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Spikes On The Grille - Carmelite Monastery

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graciandelamadrededios
Photos of Mangalore Carmel in India with spikes still attached to the grille.  This is very similar to the spikes of Manila Carmel except that the spikes in Manila is more pointed and they were removed from the lower portion of the choir grille; only the spikes on top of the choir grille remained.
 
Mangalore Carmel was founded from Pau Carmel of France.
 
I am so surprised that the Nuns in Mangalore Carmel did not removed the spikes since this custom is so outdated and could be dangerous.  They probably did not remove it out of poverty.
 
Chiqui and I had been discussin the spikes on the grille before I joined this forum.  Can you also post it here Chiqui?
 
Profession of Sr. Mary Agnes of the Eucharist - Mangalore Carmel:
 
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Sister looked very happy; she's radiant!

 

 

 

Edited by graciandelamadrededios

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graciandelamadrededios

I have not noticed before and it looked like they are barefooted!

 

In solidarity with God's poor.

 

 

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graciandelamadrededios

Manila Carmel - Choir Grille - the photos are not very clear so you cannot see the spikes on the top of the grille.

 

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Choir Grille of Manila Poor Clares: 

 

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dymphnamaria

I have never seen a grille with spikes. Are the spikes both on the inside and outside part of the grilles? I wonder whats its purpose..

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truthfinder

Of all the spiked grilles I have seen, it's been in OCD convents and the spikes point out toward the visitors, not the nuns.  When double grilles were instituted across all cloistered orders in the 16th century (i think) it was with the purpose that the grilles were to be far enough apart that no one could put their arm in and touch someone on the other side.  OCDs, for reasons I'm guessing, decided to take this a step further and add spikes - no one would want to put their body on that and try to reach inside the cloister. 

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graciandelamadrededios

Of all the spiked grilles I have seen, it's been in OCD convents and the spikes point out toward the visitors, not the nuns.  When double grilles were instituted across all cloistered orders in the 16th century (i think) it was with the purpose that the grilles were to be far enough apart that no one could put their arm in and touch someone on the other side.  OCDs, for reasons I'm guessing, decided to take this a step further and add spikes - no one would want to put their body on that and try to reach inside the cloister. 

 

Truthfinder is right, based on the photos above, the points of the spike is directed towards the visitors side of the grille and not on the nun's side.

 

The Regular Customs from Montelimar, France stipulated that the spikes measures at 3 inches.  This was customary for Spanish Carmels and when the French Carmelites founded the first monastery of the Reform in the Philippines, they brought the same custom hence, Manila Carmel still bears the spikes on the upper portion of the choir grille but the spikes on the lower side has been removed as per instructions of Mother Louise Mary.

 

One American Prioress has told me that she never heard of any Carmels in the US having spikes on the grille.  She probably did not know other Carmels have them or if they have spikes on the grille, only very few Carmel in the USA have them.  Mother says that its not customary for American Carmels and that this is Spanish Custom.

 

I read somewhere that St. Teresa personally insisted the spikes be placed on the grille since there are knights of the family of the Nuns who threatens them by inserting on swords on the open space of the square of the grilles.  Also, it drives away curious people when they see the dangerous looking pointed spikes.  People are very curious about the Reform of St. Teresa and to counter it, the spikes and great veils are one of the ways to protect their privacy.

 

I hope Chiqui will post the grille with spikes she showed me through email.

 

Gracian

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

Edited by graciandelamadrededios

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rosamundi

These sisters look barefooted.

 

Flip-flops, I think, rather than barefoot. Similar to what the nun's family is wearing in one of the photos.

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dymphnamaria

Flip-flops, I think, rather than barefoot. Similar to what the nun's family is wearing in one of the photos.

 

As you look closely, I am sure the sister is on barefoot. And you can also see on the group picture of nuns some are seen barefooted.

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