St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus [Feast: October 1]
Thérèse Martin was born in Alecon in France in 1873. While still young she entered the Carmel of Lisieux, where she lived in the greatest humility, evangelical simplicity and confidence in God. By her words and example she taught the novices these same virtues. Offering her life for the salvation of souls and the spread of the Church, she died on September 30, 1897.
St. Teresa of Jesus (Teresa of Ávila) [Feast: October 15]
Teresa was born at Ávila in Spain in 1515. She entered the Carmelites and made great progress in the way of perfection and was granted mystical revelations. Wishing to share in the spiritual renewal of the Church of her time, she began to live her religious life more ardently and soon attracted many companions, to whom she was like a mother. She also helped in the reform of the friars, and in this had to endure great trials. She wrote books which are renowned for their depth of doctrine and which showed her own spiritual experiences. She died at Alba in 1582.
St. John Paul II [Feast: October 22]
Karol Wojtyla was born in 1920, the youngest of three children in Wadowice, Poland. Karol was a brilliant student with a natural facility for languages and a love for music and theater. Eventually he would learn at least 12 different languages, an asset he would use again and again in the world travels that marked his papacy.
Due to the German occupation of Poland during World War II, Wojtyla had to attend seminary classes held in secret at the Archbishop’s residence in Karakow. With his personal history of friendships with Jews, he would become the first pope to pray at a synagogue and at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.St. Pope John Paul II was an honorary member of the Carmelite Order and devout wearer of the brown scapular. His ties to Carmel are well known, as demonstrated by his attempts to enter Carmelite religious life and his careful and long-lasting study of the masters of Carmelite spirituality, above all St. John of the Cross. See the Saint John Paul II National Shrine website for a complete biography of this charismatic saint.