Bl. Jane Scopelli [Feast: July 9]
Born in Regio Emilia in 1428, Blessed Jane took the Carmelite habit, living at first in her home and later in the monastery founded in that city, where she became prioress. She had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. She died in 1491.
Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin [Feast: July 12]
Married in 1858, just three months after meeting each other, Sts. Louis and Zélie lived in celibacy for nearly a year, but eventually went on to have nine children. Four died in infancy, while the remaining five daughters entered religious life.
Zélie died from cancer in 1877, leaving Louis to care for their five young daughters: Marie, Pauline, Leonie, Céline and Thérèse, who was only 4 at the time. Louis died in 1894, after suffering two strokes in 1889, followed by five years of serious illness.
Louis and Zélie were beatified on Oct. 19, 2008, by Benedict XVI. They were canonized by Pope Francis on Oct. 18, 2015. They were the first couple ever to be canonized at the same ceremony.
St Teresa of Jesus ‘of Los Andes’ [Feast: July 13]
Juanita Fernandez Solar was born at Santiago, Chile on July 13, 1900. From her adolescence she was devoted to Christ. She entered the monastery of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns at Los Andes on May 7, 1919, where she was given the name Teresa of Jesus. She died on April 12 of the following year after having made her religious profession. She was beatified by John Paul II on April 3, 1987, at Santiago, Chile, and proposed as a model for young people. She is the first Chilean and the first member of the Teresian Carmel in Latin America to be beatified. [St. Teresa of the Andes was canonized on March 21, 1993 in St. Peter's Basilica.]
Solemn Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel [Feast: July 16]
According to the traditions of the Carmelite order, on July 16, 1251, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock, a Carmelite. During the vision, she revealed to him the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, popularly known as the "Brown Scapular." A century and a quarter later, the Carmelite order began to celebrate on this date the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Bl. Teresa of St. Augustine and Companions [Feast: July 17]
As the French Revolution entered its worst days, sixteen Discalced Carmelites from the Monastery of the Incarnation in Compiegne offered their lives as a sacrifice to God, making reparation to him and imploring peace for the Church. On June 24, 1794, they were arrested and thrown into prison. Their happiness and resignation were so evident that those around them were also encouraged to draw strength from God's love. They were condemned to death for their fidelity to the Church and their religious life and for their devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Singing hymns, and having renewed their vows before the superior, Teresa of St. Augustine, they were put to death in Paris on July 17, 1794.
Elijah the Prophet [Feast: July 20]
The prophet Elijah appears in Scripture as a man of God who lived always in his presence and fought zealously for the worship of the one true God. He defended God's law in a solemn contest on Mount Carmel, and afterwards was given on Mount Horeb an intimate experience of the living God. The inspiration that was found in him from the very beginnings of the Order so pervades its whole history that the prophet may deservedly be called the founder of the Carmelite ideal.
Bl. John Soreth [Feast: July 24]
John Soreth was born at Caen in Normandy and entered Carmel as a young man. He took a doctorate of theology in Paris and served as regent of studies and provincial of the province. He was prior general from 1451 until his death at Angers in 1471. He restored observance within the Order and promoted its reform, wrote a famous commentary on the Rule, issued new Constitutions in 1462, and promoted the growth of the nuns and the Third Order.
Joachim and Anne [Feast: July 26]
By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any stories about Mary's father and mother come to us through legend and tradition.
We get the oldest story from a document called the Gospel of James, though in no way should this document be trusted to be factual, historical, or the Word of God. The legend told in this document says that after years of childlessness, an angel appeared to tell Anne and Joachim that they would have a child. Anne promised to dedicate this child to God (much the way that Samuel was dedicated by his mother Hannah — Anne — in 1 Kings).
For those who wonder what we can learn from people we know nothing about and how we can honor them, we must focus on why they are honored by the church. Whatever their names or the facts of their lives, the truth is that it was the parents of Mary who nurtured Mary, taught her, brought her up to be a worthy Mother of God. It was their teaching that led her to respond to God's request with faith, "Let it be done to me as you will." It was their example of parenting that Mary must have followed as she brought up her own son, Jesus. It was their faith that laid the foundation of courage and strength that allowed her to stand by the cross as her son was crucified and still believe.
Such parents can be examples and models for all parents.
Anne (or Ann) is the patron saint of Christian mothers and of women in labor.
Parents of Mary, pray for all parents that they may provide the loving home and faithful teaching that you provided your daughter. Amen
Bl. Titus Brandsma [Feast: July 27]
Born at Bolsward (The Netherlands) in 1881, Blessed Titus Brandsma joined the Carmelite Order as a young man. Ordained a priest in 1905, he earned a doctorate in philosophy in Rome. He then taught in various schools in Holland and was named professor of philosophy and of the history of mysticism in the Catholic University of Nijmegen, where he also served as Rector Magnificus. He was noted for his constant availability to everyone. He was a professional journalist, and in 1935 he was appointed ecclesiastical advisor to Catholic journalists. Both before and during the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands he fought, faithful to the Gospel, against the spread of Nazi ideology and for the freedom of Catholic education and of the Catholic press. For this he was arrested and sent to a succession of prisons and concentration camps where he brought comfort and peace to his fellow prisoners and did good even to his tormentors; in 1942, after much suffering and humiliation, he was killed at Dachau. He was beatified by John Paul II on November 3, 1985.