“Juanita preferred the poorest one”

On 7 May 1919, Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery of the Holy Spirit in the township of Los Andes, roughly 90 kilometers from her family in the capital of Santiago, Chile.

Years later, her brother Luis testified for her process of beatification and canonization:

“Juanita chose the poorest Monastery of Los Andes out of the spirit of poverty. She could have entered a Carmelite cloister in Santiago which, while austere, had more comforts and a better appearance. Nevertheless, Juanita preferred the poorest one.

“Juanita entered religious life at the age of eighteen. The whole family traveled with her to Los Andes and was present when she entered the convent. Juanita bade farewell to each of us in the midst of a huge electrical storm. The rain was exceedingly heavy. She said goodbye to me last, hugged me and whispered in my ear, ‘God exists, brother, and never forget that.’ At this point, my sister, Rebecca, was so upset that she fainted.”

 

Teresa-de-los-Andes_teenager-formal-portrait_headshot-sepia
Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes (1900-1920)
Juana Enriqueta Josefina of the Sacred Hearts Fernandez Solar
“Juanita”

 

The Writings of Saint Teresa Of Jesus of the Andes: An Abridgement 
Edited by Barbara Haight Garcia, OCDS 
Translated by Reverend Michael D. Griffin, OCD
Published by New Life Publishing Company, 2003

Featured photo: Peregrinación de Santa Teresa de Los Andes 
Km 19, Cerro Chacabuco
Benjamín Mejías / Flickr

 

 

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