Category Archives: Carmelite Spirituality

#273 – The Coonan Cross Oath

During the Age of Exploration, the encounter between the Thomas Christians of India and the Portuguese led to a tragic schism whose effects are still felt today. Against the threats of Latinization, the Thomas Christians struggled to preserve their faith and traditions.

Website of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Website with much information on the Thomas Christians
Another website with much information on the Thomas Christians
A Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church site with much information on the history of the Thomas Christians
A painting of the Coonan Cross Oath can be found here.
Video of the Qurbana/Liturgy of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Video of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Liturgy
Vatican Radio program on the Syro-Malabar Church

Frykenberg, Robert E. Christianity in India: From Beginnings to the Present. Oxford University Press, 2010.
Mundadan, A Mathias. The Syro-Malabar Church: An Overview. Sacred Heart Provincial House, 1995.
Neill, Stephen. A History of Christianity in India: The Beginnings to AD 1707. Cambridge University Press, 2004.
Tisserant, Eugène. Eastern Christianity in India: A History of the Syro-Malabar Church from the Earliest Time to the Present Day. Orient Longmans, 1957.
Vadakkekara, Benedict. Origin of Christianity in India: a historiographical critique. Media House Delhi, 2007.
Vithayathil, Varkey J. The Origin and Progress of the Syro-Malabar Hierarchy. Oriental Institute of Religious Studies, 1980.

Image of St. Thomas Cross by Robin Klein
Image of the divisions of the Thomas Christians by Joehoya3

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podcasticon#273 – The Coonan Cross Oath


Today in Catholic History – The death of Teresa of Ávila and the Gregorian Calendar

Teresa of Ávila died just as the Gregorian Calendar was being adopted near midnight of 4th of October 1582 or early the next morning on the 15th of October 1582. Her feast day is presently celebrated on the 15th of October because there was no 5th of October 1582 in those countries which adopted the Gregorian calendar reform.

Her last words were: “My Lord, it is time to move on. Well then, may your will be done. O My Lord and my Spouse, the hour that I have longed for has come. It is time to meet one another.”

Today in Catholic History – St. Teresa establishes monastery in Avila

On 24 August 1562, St. Teresa of Avila established her first monastery in Avila in response to advice she received from St. Peter of Alcantara marking the beginning of the Carmelite reform with four novices. The monastery was dedicated to St. Joseph.

The beginnings of the Carmelite reform, or the Discalced [Barefoot] Carmelites, was initially me with much opposition because St. Teresa placed her community under the authority of the local bishop and not under the prioress of the Incarnation monastery where Teresa had been attached. Later, however, the prioress of the Incarnation monastery will support her and her call for a more austere Carmelite life.

There was also opposition from the townspeople of Avila. They were concerned that religious houses were springing up faster than they could be supported. But after Teresa was able to convince the local people that her monastery was self sufficient, they would support her.