Fanatics

There are more than thirteen thousand of them worldwide. They always live within their boundary walls. Not because they are gloomy or sick or afraid of life but because their hearts are so full of Him that they feel no need to go out to have fun! They have enough joy inside of themselves. Many people believe that their lives are wasted and barren. But love is always non-productive in the eyes of those who are pragmatic. They are called Carmelite Nuns.

As happens in every anti-Catholic uprising, in the French revolution the Carmelite nuns were among the first to be detained. The enemies of the Church know very well who is doing the greatest damage to the kingdom of darkness! Radically of the Gospel always frightens the evil one! At the monastery of Compiegne, sixteen Carmelite nuns were arrested. They were taken to court and condemned to death on the guillotine. The judge, on reading the sentence, said, “You are condemned to death because you are fanatics!”

One of the nuns did not know the meaning of the word “fanatic”, so with a lot of courage, and….. embarrassed, she asked him, “Your honor, can you tell me what fanatics are?”

The judge answered, “A fanatic is one who is eccentric in your misguided religion. One who is mad on Jesus Christ.”

The nun turned to her companions and, amazed as only virtuous people can be amazed, said to them, “Now this is remarkable! They are going to kill us because we are crazy on Jesus Christ! Well, let us face it, they are right, we are indeed madly in love with Jesus Christ! For us, this is an honor!”

They took them from prison and, on a cart, drove them through the streets of Compiegne so all could enjoy the spectacle. They sang throughout the journey! When they went up on the deck of the guillotine, one by one they knelt before the Mother-Superior, asked her blessing, and began singing the hymn to the Holy Spirit… “Come Holy Spirit…” .. The singing gradually decreased as the nuns were killed one by one. The last to die was the prioress, Sister Teresa of Saint Augustine. Her final words when addressing the crowd of people who were present have become famous:

“Love is always victorious.
Love can do everything!”

We celebrate their feast on the 17th of July, the day after the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

The torch which martyrs light is never burnt out. It is a pity, no? that we are not fanatics for Jesus Christ!

I guess this is why no one has any ambition to kill us.


(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.

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