St. Joseph [Feast: March 19]
Little is known about Joseph except that he was of the line of David which was essential in order for Jesus to be legally of the house and line of David in fulfilment of the Scriptures. What is more important for us is the example which Joseph left us. He was a man of faith who played his role in God’s salvific plan for us; he was obedient to the will of God; he had a love for the Law and its fulfilment; he showed piety and fortitude in times of trial; he had a chaste love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and he exercised his paternal authority with due care. He is therefore a true example of Christian living and is the Protector of the Church. Joseph is also the patron of carpenters and manual workers.
Bl. Francis Palau y Quer [Feast: March 20]
Born in Aytona, Lerida, on December 29, 1811, Blessed Francis Palau y Quer entered the Carmelite Order in 1832 and was ordained priest in 1836. Civil turmoil forced him to live in exile and outside his community. On his return to Spain in 1851, he founded his "School of Virtue" — which was a model of catechetical teaching — at Barcelona. The school was suppressed and he was unjustly exiled to Ibiza (1854-1860) where he lived at El Vedra in solitude and experienced mystically the vicis- situdes of the Church. While in the Balearic Islands he founded the Congregations of Carmelite Brothers and Carmelite Sisters (1860-1861). He preached popular missions and spread love of Our Lady wherever he went. He died at Tarragona on March 20, 1872, and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1980.
Bl. Maria Candida of the Eucharist [Feast: March 21]
Maria Barba was born on the 16th January 1884 in Catanzaro, Italy. As a child, Maria learned to play the piano. At the age of fifteen, she underwent an interior conversion that turned her heart and mind totally to God. Sadly, her subsequent aspiration to religious life was opposed by her family. During this time, Maria found consolation in developing a profound love for the Eucharist and in reading the autobiography of the Carmelite, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. When at the age of thirty-six Maria was finally able to become a religious, she entered the Discalced Carmelite Order, having already assimilated their spirituality. Taking the religious name Maria Candida of the Eucharist, she soon became her convent’s prioress. Ever zealous for the faithful observance of the Carmelite rule, she once admonished a nun for her laxity, asking her, “My daughter, why do you insult the Lord like this? Don’t you realize that mankind needs you?” In the 1930s, Mother Candida wrote a book on the Eucharist steeped in her own devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. She died on June 12, 1949. In March 2004, she was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II.
St. Berthold [Feast: March 29]
Berthold was a French crusader who instituted a hermit colony on Mount Carmel in 1185. At the time, there were a number of hermits from the West scattered throughout Palestine, and Berthold gathered them together, founded a community who settled on Mount Carmel, and became their first superior.
What is known for certain is that St. Berthold directed the building of a monastery and church on Mount Carmel and dedicated the church in honor of the prophet Elijah, who had defeated the priests of Baal there and seen the vision of the cloud out over the sea.
Berthold lived out his days on Mount Carmel, ruling the community he had founded for forty-five years until his death. His example and way of life stamped the beginnings of the Carmelite Order.