In Great Britain, a rare opportunity to see point d'Alencon lace such as Blessed Zelie Martin made and to watch it being made
Alencon, the city where St. Therese was born, has a "twin city" in Great Britain, Basingstoke. The Willis Museum in Basingstoke is sponsoring an exhibit of point d'Alencon lace. You can see samples of lacework and learn about the technique through which this thread lace is made. The exhibit opens May 18, 2013 and closes on Saturday, June 29, 2013. Most exciting of all, on Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29, 2013, two of the seven living persons who know how to make point d'Alencon lace will be at the museum to show how the lace is made. See details here. See a brochure in English, "Lace of Alencon, Thread of Excellence," issued by the Musee des Beaux Arts et de la Dentelle in Alencon.
This unique exhibition is offered by the Ville d Alençon, the Alençon-Basingstoke Twinning Association, and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.
Basingstoke is a large town in northeast Hampshire, 48 miles southwest of London. If you expect to be able to visit this exhibit, please e-mail me (see the link "e-mail me" at the right of this Web site) if you might be able to do some favors for this Web site while you are there. Thank you.
Thousands of Cambodian Catholics come to see the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux
After the Philippines, the remains of the patron saint of the missions have arrived in Cambodia. The apostolic vicar leads a Mass in the village of Taingkauk, a symbolic place for the country's faithful. After being closed under the Khmer Rouge, Phnom Penh's Carmelite monastery reopens thanks to six South Korean nuns.
Phnom Penh (AsiaNews/EDA) - Cambodian Catholics, a minority in a country where they were once persecuted, are celebrating the pilgrimage in the Asian country of the relics of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. The remains of the French nun and mystic, better known by her nickname of 'Little Flower' to distinguish her from St. Teresa of Avila, arrived on 26 April after travelling for over four months in the Philippines, one of only two countries on the continent with a Catholic majority (the other is East Timor). Now her earthly remains are the object of adoration and prayer for Cambodia's 25,000 Catholics, a small number in a country's of 12 million people, but full of life and faith.
The relics arrived at the small village of Taingkauk on 4 May, about 100 km from Phnom Penh, a place of great symbolic value for the Catholic Church in Cambodia, for it was here that the first bishop in Cambodian history, Mgr Joseph Chhmar Salas, died from starvation, illness and hardship on a September day in 1977.
Ordained in 1975, right before the Khmer Rouge took over, the bishop died like two million of his fellow citizens at the hands of Maoist revolutionaries led by Pol Pot, who exterminated one quarter of the population and destroyed all of the country's religious and cultural symbols.
Over 3,000 people took part in the Mass celebrated by Mgr Olivier Schmitthaeusler, the apostolic vicar to Cambodia. On this occasion, the saint's remains were placed on the bed, still miraculously intact, Mgr Salas used during his imprisonment under the Khmer Rouge and where he performed, occasionally and in secret, the Eucharistic service before he died.
The ceremony took place in the presence of other prelates, priests, and especially 85-year-old Mgr Yves Ramousse, Mgr Schmitthaeusler's predecessor, who also celebrated 50 years of episcopacy and 60 years of priesthood.
A substantial number of local Catholics took part in the adoration of the remains of the "patron saint of the missions", who is connected not only to China but to the whole continent of Asia as well.
During the ceremony, participants were reminded that the capital's Carmelite monastery, built in 1861 (after that of Saigon in 1838), was closed down following the Maoist takeover in 1975, but is now, thanks to a group of South Korean religious, open again, home to six of them.
- See the original story. Used with permission. My thanks to Asianews.
My note: my own information is that Lisieux Carmel was founded in 1838, that Saigon Carmel was founded from Lisieux in 1861, and that the Carmel in Phnom Penh was founded from Saigon in 1919; see below).
View a video of the replica of the hut in which Bishop Salas died; the video also shows photographs and souvenirs.
St. Therese of Lisieux is personally strongly linked to the history of the Church in Cambodia, for the Carmelite monastery in Phnom Penh traces its foundation to the Lisieux Carmel. In 1861, Sister Philomene left the Lisieux Carmel with three others to found the Carmel of Saigon. The Saigon Carmel went on to found seven Carmels in Indochina: four in Vietnam, one in Cambodia, and two in Thailand. The Saigon Carmel founded a Carmel in Hanoi in 1895. St. Therese wanted to volunteer for the foundation at Hanoi, but her health prevented it. In 1919 the Saigon Carmel founded a monastery at Phnom Penh in Cambodia; in 1975 the nuns fled the Khmer Rouge. The right of Christians in Cambodia to worship was not restored until 1990. A Carmelite community was establshed in Cambodia about the year 2000, and on October 28, 2010, a new Carmelite monastery was dedicated in Phnom Penh. View the dedication below.
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You can read Fr. Albert Dolan's biography of Leonie Martin, God Made the Violet, Too: A Life of Leonie, Sister of St. Therese (Chicago: Carmelite Press, 1948) online thanks to HathiTrust Digital Library. Fr. Albert Dolan, who founded the Society of the Little Flower, visited France and became acquainted with the sisters of St. Therese; he then spoke and wrote about them in the United States as he spread devotion to St. Therese. You may read the account of his visits with the sisters of St. Therese in his book The Intimate Life of Saint Therese Portrayed by Those Who Knew Her.
When we think about loving something or someone we rarely think of nonviolence. And certainly there is more to authentic love than nonviolence. But one moment of thought will help us to know that the basic element of love is, in fact, nonviolence.
When we speak, for example, of loving a person, we may think of good feelings and of intimacy and sharing. When we speak of loving a thing, for example ice cream, or a vacation spot, or a sports team, we may think also of good feelings. But what is most in common in the use of the word “love” to describe our relationship with people and things is what we do not feel toward them. We do not feel adversarial or hostile.
There is certainly more to love than nonviolence, but the common and basic element in our many uses of the word love is our sense of nonviolence toward what we say we love.
Nonviolence is the bottom line in our loving.
This helps us to understand what Jesus means when he says “love your enemy.” He is clearly not suggesting that we like our enemy, because if we felt “like” toward the person we experience as the enemy we would not have an “enemy” in the first place. By cultivating feeling of hostility we “make” and keep the enemy.
If, for whatever reason, we have feelings of dislike for a person and thereby make that person our “enemy,” Jesus is asking that we abide that negative feeling, not cultivate hostility, and thereby give love a chance. We give love a chance by simply not being violent toward the “enemy.”
I think this is the way Therese understood “loving the enemy.” Meditating on Jesus’ words she wrote: “We don’t have any enemies in Carmel.” But then she quickly qualified her statement, adding the insight: “but there are feelings.” The feelings that “there are,” and that Therese did have, were feelings of dislike and repugnance. She bore these feelings with as much patience as she could, did not cultivate these feelings into hostility and violence, and in that way came to “love the enemy.” She gives examples of this in the stories in the final section of Story of a Soul, as she describes her nonviolent relationships with the difficult sisters she lived with.
Therese clearly liked some sisters and disliked others, but she loved them all. The sisters she disliked were her “enemies;” but she “loved” them by building her relationship with them on a spirit of nonviolence toward herself and toward them.
Therese’s spirituality has no violence in it. It is the spirituality that we need personally and institutionally in these days of such subtle and overt violence.
"Joan of Arc: heart of fire, soul of a warrior," a play based on texts by St. Therese of Lisieux, presented as a sound and light show at the Basilica at Lisieux, May 9-10, 2013
On Thursday, May 9 and Friday, May 10, 2013, the Association "The Message of Therese," together with the management of the Shrine of Lisieux, presented a sound and light show, "Joan of Arc: heart of fire, soul of a warrior" at the Basilica of Lisieux.
The core of the show is a stage play, performed by professional actors and amateurs, made up of extracts from Therese's writing about Joan of Arc. Behind the actors, a giant screen shows the scenery and evokes a host of elements that fit into Joan's story. The soundtrack plays poignant music. Between the scenes written by Therese, which the actors play, videos told the transitional history, evoking the historical context of the life of Joan of Arc. This carefully researched work has been produced in collaboration with the Centre Jeanne d'Arc of the city of Orleans. Therese's text has been embedded in a broader framework.
The show was presented over two special days at Lisieux as part of a spiritual and cultural program on the theme of Therese of Lisieux and Joan of Arc, including Masses, conferences, and a concert. The planners hoped to attract 5,000 people to Lisieux for this event. A parallel exhibit about Therese and Joan of Arc is being presented at the Centre John Paul II, next to the Basilica. The exhibit will remain open until October 30, 2013.
This show was organized by the Association "The Message of Therese." Chaired by the Rector of the Shrine at Lisieux, it aims to organize various events to make the writings of Therese known in an artistic way. It has hundreds of volunteers who support the organization in different areas.
For details in French, see www.spectacle-jeanne-and-therese.com
Therese wrote and starred in two plays, or "pious recreations," as they were then called in Carmel, about Joan of Arc. You may read them in The Plays of St. Therese of Lisieux: Pious Recreations, ed. Steven Payne, O.C.D. Washington, D.C.: ICS Publications, 2008.