Misericordia et Misera, Mercy and Misery is the the title of the new apostolic letter sent by Pope Francis to the Church at the closing of the Jubilee of Mercy. The title reminds us of St Augustine’s commentary to the Gospel of John’s account of the woman accused of adultery and brought to Jesus for judgement. Saint Augustine ponders the moment Jesus and the woman are left alone by the crowd. Eloquently he comments, “here are they standing alone, Mercy (Jesus Christ) and Misery (the adulterous woman)”. This image will accompany us for the coming season of Advent after the Jubilee Year of Mercy which came to an end last Sunday. We are still challenged to live out the mystery of mercy and misery in our daily life experience.
For Advent we have some upcoming events in the pipeline to help us move on in our journey towards Christ. Last year, parallel to the events of the Priory we hosted quite a good number of pilgrim groups on their way to the Holy Door at the Cathedral. Many of them paused in prayer, asked for confessions and spent half days of retreat at the Priory. Pilgrims included priests, religious and lay people. It was a moment of grace for us and hopefully also for the pilgrims who stepped at the Priory on their way to the Cathedral’s Holy Door. This year we Carmelites are commemorating the 450th anniversary of the Birth of St Mary Magdalen de Pazzi. We thought of proposing the saint and her doctrine by sharing her prayers and writings on God the All Merciful. We had more than one occasion to put into practice works of mercy.
On Saturday 26th November we will welcome the new Season of Advent with the celebration of Vespers, the blessing of the advent wreath and Lectio Divina. As customary we will also provide the daily homily online through our Facebook page and the webpage of the Priory.
On the 31st October, in Mdina and Mosta we commemorated the 73rd anniversary of Fr Avertanus’ death. Many still request prayers, holy cards, pay a visit to his tomb and cell. After all these years, people are still inspired by this saintly friar who lived in simplicity and contemplation. Admiration for him has now spread abroad. We get petitions for holy cards from various foreigners. Holy cards are now published in various languages: English, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, French. Moreover, last May the General Council in Rome approved the request to proceed with the Process of Beatification and Canonization. On Wednesday 23rd November we will host a pilgrim’s group visit to Fr Avertanus’ tomb and cell. This event is open to all who wish to participate at 2.30pm. While encouraging everybody to pray for the opening of the process in the coming future, you are reminded that one can pay a visit to Fr Avertanus’ tomb at any time during the day while the church is open for visitors, till 5pm. A booking is needed to visit the cell. At the tomb and in his cell registers are available for the writing of prayer requests. The Carmelite community keeps these intentions in the communal and personal moments of prayer.
On the 7th and 8th December we will celebrate the Immaculate Conception feast. Wednesday 7th there will be also the Third Order meeting starting at 5pm with the rosary, mass, adoration and vespers. The formation meeting will commence soon afterwards. On that day we’ll have the blessing of the wooden sculpture of Our Lady of Fatima brought from the shrine in Fatima. This original copy of the Capelinha statue in Fatima will remain with us in 2017 for the 100th anniversary of the apparitions. On December 8th there is a retreat for the volunteer group of scapulars’ tailors who produce handmade scapulars to be distributed amongst the faithful all year long.
While wishing you dear reader all blessings for the Advent season we welcome you to participate in the programme of activities organised at the Priory: seminars by the Carmelite Institute Malta, Lectio Divina, Titus Brandsma Circle etc… Keep yourself updated through our webpage and Facebook page.
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