Today is an important Carmelite feast day. Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Albert of Jerusalem, lawgiver of Carmel. For those of you who are not Catholic, the Church as a whole celebrates certain feast days, but certain religious orders have feast days of their own, such as the feast of St. Albert.
St. Albert is important to Carmel because he was the one who brought the hermits of Carmel together under one rule, to help them live together in community, during the early 1200's. (I imagine bringing community rules to hermits might be a bit like herding cats!) The Carmelite community respected St. Albert and so requested him to write the rule that would structure the community. The Rule of St. Albert is still followed today, although modified slightly for nuns, monks, friars and secular communities. The rule is followed in both branches of Carmel- OCDS and O.Carm. Our rule is one of the earliest monastic rules, and it is the shortest.The Rule of St. Albert was considered very strict even at the time he wrote it. The Rule requires rigorous fasting and time in silence.
St. Albert was born in 1149 in Parma, Italy as Albert Avagadro. Her served as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem from 1204 until his death. In 1214, he had been invited to the Fourth Lateran Council, but was assassinated in Acre on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross by a disgruntled cleric.
Lord God, through Saint Albert of
Jerusalem you have give us a Rule of life according to your Gospel to
help us attain perfect love. Through his prayers may we always live in
allegiance to Jesus Christ and serve faithful until death him who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, for ever and ever.