Feast of Blessed Francisco Palau
Founder of the Carmelite Missionaries
Francisco Palau, founder of the Carmelite Missionaries, was born in Aytona, Lerida, on 29 December 1811. Aware of his call to Teresian Carmel, he made his profession during the difficult moments of the religious life. His response was irrevocable.
I was not ignorant of the pressing danger to which I was exposing myself…nevertheless, I committed myself, through solemn vows, to a state of life whose rules I believe I could fulfil until death, independent of all human events and circumstances. By no means did I fear that the political revolts of society might become an obstacle to the fulfilment of my vows
WHO WAS HE?
He was born in Aytona, Lerida, Spain, on 29 December 1811; studied Philosophy and Theology at the Seminary of Lerida; professed as Discalced Carmelite on 15 November 1833. Because of political upheavals that racked Spain, he lived in exile to France from 1840 to 1851. He lived an intense solitary life in the vicinity of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Livron in 1843. In April 1851, he returned to Spain and was incardinated in the diocese of Barcelona, where he founded the “School of Virtues”, in November of the same year. The School was suppressed and he was confined to Ibiza on 9 April 1854, where he lived deeply the mystery of the Church. He founded the Congregation of the Carmelite brothers and sisters on the islands of Baleares. From January to March 1872, he wrote and published the Rules and Constitutions of the Third Order of Discalced Carmelite, which was printed in Barcelona. He died in Tarragona on 20 March 1872.
We were born in the bosom of a family of mystics: “The Carmel of Saint Teresa and St. John of the Cross”.
The Teresian Carmelite family or Discalced Carmelite is the reformed Order of Carmel, which had its origins in the crusades. They lived as hermits at Mount Carmel in Palestine, in the early thirteenth century.
Teresian Carmel was born in the sixteenth century, as fruit of the spiritual and creative impulse of a singular woman: Saint Teresa of Jesus and of her providential encounter with another exceptional man: Saint John of the Cross.
Moved by the strength of the Spirit and the dynamism of His mystical graces, Teresa founded in 1562, in Avila, the first convent of the reformed Carmel, whose spirituality would be fervently propagated. Her goal was to organize small contemplative communities, dedicated to prayer for the Church and its needs.
Following the inspiration of Saint Teresa, Saint John founded in 1568 the first reformed male convent of Carmel. Even at the start, and to the delight of Saint Teresa, the friars did not content themselves to only becoming contemplatives, centred on the life of prayer, but the zeal for the apostolate was born too, leading them to become ardent missionaries, and ultimately, faithful servants of the Church and the world.
Carmel is heir to the exceptional spiritual riches bequeathed in the life and books of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Saint John of the Cross, Elizabeth of the Trinity, Edith Stein, and Blessed Francisco Palau, among others.