Center for Carmelite Studies

450th Anniversary of Br. John of St. Samson

Ven. John of Saint Samson by artist Warren J. Borg Ebejer, T.O.Carm, Carmelite Priory Mdina, Malta

This year, on December 29, is the 450th anniversary of the birth of Ven. John of St. Samson. He was christened the following day in Sens. He had a very difficult childhood. He was blinded by an incompetent physician after contracting chicken pox and was orphaned at a young age. He was introduced to the Parisian Carmelites in Place Maubert in 1603 and joined the Order at Dol-de-Bretagne three years later. When he was transferred to Rennes in 1612, he became the spiritual soul of the Touraine reform. His deep mystical life made him a seasoned teacher of the spiritual life. His teachings, dictated to novices and disciples, have come down to us in over 4000 manuscript folios. 

A lover of solitude made fruitful by his encounters with God, he was beatified by Pius IX in 1866. A reliquary containing his skull is kept at the Carmelite Church of Notre Dame de Lumières.