Goa, Dec 1: The Discalced Carmelites of Goa (Margao,Mapusa Xellim and Chicalim) along with the faithful gathered at the ruins of the first foundation Monastery in Old Goa to celebrate the feast of the first Carmelite Martyrs- Blessed Dionysius and Redemptus recently.
Fr Anthony D’souza, superior, Carmelite monastery Margao, while delivering homily at the solemn Eucharistic celebration appealed to the congregation to give heed to their Baptismal Call to be holy and give witness to Jesus.
He recalled the simple and dedicated life of Blessed Dionysius and Redemtptus as a religious as well as their contribution as a conceptual to the Monastery at Old Goa and invited the faithful gathered to imbibe the virtues of these two heroes for Christ.
“These two Carmelite friars are a model for us to strengthen our faith.” he opined further. Fr Diogo Proença, Superior, Avila Jyothi-Carmelite Seminary, Mapusa presided over the Eucharistic celebration.
It is recalled that Blessed Redemptus had been a Portuguese soldier and had once captained the garrison at Mylapore. He joined the Carmelites and obtained to be a non-clerical Carmelite brother through a profession of vows in 1635 at Old Goa.
The other was Fr Dennis, a French sailor, an excellent seaman and a cartographer, one of whose chart of the Indian Ocean has been preserved in the British Museum till today.
He needed the permission of the Portuguese Viceroy to enter Carmel, because he had been promoted, though a Frenchman, to a position of major significance in the Portuguese navy. He was admitted in the Novitiate at Old Goa in 1635.
First Carmelite Martyrs
When the ambassador, Francis D’Souza was to leave for the East Indies, being requested by the government, his superiors allowed Fr Dionysius to go along with the delegation sent by the viceroy to the sultan of Acheh in the East Indies.
The erstwhile cartographer was accompanied by Br Redemptus of the Cross. While the ambassador and his troupe were released, these two were enslaved for some time, and subjected to torture before being martyred on November 29 1638.
These first martyrs of Teresian Carmel were beatified by Leo XIII in 1900.