John Paul II’s Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

DSC03938In 1999 Saint John Paul II visited his hometown of Wadowice (June 16, 1999). He recalled the many influences on his life — “Here everything began: my life, my studies, the theater, the priesthood.” He noted in particular, the Church of St. Joseph, a Carmelite monastery founded by St. Raphael Kalinowski. In that Church one my find a plaque commemorating his visit of 1999 and his gratitude for the Sanctuary of St Joseph and the influence of Carmel — “As I did as a young man, as a child, I return in spirit to that place of particular devotion to Our Lady of Mt Carmel, which had such great influence on the spirituality of the Wadowice area. I myself received many graces there, and today I wish to thank the Lord for them. And I still wear the little medal I received from the Carmelites in Gorka just over ten years ago.” His scapular is found under the plaque.

In November 17, 1991 St Raphael Kalinowski was canonized  by Pope John Paul II, four hundred years after the death of Saint John of the Cross, co-founder of the Discalced Carmelite Order. 

Kalinowski1897Joseph Kalinowski was born September 1, 1835 in Wilno, Poland (now Vilnius Lithuania). He was a teacher of mathematics, engineer who assisted in the design of the a portion of the Trans-Siberian railway. In 1863 he joined the uprising against the Russian occupation and oppression of Poland; he was sent to a Siberian labor camp. After being released he served as a tutor to the and then joined religious life, the Discalced Carmelite order. He founded multiple Catholic organizations around Poland and the Ukraine, most prominent of which was a monastery in Wadowice, Poland. He died there in 1907, and 14 years later, Karol Wojtyła was born in the same town.

Joseph Kalinowski took the name “Raphael of Saint Joseph,”. and he named the monastery in Wadowice, “Sanctuary of St Joseph.” He was beatified by Pope John Paul in 1983, in Krakow. In 1991, Pope John Paul declared him a Saint. Raphael was the first friar to have been canonized in the Order of the Discalced Carmelites, since co-founder Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591). See this vatican link and this family link.

Join us!

* indicates required