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Dámaso Zuazua, ocd, General Secretary for Missions

Meeting of the missionary animators or zealators Amorebieta-Larrea Centre of Spirituality
(Navare Province, Spain)

- February 26 - March 1, 2007 -

Missions of the Teresian Carmel in the past


extant literature, deficiencies, task for the future  

Larrea: Casa de Epiritualidad




1. Lists of documents found in archives of the Order


Antonio Fortes, Las misiones del carmelo Teresiano 1584-1799. Documentos del Archivo General de Roma, en Monumenta Historica Carmeli Teresiani. Subsidia 6 (Roma 1997).

 It offers the list and content of the documents of the missionary section of the General Archive of the Discalced Carmelites in Rome, corresponding to the XVII-XVIII. Another volume for the XIX – XX centuries is expected.

 - A similar publication is desirable as regard some Archives, containing documents of ancient Missions, such as the one in Broussey ( Aquitania ), Gent ( Flandes ), Madrid ( Castilla ), Vitoria (Navarra ), A. Silveriano (Burgos),…


2. Collections of documents and of documentary reference:


2.1 Ambrosio A S. Teresia, Hierarchia carmelitana [missionaria], 5 fasc., Rome 1933-1951; Biobibliographia missionaria OCD (1584-1940), Rome 1940 [complemented by Matías del N.J., Bibliografía misional de los Carmelitas Descalzos españoles en el Monte Carmelo (Burgos 1961)110-145; Nomenclator missionariorum OCD (1582-1942), Roma 1944; Monumenta missionaria carmelitana (1938-1950 ), 5 series: the last one : “Regesta” (Rome 1938-1950); Monasticon Carmelitanum, Rome 1950...

2.2 Biblioteca Mística Carmelitana (BMC) – Burgos 1932…) – Works of Gracián (3 vols.), and of other authours.

2.3 Monumenta Historica Carmeli Teresiani (MHCT):- A very accurate edition of historical documents (Rome, I.H.T., Teresianum, 1973…

---- - Documenta primigenia (1560-1600), (4 vols.);

- Monumenta Jerónimo Gracián (3 vols.); Próspero del Espíritu Santo (1 vol.).

---- Acta Capitul. Generalium Cong. Sanctae Eliae et totius Ordinis , 1605-1961(4 vs).

---- Subsidia: Acta Definit. Generalium Cong. Sanctae Elíae (1605-1863) (5 vols.: regesta).

Needed: A critical edition of all – or of the most important - missionary documents of the Congregation, and of some chronicles – “Relationi” – of the missionaries to Propaganda or to the superiors responsible in Rome of our missions.

---- Documentos del Carmelo Teresiano reimplantado en España (siglo XIX)- 3 vols.


2.4 On Juan De Jesús María (Pedro Ustarroz ): His Missionary Writtings, edited by Giovanni Strina ( Bruxelles 1998); Bio Bibliografía en el siglo XX, by I. Husillos Tamarit, in ABCT 39 ( 2001)3-677.




1. A comprehensive, documented and critical history. It does not exist: It is needed.

 On the other hand, they are coming out some excellent scholarly written books on particular missions, and on particular missionaries.


2 Books of vulgarization nature:


2.1 A book of synthesis: Élisée Alford, O.C.D, Les missions des Carmes Déchaux – 1575-1975 (Paris 1977). The best historical manual for the moment; with some defects; written before the post- Council critical studies on the missions.. Severino de S. T., Santa Teresa de Jesús por las Misiones (Vitoria 1959): written with enthusiasm

2.2 Biblioteca Carmelitano-Teresiana de misiones (the first four in 1529-30; the rest from 1988). 12 vols. up to the present. The first five books were written by Fr. Florencio. Of agreeable reading; Some of the last ones are written with good historic method.


3. Books of especial interest for some of our ancient missions:


3.1 Studies on the first mission of T. Carmel: the Congo Mission (1582-87 ).

 On the Congo of those dates, the description by Filippo Pigafetta', who offers the description of the places by don Duarte López, sent as ambassador to the Pope (1582 – 1591): Relatione del Reame del Congo e delle circonvecine contree, tratta dagli scritti e raggionamenti di Odoardo López Portoghese (Roma 1591- Ed. de Milán (1978).

On our carmelite mission: José De Jesús Cruc., Los carmelitas Descalzos en el Congo, en MteCarm 70(1962)155-188; Hipólito De La Sda. Familia, La misión de los Carmelitas Descalzos en el Congo, en MteCarm 75(1967)392-395; Rodríguez, Miguel, El reino que encontraron los carmelitas en el Congo, en MteCarm 83(1975)81-90; Zuazua, Dámaso, El Carmelo en África. La misión del Congo, primicia de nuestro espíritu misional, en MteCarm 110 (2002)101-140.

Needed: an exhaustive research on the motive, which moved the three missionaries to leave the mission (or the country).

3.2 Congregation of San Joseph:St. Albert's Province (Mexico):

 Dionisio V. Moreno, Los carmelitas descalzos y la Conquista Espiritual de México, 1585-1602 (México 1966). On the presence of three carmelite friars in the “Vizcaíno Expedition on the Coast of California, 1602-1603”, some articles appeared in magazines during the Centenary year. The missionary spirit animating the group has been underlined by José Luis Ferrero o.c.d. in his monograph, written in 2005 on one of the three, Fr. Antonio, entitled “The missionary Ideal of Fr. Antonio de la Ascensión”.

Needed: A critical edition of some valuable manuscripts, such as the “Libro de Capítulos y Definitorios y Fundaciones…” and of “profesiones…(1586-1834)”, and of some of the chronicles of the “Vizcaíno Exodition”. It is also needed to study more deeply and critically the following question: who were/or what was responsible for not going to Philippines the religious who left Spain and came to Mexico with that intention.

3.3 Congregation of St. Elijah:

3.3.1 History of the missions, by Fr. juan de jesús María, in Missionary Writtings, pp. 41-159: continuation by Fr. Paolo Di Tutti I Santi (1650): Ib. Ap. III,pp. 325-351.

- Reseña histórica sobre las misiones de los carmelitas descalzos en “San Juan de la Cruz” 1(Segovia 1890-1891)

3.3.2 Persian mission and papal commissions:

Hubert Chick, A chronicle of the Carmelites in Persia and Papal the Mission of the XVIIth and XVIIIth Centuries, 2vols. ( London 1939 ); Silvano Giordano, Aportación de los carmelitas descalzos de Italia a las misiones, in MteCarm 110(Burgos 2002)221-262.




Monographs – work on archives, libraries and magazines. Then, a synthesis.


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Updated 12 mar 2007 by OCD General House
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