Who was Blessed Maria Teresa Tauscher?

The newest ‘star’ to shine in Carmel’s galaxy, that is to say, the liturgical calendar of the Carmelite saints whose holiness we celebrate from year to year is Blessed Maria Teresa of Saint Joseph Tauscher, the foundress of the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus.

The Sisters say that their spirit “comes from the faith experience of Mother Maria Teresa of St. Joseph. Anna Maria Tauscher, as she was known then, was born on June 19, 1855, in Sandow, Germany (now in Poland), and grew up in a deeply religious family. Her father, a Lutheran pastor, disowned her when she converted to the Catholic faith on October 30, 1888. Through meditating upon the Sacred Heart of Jesus, wounded and bleeding, yet burning with love for mankind, a desire was born in her to love the Sacred Heart with her whole being and make Him loved in every heart He had created. She desired to place her life in the service of God.”

The Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus in the Central Province (U.S.A.) share two web links that can help us to learn more about their Blessed foundress.

You can read a brief overview of the life of Blessed Maria Teresa Tauscher and find the prayer to ask for favors through her intercession here. In addition, you can learn more about obtaining a prayer card and relic.

If you would like to read more in-depth about Blessed Maria Teresa of St. Joseph and her work in founding the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus, visit this link. You will find several photographs of Blessed Maria Teresa and the Sisters.

In 2013, the oldest continuously serving home established in North America by Blessed Maria Teresa Tauscher—in East Chicago, Indiana—celebrated its centenary. The facility provides family and child residential treatment services. The Times of Northwest Indiana published an article about the centenary here. You can learn about the Sisters’ ministry to youth and families in need here.

 

Carmel DCJ St Louis 2011
Our Lady of Fatima International Pilgrim Statue visits the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus at St. Agnes Home in St. Louis, Missouri during the Christmas season, 2010 | pilgrimfatima / Flickr

 

30 October: Blessed Maria Teresa of St. Joseph Tauscher

October 30
BLESSED MARIA TERESA OF SAINT JOSEPH TAUSCHER
Virgin

Optional Memorial

Anna Maria Tauscher van den Bosch was born in 1855 in Sandow, Brandenburg (now in Poland), the daughter of a Lutheran pastor. At a young age, she was attracted to the Catholic Church and desired to become a “sister”. While serving as Director of Nursing at a mental hospital in Berlin, her desires were realized; she made her profession of faith 30 October 1888. In the following year, she read the autobiography of St. Teresa and understood that her vocation was profoundly Carmelite and one of service to the poor. She opened her first home for needy children in Berlin; others followed. In 1906, she received permission to gather her companions, to profess vows and establish the religious institute “Carmel of the Divine Heart of Jesus”, taking the name Maria Teresa of St. Joseph. Despite much suffering, her work grew and prospered in Europe and North America. After a long illness, she died in the odor of sanctity, 20 September 1938 and was beatified 13 May 2006.

 

Office of Readings

Second Reading

From the Autobiography of Blessed Maria Teresa

A thirst to win souls for the Divine Heart

During the night of January 21, 1890, I seemed to see a very touching picture in my sleep. It was a living, life-size crucifix. From the hands to the feet, the body was framed with a wreath of thorns. A wreath of thorns in the shape of a heart was impressed into the left side of the heart. There was no crown of thorns on the head. The arms were not lowered; they were stretched out, as a sign of life. This vision was a shocking and pitiful sight, as well as horrible and jolting. There are no words to describe it. While my eyes rested on it, my heart trembled with pain.

I understood this picture to mean that the Divine Savior is the head in heaven, without pain or thorns. The Body is His holy Church, not only affixed to the cross by earthly powers but also wounded by lukewarm, lapsed Catholics, indicated by the thorns framing the body. The thorns impressed upon the heart are those consecrated to God, who have become the tepid and disloyal priests and members of religious Orders.

That morning I arose quite early and hurried to the church. My heart was profoundly moved by pain and compassion; no, it was wounded. It was clear that God was asking of me prayer and atonement! I was to pray for the conversion of sinners and to move the mercy of God for the freedom of Holy Church.

From that morning on my heart was filled with a new hunger and thirst, not only for God’s pleasure or for perfection, but with a burning hunger and thirst to win souls for the Divine Heart. That crucifix is stamped on my memory, and it not only keeps my zeal for the salvation of souls alive, it increases its fire and creates in me the desire to arrive soon at the throne of God, where my longing for souls may be satisfied.

Responsory

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,
and I complete that which is lacking in the sufferings of Christ in my own flesh for the sake of His body, that is the Church.
I appraised the cross always as the greatest sign of divine love,
and I complete that which is lacking in the sufferings of Christ in my own flesh for the sake of His body, that is the Church.

Prayer

Almighty and merciful God,
you imbued Blessed Maria Teresa
with outstanding zeal for serving your people
through persevering prayer and work;
grant that through her intercession,
we may work with the same love even amid hardships,
and so dedicate ourselves to building up your Church.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever. Amen.

 

 

Maria Teresa of St Joseph Tauscher
Blessed Maria Teresa of St. Joseph Tauscher

 

Thanks to Lonnie Small, OCDS and the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus for providing the texts used in this Office.

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