SAINTS

MARCH 29: ST. BERTHOLD

(Died 1195)

Legends say that Berthold was born in Limoges, France, studied in Paris, and was ordained a priest there.

He was a relative of Aymeric, the Latin patriarch of Antioch who was installed in Antioch during the crusades. The story continues when Berthold accompanied Aymeric on the crusades and found himself in Antioch when it was being besieged by the Saracens. Through his urgings, the Christians in Antioch turned to prayer and penance, and the city was delivered.

Berthold directed the building of a monastery and church on Mount Carmel and dedicated the church in honor of the prophet Elias, who had defeated the priests of Baal there and seen the vision of the cloud out over the sea. Berthold was the first who organized the monastic life of the hermits on Mount Carmel and governed them, ruling the community he had founded for forty-five years until his death about 1195.

His example and way of life stamped the beginnings of the Carmelite Order, leading to the drawing up of the order’s rule by St. Albert, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, about 1210. That rule was approved by Pope Honorius III in 1226 and it is this primitive rule that is considered the foundation of the Order of Mount Carmel.

Adapted by A.J. Valentini from: St. Berthold | EWTN. (n.d.). EWTN Global Catholic Television Network. Retrieved March 23, 2021, from https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/st-berthold-5240