Friday, April 12, 2013

St. Teresa of the Andes

The saint of the day is St. Teresa of the Andes.

She is also known as:
Juanita Fernandez Solar
Teresa de los Andes
Teresa of Jesus of the Andes

She was born in Santiago, Chile on July 13, 1900. At the Baptismal font, she was christened Juana Enriqueta Josefina of the Sacred Hearts Fernandez Solar. Those who knew her closely called her Juanita, the name by which she is widely known today. She was the daughter of an upper class family. The family was well-off and were faithful to their Christian faith, living it with faith and constancy. She was a cheerful, happy,  attractive, extroverted youngster, who enjoyed sports. The holiness of her life shone out in the everyday occurrences, wherever she found herself -- whether it be at home, at school, with friends, or with the people she stayed with on holidays. To all, with apostolic zeal, she spoke of God and witnessed His love in her life. She served as as a model to her peers, who often sought her out for support and advice.

Early in her life, she read an autobiography of the French Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. The experience had a profound effect on Juanita’s already pious character, spurring her on to the realization that she wanted to serve God. When she was fourteen, she decided to consecrate herself to Him as a religious with the Discalced Carmelite Nuns. This desire became reality when she entered the monastery of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns at Los Andes on May 7, 1919. At that time, she was given the name Teresa of Jesus. She contracted typhus and died on April 12 of the following year, after having made her religious profession. She was beatified by John Paul II on April 3, 1987, at Santiago, Chile, and proposed as a model for young people. She is the first Chilean and the first member of the Teresian Carmel in Latin America to be beatified. St. Teresa of the Andes was canonized on March 21, 1993 in St. Peter's Basilica. Teresa remains popular with the estimated 100,000 pilgrims who visit her shrine in Los Andes each year.

against bodily ills
against illness
against sickness
sick people
young people in general

Quotes from St. Teresa of Andes

"Christ so foolish in his love, has driven me madly in love."

"He leaves His angels and millions of people, to come into your soul, to consummate in you the most intimate union, to transform you into God, to nourish in you the life of grace with which you will attain heaven"

"I abyss myself in His magnificence and His wisdom but when I ponder His goodness, my heart can say nothing - I can only Adore."

"How is it that we do not die of love in seeing that God Himself could do no more than shed His divine blood for us drop by drop? When as man He was preparing for death, He made Himself our food in order to give us life. God becomes food, bread for his creatures. Is this not enough to make us die of love?"

“Perfection of life consists in drawing close to God. Heaven is the possession of God. In heaven God is contemplated, adored, loved. But to attain heaven it’s necessary to be detached from what is earthly. What is the life of a Carmelite if not one of contemplating, adoring and loving God incessantly? And she, by being desirous for that heaven, distances herself from the world and tries to detach herself as much as possible from everything earthly.”

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