Marie du jour 2022, 22 May: St. Teresa Margaret Redi

St. Teresa Margaret cares for the mentally ill

When the Saint entered the cloister, she found herself in a very difficult situation in view of the health of the nuns, from the oldest even to the youngest.

From the very dawn of her religious life, and increasing as she remained in the convent, Teresa Margaret profited from the facility in obtaining this permission to practice, almost to an extreme, fraternal charity and devotion.

The needs of the community were even greater when, toward the end of 1767, one of the nuns became a victim of mental disease that eventually became insanity. It was necessary to keep her under lock and key, and care of her consumed several hours. Beginning in June 1768, Teresa Margaret was given charge of this nun.

Through the medium of her confessor, [the Saint asked] to be allowed to care for the insane nun, which certainly consumed a lot of time; she was aware of the demands this would make upon her weak health, but she kept silence about it. One of her most important duties regarding this nun was to bring her food and to see that she ate it—which consumed more than three hours a day.

This act of charity was accomplished in the midst of invectives and threats. Teresa Margaret controlled her personal terror by having recourse to the Blessed Virgin. Before entering the room of the nun, she would kneel before a statue of the Blessed Mother that was located near the room of the poor Sister and beg courage from the Queen of Heaven. Violent scenes often occurred in which this girl, scarcely twenty years old, showed real heroism.

Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

Part II: The mystical period

di Santa Maria Maddalena O.C.D., G 2006, From the Sacred Heart to the Trinity the spiritual itinerary of Saint Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D., translated from the Italian by Ramge, S, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

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