06 March 2009

Saint Teresa de Jesus de los Andes

Born on July 13, 1900 in Santiago de Chile as Juana Fernández Solar; and being raised in a good Catholic family infused in her at an early age a great love for Jesus and His Blessed Mother. She was quite a role model for other children of her age by performing charitable acts, something she learned from her parents. It was a regrettable time in Chile as her country lacked holy priests. She had a desire to be a victim soul for Christ and to make reparation for priests.

Our Lord would allow her to fulfill that desire at the age of nineteen when she entered Carmel and the Discalced Carmelites in Los Andes. There she would make reparation in the hidden life. She did indeed become a victim soul by sacrificing her life in 1920. When she died she was still a novice. Without the slightest bit of spuriousness, she authentically and humbly offered her life to God for priests and for the conversion of sinners.

Shortly before her death she assured her Carmelite community’s Confessor that she would die within a month and asked for his permission to do extraordinary penances. He, however, did not believe her, and told her to keep her community’s Rule.

On April 3, 1987, in his beatification homily of Sister Teresa given in Santiago, Pope John Paul II said that she was “captivated by the Heavenly Kingdom in the springtime of her life.” He continued by saying that “the secret of her life completely directed towards holiness is summarized in familiarity with Christ, as a Friend Who is constantly present, and with the Virgin Mary, a close and loving Mother.” The Holy Father then said that “the secret of her perfection could be none other than love – a great love for Christ, Who fascinates her and moves her to consecrate herself to Him forever, and to participate in the mystery of His Passion and Resurrection.” Also, “she feels a filial love for the Virgin Mary, who draws her to imitate her virtues.”

Among her spiritual writings is the following: “Jesus alone is beautiful; He is my only joy. I call for Him, I cry after Him, I search for Him within my heart. I long for Jesus to grind me interiorly so that I may become a pure host where He can find His rest. I want to be athirst with love so that other souls may possess this love. I would die to creatures and to myself, so that He may live in me. There is love in Him. His passionate love made Him take flesh in order that by seeing a Man-God, we would not be afraid to draw near Him. This passionate love made Him become bread in order to assimilate our nothingness and make it disappear into His infinite Being. This passionate love made Him give His life by dying on the cross.”

There is a mini-series titled, “Sor Teresa de los Andes” which airs from time to time with subtitles on EWTN.