Sunday, March 30, 2003

29 MARCH

. . . .was once the feast of St. Berthold, who was at one time considered one of the medieval "consolidators" - shall we say - of the Carmelite Order. (Elias the prophet, of course, being considered the founder.) St. Berthold no longer even appears in the calendar and no one any more claims to know for certain who "B" in the Holy Rule of St Albert is. It is said that he was born in Limoges, France in the early part of the 12th century and was ordained there. Delaney in his Dictionary of the Saints relates that He went on the Crusades with Aymeric, a relative, and was in Antioch during its siege by the Saracens, during which he had a vision of Christ denouncing the evilgoing ways of the Christian soldiers and labored to reform them. He organized and became superior of a group of hermits on Mount Carmel, and is thus considered by some to be the founder of the Carmelites, and ruled for forty-five years.

The old proper collect for his feast in the Discalced Carmelite Order reads: Progegat nos, Domine, sancti Bertholdi Confessoris tui veneranda solemnitas: qui sicut Carmelitarum Ordinem omni sanctitate rexit et auxit; ita perpetuam ejus protectionem sentiamus. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum.

In English:
May the solemn veneration of Thy confessor, St. Berthold protect us, O Lord, and may we feel the continual protection of him who in all sanctity guided and fostered the Carmelite Order. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

[The translation is my own. Strenuous objections thereto will not be cause for charges of heresy, schism, or apostasy.]