prayer: Little Therese, if you are a saint, as some people say you are, then deliver us, and I promise to found a Monastery in your honor. Both Nuns heard the discharge of the guns, sank to the ground and were left for dead. They later regained consciousness, and although there was blood on their clothes, they were completely unharmed. Little Therese had indeed answered Mother’s prayer in a miraculous manner! Six years later, the promise made to the Little Flower of Jesus was fulfilled when Mother Elias founded the Discalced Carmelite Monastery of Buffalo, NY. Our Chapel was officially dedicated to Saint Therese on the very day of her canonization, May 17, 1925, thus making it the first in the world to have the Little Flower as its titular Saint. To this day, many visitors to our Chapel remark that they can feel the presence of Saint Therese here, along with a profound sense of peace.

Inspired by the courageous example of our Mexican Mothers and the heroic virtue practiced by Saint Therese, we fervently aspire to follow the “Little Way” of spiritual childhood. We rejoice in numbering ourselves among the “army of little souls” whom she wanted to follow in her footsteps, repeating her ardent cry: To be Thy Spouse, O Jesus, and by my union with Thee, to be the mother of souls! Our life is one of trustful simplicity and joyful penance, willing obedience and liberating poverty, fruitful chastity and total surrender to the Divine Spouse.

Whether at Holy Mass or the Divine Office, mental prayer or spiritual reading, cooking, cleaning or working in the garden, we seek continual union with God by interior recollection and the perfect fulfillment of His holy will, in imitation of our Blessed Lady. Our Rule and Constitutions represent the authentic charism of our Holy Mother Saint Teresa of Avila, who desired that her daughters apply themselves zealously to prayer and manual labor for the benefit of the Church and especially for priests.

We humbly and gratefully wear the full Habit of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, observe strict Papal enclosure in order to safeguard the sacredness of the cloister, and cherish many traditional monastic customs such as the use of Latin and Gregorian Chant.

The vocation to Carmel is a true love affair between God and the soul. We welcome candidates between 18 and 35 who have fallen in love with Jesus and desire to give all for Him, Who gave His all for us.

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