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9 April 2018

Fr. Silverio of St. Teresa

On 8th March, it was 140 years since the birth in Escóbados de Arriba (Burgos, Spain) of Fr. Silverio of St. Teresa, known in the world as Julián Gómez Fernández.

Fr. Silverio of St. Teresa received the habit of Carmel in Larrea in 1895, after having studied philosophy in the Seminary of San Jerónimo in Burgos. A year later, he made his simple vows and his solemn vows in 1899. He was ordained priest in 1902 and was sent to Rome, where he continued to study for the next two years.

Between 1905 and 1937 he went through a period of intensely rewarding and intellectual activity in Burgos, the fruit of which was the ‘Biblioteca Mística Carmelitana’ (Carmelite Mystical Collection) and the ‘Silverian Archive’, in which a good number of copies of documents of enormous importance have been kept for the Order. The ‘Biblioteca’, for its part was the first attempt to examine the Teresian and Sanjuanist texts, as well as publishing the processes of beatification and canonization of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross, with the application of serious, historiographical criteria.

It is impossible to give a list here either of his publications or of the documents saved by Fr. Silverio, which otherwise would have been lost.

From 1937 onwards, he served as General Definitor, taking on the government of the Order in the capacity of Vicar General, brought about by the death of Fr. Pedro Tomás de la Virgen del Carmen in an unfortunate motorbike accident, on 28th August 1946, who had been the Superior General. In April, 1947, he was elected Superior General in the Chapter which he himself summoned and would govern the Order carrying out some important initiatives, including the building of the new International College and present seat of the Teresianum on land bequeathed by the Pamphilj family, neighbours of the Parish of St. Pancrazio, inaugurated after his death. With the help of his Definitors, one of whom was Blessed Fr. Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus, his attentiveness to the Discalced Carmelite nuns should also be highlighted.