St.Teresa’s Convent English Medium Higher Secondary School, Jalgaon

Our Inspiration

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Mary, the Mother of Jesus, has a multitude of titles under which she is invoked for various needs. Our lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as the patroness of the Carmelite order. The title “Our Lady of mount Carmel” first derives from the experience of the prophet Elijah who, on mount Carmel, challenged the worshipers of false gods to a contest (1 Kings20-40).  They were to call on their gods and Elijah would call on his God, and whichever God was able to light the fire to begin the holocaust was proved true.  Elijah mocked at his competitors, but of course their gods could not deliver.  After drenching his own wood and holocaust with 12 buckets of water, Elijah called on the Lord who, at once answered with fire.  the god of Elijah was victorious.  Ever since the time of Elijah, the mountain has been considered sacred and hermits have always occupied a spot on the mountain where they were devoted to a life of austerity and prayer.When the Carmelite Order was established many centuries later, the priests adopted Our Lady of Mount Carmel to represent their spirituality –both Marian and deeply contemplative.  The Brown Scapular, which legend tells is a gift of protection from Our Lady to St. Simon Stock, a Carmelite priest, is the most popular devotion associated with Our Lady under this title. There are a host of promises that go with the pious wearing of the brown scapular, the first of which is eternal salvation through the intercession of our heavenly mother.The Carmelites consider the Blessed Virgin Mary to be a perfect model of the interior life, prayer and contemplation. She is seen as the one who points Christians most surely to Christ. As she says to the servants at the wedding at Cana, "Do whatever he [Jesus] tells you."Carmelites look to the Virgin Mary as a Spiritual Mother. CMC being part of Carmelite family, the sisters of St.Teresa’s school consider her as an inspiration and perfect model.

St.Teresa of Avila Our Patroness

St.Teresa of Avila (1515–1582) is also known as St. Teresa of Jesus,was a prominent Spanish mystic, a reformer of the Carmelite Order and the foundress, with St. John of the Cross, of the Discalced Carmelites. She was born at Avila in Spain in 1515. When Teresa was 14, her mother died, causing the girl a profound grief that prompted her to embrace a deeper devotion to the Virgen Mary as her spiritual mother. Teresa was a very talented young woman,and, at eighteen, a striking Spanish beauty. She decided to become a nun but was unable to obtain her father’s consent. When she was twenty, she left his house, unbeknownst to him, to join the Carmelite Convent of Avila. Her father relented and she was professed the following year. God called her to be a saint early in her religious life, but she did not respond fully to this first call. During many years of trials and suffering, her perseverance in prayer and meditation on the Holy Bible prepared her soul for loving, eager response to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

In 1562, at the age of forty-seven, she began her reform of the Carmelite Order with the founding of the first convent of strict observance in Avila. Some dozen foundations followed in rapid succession, all over Spain.

In a period of spiritual growth and deep meditation, Teresa received the gift of visions and distinct commands from Our Lord, and her heart was pierced with divine love. The memory of this episode served as an inspiration throughout the rest of her life, and motivated her lifelong imitation of the life and suffering of Jesus, epitomized in the motto usually associated with her: “Lord, either let me suffer or let me die.”St.Teresa’s friends suggested that either she was having diabolical visions or that perhaps she had lost her mind, and so she acted only under obedience to her confessors, which made her strong and safe. She died on October 4 at the age of 67.

Teresa is one of the foremost writers on mental prayer, and her position among writers on mystical theology is unique. Her books, written largely for the guidance of her new religious sisters, are full of deep spiritual insight and a rare degree of practical common sense. In all her writings on this subject she deals with her personal experiences, which a deep insight and analytical gifts enabled her to explain clearly. Her definition was used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Contemplative prayer in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us.” (St. Teresa of Avila)

Some of the best loved prayers and thoughts were written by St. Teresa of Avila are as follows:-

“Let nothing disturb you.
“Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.”
The poem “Christ Has No Body:
Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours,
yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion
is to look out to the earth,
yours are the feet by which He is to go about doing good
and yours are the hands by which He is to bless us now.
The school takes pride – with due reverence and obeisance to her patron saint, Saint Teresa of Avila,the unparalleled advocate of the spirit of true Christianity and a constant inspiration to us in our own spiritual pilgrimage to heaven.

Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara Our Founder

Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara was a social reformer, poet, dramatist and educationalist. He produced fundamental changes in the educational scenario of Kerala by starting the first free Sanskrit school open to all sections of society in 1864. St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara was born on 10th February 1805 at Kainakary, Kerala. On 29th November 1829, he was ordained as a priest. St. Chavara was instrumental in founding two Catholic Religious Congregations - one for men, Carmelites of Mary Immaculate(CMI), and the other for women, Congregation of Mother of Carmel (CMC), for the spiritual renewal and all round development of the society. Chavara started seven ashrams and a convent in different parts of Kerala, to initiate a spiritual movement among the people of Kerala. He established the first catholic Sanskrit School, a major seminary along with a printing &publishing house at Mannanam. He directed that every church should start a school attached to it and encouraged children even from the poorer sections of the society to attend the schools by supplying midday meal and dress for them. He founded a 'Home of Charity to take care of the destitute, the beggars, the uncared sick and the old. He also organized the first voluntary charitable association in Kerala for self-help among the needy. Even in the midst of such manifold activities, St.Chavara wrote several literary and spiritual books in prose as well as verse. He knew seven languages.St.Chavara was a man of prayer and great charity.St.Chavara breathed his last at the age of 65. His blessed soul left for the heavenly abode on 3rd January 1871. His sanctity was officially recognized by the Church when Pope John Paul II declared him'Blessed' on 08 February 1986. Pope Francis canonized him 'Saint' on 23rd November2014.St.Chavara is the heavenly patron of all CMI and CMC institutions.St.Chavara was a great educationalist and had strongly advocated the cause of education. He wrote: “As soon as children are able to recognize things, they should be sent to school. Besides, the parents should enquire about their studies and their friendship. Every Sunday, their learning should be checked. In 1846 Fr. Chavara took essential steps in opening a printing press in Kerala. As Chavara is exalted as a signpost for the present educators, he silently invites us to be sensitive to the needs and the signs of the time and to guide the society in the pursuit of wisdom without compromising the values.

St. Euphrasia

St.Euphrasia, the first Saint of the CMC Congregation is an Indian Carmelite nun, belonging to the Congregation of Mother of Carmel (CMC) lived every moment of her life loving, serving, and worshipping God. She was born in a wealthy Christian orthodox family on 17th October 1877 in the Kattur village of Thrissur, Kerala. She grew up with great zeal and fervent desire in God and offered herself to Him.             Even in the midst of all wealth and pomp in the family, her heart yearned nothing but God. She overcame many objections from her family yet she was firm and became a nun. Her love and mercy for others grew stronger with her age. St. Euphrasia found contentment in Jesus. The whole life of this virgin was spent in continuous prayer, penance and reparation. She cherishedimmense joy while serving others. She prioritized humility and purity over all other virtues. She passed away in the convent at Ollur, Kerala on 29 August 1952. Her motto “Never forget even after death’’, was fulfilled when great heavenly intercessions were made and confirmed through miracles and signs. This holy virgin who desired to lead her life unnoticed is raised as a saint today and spreads the sweet fragrance of her sanctity worldwide. She is also known as a powerful intercessor for the students and all those who seek her prayers.