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Sunday 22 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Rita of Cascia
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Saint of the Day: St. Mariam of Jesus Crucified Baouardy

Mystic who established a Carmelite monastery in Bethlehem

Blessed Mariam Baouardy & Marie Alphonsine

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Carmelite Nun (1846-1878)

Her life

+ Born in what is modern-day Israel, Mariam was orphaned at age three. Raised in Alexandria, Egypt by relatives, she was trained as a domestic servant. She had her first mystical experience when she was thirteen.

+ Working for different families throughout the Middle East, Mariam was eventually taken to France, where she became a Carmelite nun in Pau.

+ In 1870, Mariam was sent with a group of Carmelites to Mangalore, India, to establish a new community. Following her profession of vows in 1871 her mystical experiences increased. She experienced the stigmata, is said to have levitated in prayer, and had visions.

+ Mariam eventually traveled to Bethlehem to establish a Carmelite monastery near the birthplace of Christ.

+ Saint Mariam of Jesus Crucified died in Bethlehem on August 26, 1878, and was canonized in 2015.

For prayer and reflection

Poor and uneducated, she was able to counsel others and provide theological explanations with extreme clarity, the fruit of her constant converse with the Holy Spirit.”—Pope Francis

Spiritual bonus

On this day we also remember Saint Tarcisius. A Roman youth who was martyred because of his refusal to surrender the Eucharist, Saint Tarcisius died in the third century and is honored as the patron saint of those making their First Communion.


God of mercy and consolation, you raised Saint Mary, the humble daughter of the Holy Land, to contemplation of the mysteries of your Son and made her a witness of the love and joy of the Holy Spirit. Grant us, through her intercession, so to share in the sufferings of Christ that we may rejoice in the revelation of your glory. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Carmelite Sacramentary)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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