We are blessed as Carmelites to have a family of Saints associated with us: Sts Louis and Zélie Martin and their daughter, St Thérèse. The Order of Carmelites and Order of Discalced Carmelites have made a joint request to have their relics come to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families and this has been kindly granted by Fr Ruffray, Rector of the Basilica in Lisieux.
The relics will arrive on August 4 and remain in Ireland until September 9. They will form part of the opening ceremony of the World Meeting of Families in the RDS on Tuesday, August 21 and will be in the Phoenix Park for the Papal Mass on August 26. They will visit several dioceses, Carmelite communities, prisons, a direct provision centre, a hospice and a psychiatric hospital. While we would have liked them to visit all dioceses and other locations, limitations of time have made that impossible. If you would like to see when the relics are near you, please click here.
We will have an exhibition space at the Congress in RDS. Friars, nuns and lay/secular members will be available to talk to people about the Carmelite way of life and spirituality. We have received permission to use an icon of the Martin Family as the backdrop to the exhibition space. The icon was written by Paolo Orlando and is in the parish church of Saints Nazarus and Celsus in Marcallo, (Diocese of Milan) Italy. There will also be a copy of the icon in the prayer space in the RDS. If you are attending the Congress please come and visit us in Hall 1 – stand 109.
We have also been invited to give a forty-five minute presentation on the spirituality of the Martin family in the Phoenix Park before the Papal Mass. This will consist of interviews with people on aspects of the Martin spirituality, texts from the writings of the saints and intercessions. We have engaged the services of Kairos Communications to ensure that this will be done to a professional standard. Music will be provided by the Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Eireann orchestra.
This is the first time that the Order of Carmelites, Order of Discalced Carmelites, Carmelite nuns and Lay/Secular Carmelites have worked together at this level in Ireland and we hope that our combined efforts will tell something lasting of the Carmelite story.