O loving Queen, Mother of might most holy,
O deign to place us all within thy breast!
For in thy power, thy children all, though lowly,
Do set their hope, trusting in thy behest.
Blessed Teresa of Saint-Augustine
Excerpt from a Christmas carol
Blessed Teresa of Saint-Augustine, the prioress of the martyred Discalced Carmelite nuns of Compiègne, France, was born Marie-Madeleine-Claudine Lidoine in Paris, 22 September 1752. When she introduced herself as a candidate for formation in the Carmel of Compiègne, she was unable to raise the funds for the necessary dowry that postulants were expected to bring with them to support the financial needs of the community. The prioress of the Carmel of Saint-Denis, Venerable Mother Teresa of Saint-Augustine — lovingly remembered by her baptismal name, Madame Louise — was the daughter of King Louis XV. When she learned of the difficulty the promising candidate faced in acquiring the francs needed for her dowry, Madame Louise supplied the balance of the funds required for the young Madame Lidoine’s admission to formation. In recognition of her benefactor’s great generosity, the Discalced Carmelite novice took the same religious name as her benefactor: Teresa of Saint-Augustine. Madame Louise’s generosity was well repaid when her protégée, now prioress of the Carmel of Compiègne, led her nuns bravely and joyfully to the scaffold in revolutionary Paris on 17 July 1794.
François Boucher was the court painter to King Louis XV
Excerpt from William Bush, To Quell the Terror: The Mystery of the Vocation of the Sixteen Carmelites of Compiègne Guillotined July 17, 1774 Copyright © 1999, 2013 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc. Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC