St. Albert of Trapani [Feast: August 7]
Albert degli Abbati was born in Trapani in Sicily in the thirteenth century. Having joined the Carmelites and been ordained a priest, he soon became famous for his preaching and miracles. He was provincial in Sicily in 1296, and died at Messina, probably in 1307, with a reputation for purity and prayer.
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) [Feast: August 9]
Edith Stein was born to a Jewish family at Breslau on October 12, 1891. Through her passionate study of philosophy she searched after truth and found it in reading the autobiography of St. Teresa of Jesus. In 1922 she was baptized a Catholic and in 1933 she entered the Carmel of Cologne where she took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She was gassed and cremated at Auschwitz on August 9, 1942, during the Nazi persecution and died a martyr for the Christian faith after having offered her holocaust for the people of Israel. A woman of singular intelligence and learning, she left behind a body of writing notable for its doctrinal richness and profound spirituality. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II at Cologne on May 1, 1987 and canonized on October 11, 1998. Her feast is celebrated by the Church on August 9 of each year.
Bl. Isidor Bakanja [Feast: August 12]
Bl. Isidore Bakanja, a member of the Boangi tribe, was born in Bokendela (Congo) between 1880 and 1890. In order to survive, even as a boy, he had to work as bricklayer or in farms. He was converted to Christianity in 1906. He was working in a plantation run by a colonialist in Ikili and was forbidden by the owner to spread Christianity among his fellow-workers. On 22 April 1909, the superintendent of the business tore off the Carmelite Scapular, which Isidore was wearing as an expression of his Christian faith, and had him severely beaten even to drawing blood. He died on 15 August of the same year as a result of the wounds inflicted in “punishment” for his faith and which he bore patiently while forgiving his aggressor. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 24 April 1994.
Bl. Angelus Augustine Mazzinghi [Feast: August 17]
Angelus was born in Florence or near there; the year is unknown but it was before 1386. He was the first member of the reformed observance of Our Lady of the Wood, was many times prior of various houses and noted for his work in preaching the Word of God. He died in Florence in 1438.
St. Mary of Jesus Crucified [Feast: August 25]
Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified (the little Arab) was born of the Baouardy family, Catholics of the Greek Melchite Rite, Abellin in Galilee in 1846. In 1867 she entered the Discalced Carmelites at Pau in France and went with the founding group to the Carmel of Mangalore in India where, in 1870, she made her profession. She return to France in 1872. In 1875 she went to the Holy Land where she built a monastery in Bethlehem and began planning for another at Nazareth. Noted for her supernatural gifts, especially for humility, for her devotion to the Holy Spirit, and her great love for the Church and the Pope, she died at Bethlehem in 1878. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on November 14, 1983 and canonized by Pope Francis on May 17, 2015.
Bl. Jacques Retouret [Feast: August 26]
Bl. Jacques Retouret was born at Limoges in France on 15th September 1746 to a merchant family. He was a serious young man, a lover of books and greatly gifted. At fifteen years of age, he entered the Carmelite house in his native city. After ordination, his zeal and learning were widely admired and large crowds of people were attracted by his way of preaching. Unfortunately, he was often unable to fulfil all his engagements, due to his persistent bad health which plagued him throughout his life.
The French Revolution did not spare him. Like the majority of his fellow clergy, Jacques refused to accept the civil law, unilaterally introduced by the state, which decreed, among other things, the election of bishops and parish priests by the people, only afterwards to be approved by the hierarchy and the pope. In addition to this refusal, Jacques was accused of siding with a group of political emigres who had invaded the country against the revolutionaries. He was arrested and condemned, together with many other priests and religious, and sentenced to exile in French Guinea in South America. Taken to Rochefort, he was held there in a prison ship. The British navy, at this time, was blockading the French coast and so preventing the departure of the prison ships. The conditions for the prisoners were beyond description: they were crowded together, hungry, plagued by sickness, and suffered from either the heat or the cold in overpowering smells, and persecuted by their gaolers.
Jacques died at Madame Isle, some miles distant from Rochefort, on 26th August 1794 at the age of 48 years. He was beatified, together with 63 other priests and religious, as martyrs for the faith, on 1st October 1995 by Pope John Paul II.
St. Euphrasia Eluvathingal [Feast: August 29]
Mother Euphrasia was born on October 17, 1877 in Kattur village in Edathuruthy which is in the present Irinjalakuda Diocese and was baptized on October 25,1877 in the Mother of Carmel Church in Edathuruthy and was named Rose (Rosa). Her family was very wealthy and owned acres of land and coconut plantations.
Her pious mother taught her to pray the rosary and to participate in the Holy Mass. She had a vision of Mother Mary at the age of nine and she offered her virginity to God eternally. Her father was opposed to her entering the Convent, as he wanted to marry her off. After two years of penance, abstinence, fasting and prayer, Rose got permission to go to the Carmelite Convent in Koonmmavu on July 3, 1888. In the Convent, she was miraculously healed of her serious sickness by the appearance of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Mother Euphrasia was immersed in prayer, in contemplation or praying the Rosary most of her life. So people began to call her. “The Praying Mother”. She was most devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. When she was Superior of the Convent, she put up the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the wall and entrusted the administration of the Convent to Jesus. She had a great longing to be with the Eucharistic Lord and participate in the Holy Mass and adore the Blessed Sacrament.
She desired to reduce the sufferings of the Crucified Lord and console him by her love, penance, and suffering. Mother Euphrasia had a filial relationship with Mother Mary. Her love of God was manifested in loving service to her fellowmen with the gifts of the Holy Spirit through prayer, intercession, healing, prophecy, etc. Any service done for her was acknowledged with a sweet smile and the words, “Won’t forget even after death”. She never accused or criticized others.
She was sickly and suffered from many diseases, but she never complained. She had many heavenly visions; also tortures from evil spirits. Her Spiritual Director was Bishop John Menachery of Trichur Diocese, who commanded her to write all about her spiritual life to him. Although Mother Euphrasia requested him continuously to destroy all her letters, without her knowledge the far-sighted discerning Bishop kept the letters and through these we have come to know of her deep union with God.
In 1963, Mar George Alappatt, Bishop of Trichur, printed and published the prayer for her Canonization. In 1970, the first biography was written by Fr. Philip, O.C.D, Kerala Carmala Kusumam in Malayalam. She was canonized by Pope Francis on November 23, 2014 in Vatican City, along with the founder of her congregation, St. Kuriakos Elias Chavara.