SAINT TERESA MARGARET REDI OF THE SACRED HEART
Teresa Margaret belonged to the noble family of Redi, and was born in the Tuscan city of Arezzo in 1747. She entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery at Florence on September 1, 1764. She was granted a special grace of contemplative insight based on Saint John’s phrase God is love, through which she felt called to a hidden life of love and self-sacrifice. She progressed rapidly, fulfilling her vocation through heroic charity toward others. She died in Florence in 1770, aged twenty-three.
From the common of virgins
Office of Readings
Come, happy Saint, and teach us all
The boundless love of Christ,
His gifts to you, that for the height
Of sanctity sufficed.
You made Teresa’s teaching yours,
Together with her name,
Determined to become with her
A spirit of pure flame.
Drawn by your Spouse, you lived with Him
A hidden life apart.
Teach us to drink the healing springs
That well up from his heart.
Praise to You, Eternal Father
And to Your Only Son
Who with the Holy Spirit pure
Forever reign as One.
From the Acts of Canonization of Saint Teresa Margaret
(Decr. “Super tuto” AAS 26 , pp 105-06)
The love of Christ impels us
Brief as it was, Teresa Margaret’s whole life may be regarded as one continual raising up of her guiltless soul to God.
In its innocence, her soul turned spontaneously to God, and seemed able to find rest in him alone. In her, utter purity was joined to profound humility and she genuinely loved to be disregarded and despised. She did not simply bear humiliations, she rejoiced in them. Her purity of heart and her lowliness of spirit earned for her a high degree of charity, and this rapidly increased until her ardor became truly seraphic and she could hardly speak of God without her face becoming suffused with joy. Her love of God went hand in hand with a deep love for her neighbor and especially for sinners, on whose behalf she offered herself unreservedly to God as a victim. Her unassuming kindness and complete self-denial for the sake of her sisters in religion, especially the sick, were such that she was regarded as an angel of charity.
The fires of her love were fed principally by the Eucharist, and she looked forward with longing to her communions. She was also especially devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion which did much to curb the advances of Jansenism at that time in Tuscany. She was utterly devoted to Our Lady, whom she regarded as the model and protectress of her own virginal purity. She was endowed to a high degree with the gift of contemplative prayer, and daily grew closer to God, as though reflecting the glories of the eternity she was fast approaching.
As her life neared its end this true daughter of the holy Mother Teresa and faithful disciple of Saint John of the Cross was called upon through a mystical martyrdom of the spirit, to resemble her crucified Spouse yet more closely. It was the very intensity of her love which caused this martyrdom; for the more fervent love becomes the more unrelentingly it spurs the soul on to further love, and since no love of ours can match God’s infinite lovableness, such a soul suffers exquisite torments from its insatiable thirst for greater love, and seems to itself to be wrapped in impenetrable darkness and to be totally lacking in love for God. In fact the greater love is, the less it seems to itself to be. It is the soul that is truly nailed to the cross with Christ by this supreme martyrdom of the heart that wins for itself and for others the choicest fruits of redemption.
Such souls by their silent apostolate of suffering, love and prayer, are foremost in the benefits they obtain for mankind and are the purest and most exalted in the whole Church.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.
—You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your strength.
The Lord your God is a consuming fire; a jealous God.
—You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul and with all your strength.
The life that flowered in Carmel’s shade,
Yielding a fragrant-scented grace,
Is crowned in heaven, a bud of light
Washed in the radiance from God’s face.
Margaret, you blaze with charity
Among those weaving virgin choirs
Who, for reward, follow the Lamb
Singing the love his name inspires.
Help us to catch that same love’s fire
That, lit with the interior flame,
We find our life, our peace, our joy,
All things in Christ and in his name.
Help us deserve the Father’s gifts,
Tasting eternity and heaven
On the unclouded source of joy
From whom alone all gifts are given.
Open our hearts to take the life
Which his renewing Spirit pours,
Life that returns the Father’s love
With the same freedom it restores.
So even on earth we come to know
God’s Trinity by God’s own grace,
Happy, like you, for evermore
To sing his glory and his praise.
Text: Bro. John Leonard Davies, O.C.D.
Canticle of Zechariah
Ant. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.
you enabled Saint Teresa Margaret Redi
to draw untold resources of humility and charity
from the fountainhead, our Savior.
Through her prayers
may we never be separated from the love of Christ.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Jesu, the Virgins’ Crown, do thou
Accept us, as in prayer we bow;
Born of that woman, whom alone
Virgin and Mother we do own.
Amongst the lilies thou dost feed,
With virgin choirs accompanied;
With glory deck’d, the spotless brides
Whose bridal gifts thy love provides.
They, wheresoe’er thy footsteps bend,
With hymns and praises still attend;
In blessed troops they follow thee,
With dance, and song, and melody.
We pray thee therefore to bestow
Upon our senses here below
Thy grace, that so we may endure
From taint of all corruption pure.
To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
Laud, honor, might, and glory be,
From age to age eternally. Amen.
Jesu, coróna Vírginum
Canticle of Mary
Ant. As the Father has loved me, I have loved you; remain in my love.