Therese was born in Lisieux in France in 1873. She entered Carmel in 1888 when aged only fifteen. Her health prevented her observing the fasts prescribed by the rule, but she followed the life in all other details until her final sickness and death in 1897, aged only twenty-four. Outwardly her life was undistinguished but she pioneered in the Church of the nineteenth century the 'little way - fidelity in small things, trust and complete self-surrender to God. She had wanted to go on the missions but her health made this impossible. her apostolate was to be by offering up her day to day life for the mission of the Church. She was canonized in 1925.
Francis of Assisi
Our Lady of the Rosary
Wilfrid of Ripon
Edward the Confessor
Teresa of Avila
Teresa was born in Avila, Spain, in 1515. Of the many great women given by God to his Church she should surely be considered as among the greatest. This does not mean that she was always great or always a saint! A somewhat spoiled young woman she entered the Carmelites when aged eighteen and was hardly remarkable for her prayer-life. Then, when aged about thirty, and after ten years of religious profession, grace finally won through. Teresa resolved to give herself seriously to prayer and the life of perfection. This was in 1555. As she advanced in prayer she also felt called to restore the primitive rule. This was not easily realized, but she did succeed in founding a Carmel in Avila when she was aged about forty, and before she died, some si xteen such Carmels had been established in Spain. St Teresa wrote some major and still influential and inspiring works on the life of prayer and its flowering in the mystical life.
Ignatius of Antioch
According to tradition, and it is reasonable, Ignatius was a disciple of the apostles. Of him we know both little and much. Little with regard to the external details of his life, save that he was bishop of Antioch, and, about the year 107, died a martyr in Rome. Much, because in the course of his journey to Rome as a prisoner, he wrote a series of letters which are among the great est treasures of the early Church. They are letters which reveal a man completely given to the love and service of Christ, in himself, and in his body. the Church.
Luke the Evangelist
Alfred the Great
Born in the year 849, Alfred was the king of the West Saxons who effectively brought to an end the constant threat of Danish dominion in the British Isles. He came to the throne at the age of twenty-two, and, after establishing peace, set about bringing stability to both Church and State. He gave half of his income to founding religious houses which themselves acted as Christian centres for education, care of the sick and poor and respite for travellers. He was a daily attender at mass and himself translated many works into the vernacular. He evolved a legal code based on common sense and Christian mercy. His whole life was marked by the compassion of Christ. He died on this day in the year 899.