Quote of the day, 7 March: Mother Teresa of Jesus, OCD

Her ready wit was proverbial and always most agreeable.

One day a gentleman, a friend of the community, having called, Mother Teresa asked him, when taking leave, to pray for her, adding that she always preferred gentlemen’s prayers. He, expecting a compliment, inquired the reason, when she laughingly replied: “Because they are so scarce.”

Another time, Rev. Joseph Helmpraecht, C.SS.E,., when paying a little visit to the convent, turned to Mother Teresa, who was then quite advanced in years, saying: “Well, Mother Teresa, are you not very tired, living so long in this world!”

“But I don’t live in the world, Father,” was the quick reply.

Charles Warren Currier, C.Ss.R.

Chapter XXX, Removal from Aisquith Street, Mother Teresa’s death

Note: Mother Teresa of Jesus (Juliana Sewall, 1798–1878) of the Carmel of Baltimore was descended from a family steeped in the history of Revolutionary America. Her father, Clement Sewall, served in the Revolutionary War as a staff officer to General George Washington, alongside his friend John Parke Custis, who was Washington’s stepson. Father Currier notes that “she herself was a pet of General Washington, who often held her on his knee during her infancy.” Born in 1798, she was formed by the foundresses of Carmel in America and her confessor was the original chaplain of the community, Father Neale. Mother Teresa of Jesus made her religious profession in 1818 in Port Tobacco. She accompanied the community to a new monastery on Aisquith Street in Baltimore in 1831 and was with the community when they moved once again to Biddle Street in Baltimore in March 1873.

Currier, C 1890, Carmel in America: a centennial history of the Discalced Carmelites in the United States, J. Murphy, Baltimore.

Featured image: Discalced Carmelite nuns pray together during a regional assembly in England. Image credit: Discalced Carmelite nuns of Great Britain (used by permission)

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