Sunday, February 11, 2007

Blessed Joan of Toulouse

A few Carmelite brothers from Palestine started a monastery in Toulouse, France in 1240. The great Carmelite priest, St. Simon Stock, visited Toulouse twenty-five years later. A good and devout woman asked to see him. She introduced herself simply as Joan.

Joan earnestly asked the priest if she could join the Carmelite order as an associate. St. Simon Stock who was the head of the order agreed and granted Joan’s request. Joan became the first lay associate. She received the habit of the Carmelite order and in the presence of St. Simon Stock, she made a promise to always be chaste and pure.

Joan continued her quiet, simple life in her own home. She tried to be as faithful as possible to the rules of the Carmelites for the rest of her life. Joan went to daily Mass and devotions at the Carmelite church.

She spent the rest of the day visiting the poor, the sick and the lonely. She trained the altar boys. She helped the elderly and those who were weak and frail by performing tasks and running errands for them. Joan prayed with them and brightened many lives with her cheerful conversations.

Blessed Joan carried a picture of the crucified Jesus in her pocket. That was her "book." Every now and then, she would pull out the picture and gaze at it. Her eyes would light up. People said that Joan read some new and wonderful lesson every time she studied the picture.


  1. carmelitemommy3/31/2011 10:01 PM

    Thanks for posting this! As a third order Carmelite, it was wonderful to read about her.

  2. We are pleased that you enjoyed this.