Carmelite Missionaries of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus

Fray Bernardo of Saint Mary, OCD

Was born in Mexico City on September 27, 1863 and baptized two days later on September 29 in Santa Veracruz Parish.  When he was 18 years old, he joined the Carmelite Order on July 20, 1883 and received the Carmelite habit.   In 1884 he took his vows in the desert of Palmas Province of Castellon. He then studied Philosophy in Valencia, Theology in Segovia and received Holy Orders on April 6, 1889 in Valladolid, Spain. He celebrated his first Mass on April 8th that same year on the altar where the remains of Saint John of the Cross are kept in Segovia, Spain.

 

In 1893 during the battle for Cuba's independence he performed his Priestly ministry in Havana, Cuba in such an admirable and fruitful way that it merited recognition by the government of Cuba.

He funded The Community of Third Order Discalced Carmelites in Cuba and in 1895 he inaugurated a chapel dedicated to the Miraculous Child of Prague in the Church of San Felipe in Havana.

 

In 1900 he went back to Spain, and was charged with the formation of the novitiates in the city of Cordoba; in addition he was the spiritual director of many religious communities there.  In 1910 he returned to Mexico, his beloved country.

In 1926 when the foreign clergy were banished from Mexico, Fray Bernardo became the Dean of the Mexican Carmelite Brothers.  His great love of God, of the order and of his country prompted him to encourage superiors in Rome to work hard for the restoration of the old province of San Alberto in Mexico.

 

He suffered great trials, yet prompted by his zeal and perseverance, he joyfully had the opportunity to see the fruit of his labor.  On February 1932, he was named General Delegate of the Mexican Republic and soon began to open schools to educate aspiring Carmelite brothers and then the Novitiate house. Even though the community lived in poverty without much financial aid, Fray Bernardo did everything that was possible to send the young brothers to study philosophy and theology in The United States, Mount Carmel, Spain or Rome.

 

In 1933, inspired by God and the desire to end the persecution of the Church taking place in Mexico, he founded the Community of Discalced Carmelites of Saint Teresa in the city of Aguascalientes with the intention that sisters would consecrate their lives to God for the atonement and salvation of all sinners

 

On April 8, 1938 at the age of 75, God granted Fray Bernardo the grace of celebrating his Priestley’s 50th anniversary.   He had performed his ministry with much love and zeal for the wellbeing of his brothers and sisters.  That same year he founded a new Community of Discalced Carmelites of Saint Teresa in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico.   He and Teresa of the Divine Heart (Beatriz Violante Echenique) founded the Congregation of Missionary Sisters of St. Therese (Carmelite Missionaries of St. Therese of the Child Jesus) on October 15th, 1940 in order to "Praise, atone and give Glory to God with their lives through prayer, sacrifice and evangelization especially among the poorest.”

 

He passed away on July 20th, 1942 in Queretaro, Mexico having served God as a faithful and prudent servant and leaving his daughters as his inheritance to the Church in the hands of the Archbishop of Puebla Pedro Vera y Zuria.  He surely received his reward in heaven for his work, effort and sacrifice leaving his sons and daughters a rich legacy to glorify God unto eternity.

 

On December 31, 1995, his remains were moved from Querétaro to the city of Puebla, to the Central House of the "Carmelite Missionaries of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus" at Washington Street # 14 Colonia América Norte, Puebla, Mexico.  His beloved daughters thank God for the joy of having Fray Bernardo’s rests in their chapel, center of communion with God and with the people of God.

Misioneras Carmelitas, 2014.

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