7 May 1919
Juana Fernández Solar enters
the Carmel of the Holy Spirit of Los Andes
Juana receives permission to enter Carmel
Let us praise the Lord and give Him thanks for the great favor He has bestowed on your little daughter. I have permission, and with God’s help, I will fly to the dear little dovecote on May 7.
My father gave me his permission last Sunday. Saint Joseph was the one who wrought this miracle. Yesterday, I went to Communion for the first time since receiving his permission. I assure you that I could not keep from weeping in the face of such a great favor from my dear Jesus. I am at the peak of happiness and pain. When I consider the favor Our Lord granted me and on the other hand, when I see my misery and unworthiness, I am filled with confusion. Then, I throw myself into the arms of the One who is all mercy and, casting myself there, remain completely surrendered to my celestial Bridegroom. […]
He does everything in me. All I do is love Him and this so imperfectly. I love Him and for Him I am going to give up everything. That everything, however, is such a small thing in comparison with the everything of His love.
Saint Teresa of the Andes
Letter 80 to Mother Angelica of the Blessed Sacrament, O.C.D. (excerpts)
12 April 1919
The Prioress of the Carmel remembers
May 7, the day set by the Lord, arrived.
On this day the sacrifice of the future Carmelite and her worthy family would be consummated. When she left the house to take the train, she was accompanied by her mother and brothers and sisters. It was then that her oldest sister Lucia called her and embraced her for the last time, crying bitterly. Juana tried to console Lucia. In making her farewell, she said: “Until heaven! Life is so short!” In reality it was to be so, since Juana would never see Lucia again.
When she presented herself at the door to be admitted, her mother, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends accompanied her. When the door was opened, she embraced her sisters and received her mother’s final blessing and that of the Reverend Father Superior of the Carmelites of Santiago.
She entered and then got down on her knees to kiss the ground and afterwards the Crucifix that was presented to her, and she embraced Him. At that instant her young sister Rebecca fainted. Neither this episode nor the sobs and the weeping of those who remained outside made her either hesitate for an instant or shed a tear. She was absorbed in God, and He sustained her.
We brought her in procession to the choir singing the hymn “O Gloriosa.” Finishing the prayers, we left the choir. Juana remained serene and tranquil, exceedingly beautiful. She had the look of an angel and a queen. Kneeling she embraced her new family with great love, and she thanked the community which had admitted her. Confessing herself unworthy of this grace, she said, “I am happy!”
It was not necessary to say this, for she seemed radiant with delight and joy. Juana had reached her desired goal, which was found in her long-desired and beloved Carmel. She was in the midst of her sisters who were no less delighted to have her at last with them. In turn, they showed her love and happiness. At the same time they gave thanks to the Lord since He had drawn her to Carmel.
Nevertheless, Juana’s heart was torn by the separation from her family, but God sustained and fortified her at those moments when she offered herself as a pure host in order to sacrifice herself totally and forever for priests and for sinners. She was brought to the cell which had been assigned to her. She was delighted with its poverty and gazing at the wooden Cross she found the motto: “God alone suffices.” These words became the theme of her life.
Mother Angelica of the Blessed Sacrament, O.C.D.
Prioress, Carmel of the Holy Spirit of Los Andes
Circular letter written after the death of the saint (excerpt)
Her brother Luis remembers
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.
Luis Fernández del Solar
Testimony for the ordinary process (excerpt)
Griffin, M, Teresa de los Andes, S 1991, Testimonies to Blessed Teresa of Jesus of the Andes, translated from the Spanish by Griffin, M, Teresian Charism Press, Washington DC.
of the Andes, T 2003, The Writings of Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes: An Abridgement, translated from the Spanish by Father Michael D. Griffin, OCD, New Life Publishing Company.