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Thursday, 21 July 2022 23:06

Memorial of Blessed John Soreth

blessedjohnsoreth22Today the Carmelite family celebrates the memorial of Blessed John Soreth (c.1395 – 1471), Prior General and reformer of the Carmelite Order. During his time as Prior General he was also responsible for the creation of Carmelite communities for women and the admission of lay associates as part of the Order.

"So let the love of Christ kindle your enthusiasm; let His knowledge be your teacher, and His constancy your strength. May your enthusiasm be fervent, balanced in judgement and invincible, and neither lukewarm nor lacking in discretion. Love the Lord your God with all the affection of which your heart is capable; love Him with all the attentiveness and balance of judgement of your soul and reason; love Him with such strength that you will not be afraid to die for love of Him."

- John Soreth, Commentary on the Carmelite Rule

He was elected Prior General at the General Chapter of Avignon in 1451. He encouraged reform throughout the Order and travelled constantly around Europe, visiting the various communities. Contemporary accounts record his sense of humour, his courage, a gentle temperament and even that he enjoyed playing an occasional game of football!

When, in 1468, a violent mob had broken into the church of St. Christopher and strewn consecrated hosts on the ground John fearlessly gathered them and took them to the Carmelite church. For this reason, artists sometimes picture him with a ciborium. Symbolic of his personal audacity was an incident in Liege, while the city was sacked by Charles the Bold in 1468.

John Soreth died at Angers, France, in 1471 and was beatified by Pope Pius IX in 1866.

Published in News