Blessed John Soreth

Blessed John Soreth, beatified in 1866, was born near Caen in Normandy in 1394. As a young man he joined the Carmelite friars in that town and was ordained to priestly ministry around 1417. John earned a Doctorate in Theology at the University of Paris.  In 1440 he became Prior Provincial in France. Eleven years later he was elected Prior General of the Order at the General Chapter Avignon. He remained in this office until his death at Angers in Western France in 1471.

As Prior General John was committed to the reform of the Order and, to this end, he travelled to most of its Provinces. Instead of forcing reforms upon the friars, he encouraged them to holiness of life by their daily living of the Rule of St Albert. Contemporary chronicles suggest that he was a man of gentle temperament with a sense of humour, always courageous.



In 1452 John obtained the bull, Cum Nulla, from Pope Nicholas V which can be regarded as the founding charter of the Carmelite nuns and the Third Order. He wrote the first rule for the Third Order. His Commentary on the Rule of St Albert suggests a sense of love and balance:

So let the love of Christ kindle your enthusiasm: let his knowledge be your teacher, and his constancy your strength.

May your enthusiasm be fervent, balanced in judgement and invincible, and neither lukewarm nor lacking in discretion.

Lord God
you willed that Blessed John Soreth
should renew religious life
and establish communities for women
in the Order of Carmel.
May his prayers and merits
help us to be ever more faithful
in following Christ and his Mother.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Jul 24 2024

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