Saturday 27 October 2012

Filipino Community Pilgrimage. 7th October 2012

On a bright but chilly Sunday at the beginning of October the Filipino Community gathered here in Aylesford for their annual pilgrimage.  The event was well attended and a joyful atmoshpere soon filled  the piazza.  Mass was celebrated at the Main Shrine with Phillip Lindsay Clarkes statue of Our Lady of the Assumption looking down on her children.  Accompanied by a statue of Our Lady opf fatima the Scapular Vision statue was processed around the Rosary Way with prayer and song before taking its place on the main shrine altar.  Music was provided by a choir assembled from the Filipino Community and everyone was in good voice for the celebration.   
The pilgrimage closed with a picnic lunch in the grounds and a chance tp meet up with friends and relatives or to play games in the safety of the Friars. 

Friday 19 October 2012

Philip Howard, Martyr (28 June 1557 – 19 October 1595)

Philip Howard was the eldest son of  Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk. He was baptised at Whitehall Palace with the Royal Family in attendance, and was named after his godfather, King Philip of Spain.  At the age of fourteen, he was married to his stepsister, Anne Dacre. After years of estrangement, they were reunited and built a very strong marriage.
In 1569, on 1 October, Philip Howard's father, Thomas Howard, was arrested for his intrigues against Queen El;izabeth I. His father wasattainted and executed in 1572, which prevented Philip inheriting the Dukedom.  However through his mother’s lineage he was made Earl of Arundel in 1580.
Most of the Howard family remained Catholics during the reign of Elizabeth I, when it was very dangerous to do so. Caught trying to leave England and due to his being second cousin to the Queen Philip was committed to the tower of London in April 1585. While charges of high Treason were never proved, he spent ten years in the Tower, until his death of dysentry. Philip Howard petitioned the Queen as he lay dying to allow him to see his wife and his son but the Queen responded that "If he will but once attend the Protestant Service, he shall not only see his wife and children, but be restored to his honors and estates with every mark of my royal favor." To this, Saint Philip replied, "Tell Her Majesty if my religion be the cause for which I suffer, sorry I am that I have but one life to lose.".  He died alone in the Tower and was immediately acclaimed as a Catholic Martyr. 
His tomb is in Arundel Cathedral having been moved from St Peter ad Vincula  (in the Tower) with permission of James I

Monday 15 October 2012

Saint Teresa of Jesus

Teresa Of Jesus, Carmelite (1515-1582
Born in Gotarrendura, in the province of Ávila, Spain Teresa entered the Carmelite convent at the age of 20. It was during a long period of illness that she had a vision of “the sorely wounded Christ”, an event which changed her life forever. During the rest of her life Teresa’s internal life developed which led to becoming known as one of the great mystics of the 16th Century and she set herself to the reformation of her order, beginning with her attempt to master herself and her adherence to the rule. Gathering a group of supporters, Teresa endeavored to create a more primitive type of Carmelite.
Teresa of Jesus by Rubens
When Teresa died in 1582 she left to posterity many new convents, which she continued founding up to the year of her death. She also left a significant legacy of writings, which represent important benchmarks in the history of Christian mysticism. These works include the Way of Perfection and the Interior Castle. She also left an autobiography.After her death the reform she had started developed into what was to become the Order of Discalced Carmelites.

Ecstasy of St Teresa by Josefa de Obidos 1672
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Thursday 11 October 2012

New Boilers at The Friars

No, it is quite safe; an alien ship has not landed at The Friars as the start of world domination, or at least Kent.  These are the innards of the shiny new boilers which are being installed in Aylesford to cope with the cold this winter.  The new boilers should keep the house and chapels warm enough to make scarves and sweaters unnecessary.  What they will look like with their outer cladding I don't know but I rather like the Borg-like appearence they have at the moment - expecting "Seven of Nine" to appear any moment, LOL.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Carmelites in the Holy Land

The International Formation Commission of the Order organized an in the Holy Land From the 29th August to 12th September 2012 a group of 38 Carmelites were in the Holy Land for an on-going formation programme entitled “Back to the sources”. Participants came from most of the provinces around the world: North and South America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The group were based at the OCD Centre “Stella Maris” to start with and then moved to Jerusalem.
During the 2 week stay in the Holy Land they had a full programme with a number of conferences given by various members of the order.  They also found time to visit most of the Carmelite sites on Mount Carmel and to take in the spirit of the place which inspired our founding brethren and also the brotherhood of prophets remembering of course Elijah and Elisha.  Galilee and a number of the sites connected with the life and ministry of Jesus were also visited as well as Bethlehem and Bethany and the major sites in the city of Jerusalem.
Francis Kemsley returned to Aylesford with wqonderful tales and anecdotes about the trip and also saying what a wonderful experience it had been.