Virgo Flos Carmeli and Heralds of the Gospel

          Inexhaustible in his gifts, the Holy Spirit brought forth priestly vocations from within this lay association, inspiring dozens of its members to generously dedicate themselves to serving the Church in the priestly ministry.

          On June 15, 2005, in the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in São Paulo, Brazil, fifteen members of the society, along with the founder, João Scognamiglio Clá Dias were ordained by the Most Rev. Lucio Angelo Renna, OC, Bishop of Avezzano, Italy.

          These priests were incardinated into a Clerical Society of Apostolic Life, then of Diocesan Right. Virgo Flos Carmeli was founded by Msgr. João Scognamiglio Clá Dias, EP, and was erected by the then diocesan bishop of Avezzano, Italy, the Most Rev. Lucio Angelo Renna, O. Carm. on June 15, 2006.

          In 2009, the Most Rev. José Maria Pinheiro, bishop of the Diocese of Bragança Paulista, Brazil, where the General House of the Society is currently located, added his petition to dozens of other of his brothers in the episcopate, requesting the canonical recognition of Virgo Flos Carmeli. Benedict XVI approved it as a society of pontifical right on April 4 of that same year.

          The main objective of this Society is the sanctification of the brothers belonging to it, as well as the members of its sister institutions of the Heralds of the Gospel, according to the practice and development of the respective charisms.

          Among the salient notes of its charism, held in common with those of the Heralds of the Gospel, is a diligent practice of the virtue of fortitude—especially in defense of orthodoxy, purity of customs and the spirit of hierarchy—as well as the endeavor to revive the distinction between good and evil in all men, particularly through pulchrum in its various forms of presentation.

          As of 2011, the society numbers 83 priests, 34 deacons and 483 permanent members living in 15 communities scattered across nine countries (Brazil, Colombia, Italy, Peru, Spain, Ecuador, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Paraguay).