St. Raphael Kalinowski was one of the first people to recognize the value and significance of the message of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. This was in the very early days when even some Carmelite prioresses had failed to grasp the importance of Thérèse for the modern era in the church. He wrote: “Armed with the sign of the Cross I open the book (Story of a Soul) and find the place where the fire in her heart unites with the burning heart of Jesus in Vivre d’Amour.(To Live by Love).Suddenly the storm dies down, calm returns and something indescribable floods my whole being and changes me completely. This poem became an ark of salvation for me. The dear sister gave me confidence. I therefore conclude that the promise: I will spend my heaven in doing good on earth…After my death I will send down a shower of roses, is literally fulfilled.”
St. Raphael was also greatly influenced by the example of famous pianist Hermann Cohen who became a Carmelite priest and founded Carmelite communities in France and England. He arranged for a translation of Story of a Soul and a Life of Hermann Cohen to be translated into Polish.
We hope this volume, appearing as it does, soon after a year recalling the Fifth Centenary of St. Teresa of Avila, will make St. Raphael better known and loved in the English speaking world and inspire people to value her charism and dedicate themselves to Christ and his Church at the present time.
“Fr Timothy (Tierney) knows how to combine in his work a rich, detailed and interesting collection of biographical material, probably unknown to many, with a penetrating analysis of the spiritual life of Fr. Raphael Kalinowski.” (Fr. Saverio Cannistrà, O.C.D, Superior General of the Discalced Carmelites).