Tag: Carmelite Saints

St. Teresa Of Jesus Of Los Andes: Meet The Proud And Stubborn Girl Who Became A Saint

St. Teresa Of Jesus Of Los Andes: Meet The Proud And Stubborn Girl Who Became A Saint

Saint Teresa Of Jesus Of  Los Andes (13 July 1900 – 12 April 1920) – born as Juana Fernández Solar – (Spanish: Teresa De Jesús De Los Andes) was a Chilean professed religious Nun from the Discalced Carmelites. God transformed her feisty nature and opened her heart to deeper relationship with him.


Saints don’t always begin their lives with a halo. Such was the case of St. Teresa of the Andes, who was known as a proud, self-centered, vain and stubborn little girl. While she did possess an inclination to piety, she would often have outbursts of anger.

Born in 1900 to a well-off family in Santiago de Chile, Juanita (as she was affectionately known) enjoyed singing, dancing and horseback riding during her youth. She was an ordinary teenager, but was greatly influenced by the French religious sisters who taught her in school. By the age of 14 Juanita made a private vow of chastity and resolved to become a Discalced Carmelite nun. This decision may have been influenced by her reading of the Story of a Soul by St. Thérèse of Lisieux. She was struck by the little Carmelite nun and wanted to imitate her “little way.”

During the summers Juanita created her own backyard apostolate where she would teach catechism classes to children and lead a choir. She felt especially close to the poor and tried to help them in any way. The Vatican biography of her, offers a brief summary of this time in her life.

The holiness of her life shone out in the everyday occurrences, wherever she found herself: at home, in college, with friends, the people she stayed with on holidays. To all, with apostolic zeal, she spoke of God and gave assistance. She was young like her friends, but they knew she was different. They took her as a model, seeking her support and advice. All the pains that are part of living, Juanita felt keenly, and the happiness she enjoyed deeply, all in God.

In 1917 she contacted the Carmel of Los Andes and was certain that God was calling her to become a nun there. She was finally able to enter the convent in 1919 and received the name Teresa of Jesus. This fulfilled her longing to be more united with Jesus and took to heart the mission of a Carmelite to intercede for the world.

Teresa experienced great joy in the convent and wrote about it in a letter, “It is impossible to imagine how happy I am. I feel peace, so intimate a joy that I tell myself that if people in the world would see this happiness, all would run to shut themselves in convents.”

Shortly after her entrance it was clear to her that she would die in short time. Teresa had many health problems and these only increased while in the convent. However, it was not just her failing health that gave her a hint of what was to come; God also revealed to her that her time in this world was coming to an end.


She saw everything that happened to her as coming from the hand of God and joyfully looked for opportunities to offer sacrifice to him, “I can say that my life is a continuous prayer, for everything I do I do it out out of love for my Jesus.”


For her, life united to God was exactly what she desired and explained this joy in a letter, “I am the happiest creature. I don’t desire anything more because my whole being is satiated by God who is Love”.

On Good Friday, April 2, 1920, Teresa’s condition worsened and after doctors examined her, there was nothing they could do for her. As a result, she given permission to make her profession before death, passing away from this life on April 12, 1920. She was only 19 years old.

Teresa’s life was an inspiring one to many and she was canonized a saint of the Catholic Church in 1993.

-St. Teresa of Jesus Of The Andes, Pray For Us! 

St.Theresa Benedicta Of The Cross (Edith Stein) Virgin & Martyr August 9

St.Theresa Benedicta Of The Cross (Edith Stein) Virgin & Martyr August 9

COLLECT PRAYER
God of our Fathers, who brought the Martyr Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross to know your crucified Son and to imitate him even until death, grant, through her intercession, that the whole human race may acknowledge Christ as its Savior and through him come to behold you for eternity. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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​Facts

Born: October 12, 1891

Religious Order: Discalced Carmelites (OCD)

Died: August 9, 1942

Canonized: October 11, 1998

Patron: Europe; loss of parents; martyrs.

Edith Stein was born of prominent Jewish parents in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland), in 1891. A brilliant philosopher who stopped believing in God when she was fourteen, Edith Stein was so captivated by reading the autobiography of Teresa of Avila that she began a spiritual journey that led to her baptism on 1 January 1922, which was the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus, (according to Jewish custom).

After her conversion to Catholicism she became a major force in German intellectual life, imitating Teresa by entering the Discalced Carmelites in 1933, taking the name Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

She Became an influential philosopher following her extensive studies at major German universities. As a student at the University of Gottingen, she became fascinated by phenomenology, an approach to philosophy. Excelling as a protege of Edmund Husserl, one of the leading phenomenologists, Edith earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1916. She continued as a university teacher until 1922 when she moved to a Dominican school in Speyer; her appointment as lecturer at the Educational Institute of Munich ended under pressure from the Nazis.

After living in the Cologne Carmel (1934-1938), she moved to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, Netherlands. The Nazis occupied that country in 1940. In retaliation for being denounced by the Dutch bishops, the Nazis arrested all Dutch Jews who had become Christians. Sister Benedicta of the Cross was arrested by the Gestapo on 2 August 1942, while she was in the chapel with the other sisters. She was to report within five minutes, together with her sister Rosa, who had also converted and was serving at the Echt Convent. Her last words to be heard in Echt were addressed to Rosa: “Come, we are going for our people.” They alongside other Catholics of Jewish extraction were transported by cattle train to the death camp of Auschwitz. She died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz on August 9, 1942.

Pope John Paul II beatified Teresa Benedicta in 1987 and canonized her in 1998.

~St. Benedicta Of the Cross, Pray For Us!

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