Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Feast Day of St. Albert of Jerusalem- Today!

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. Amen


  1. Happy Feast Day!

    I know OCDS do not have to fast before St. Albert's Feast Day. At least that is what the calendar I have states. The next fast days would be Sept. 30 in anticipation of St. Therese's Feast Day and October 14 in anticipation of our Holy Mother.

    (although fasting before any feast day is an excellent practice)


  2. Theresa, are you sure? We all got an email that was circulated that said we are supposed to. We all have the same calendar, right?

  3. I found this in the updated Statutes for USA:

    1. Fast and abstinence:

    a. In addition to the days of fasting and of abstinence proper to the Church in the United States and in response to the encouragement of our bishops "to prepare for each Church festival by a day of particular self-denial, penitential prayer and fasting" (cf. above) and to our Carmelite traditions, our members, unless excused by reason of illness, will fast on the vigils of the following feast days:

    1. Our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel (July 16)
    2. Our Holy Mother St. Teresa of Jesus (October 15)
    3. Our Holy Father St. John of the Cross (December 14)
    4. The Prophet Elijah (July 20)
    5. St Therese of the Child Jesus (Oct 1)
    6. All the Saints of the Order (November 14)

    b. For sufficient reason, the above special fast days may be anticipated. Anticipation should never involve fasting on Sundays and Holy Days (cf. Canon Law 1249-1253).

    c. Our Secular Order members should remember to do works of charity, exercises of piety, fasting and visiting the sick, especially on Fridays.

  4. Thanks, Theresa. I've corrected the blog. I appreciate your help with this!