This is her message: happiness is in God alone; only God is infinite joy.
The Church today proclaims Sister Teresa de los Andes to be Blessed and, as of this day, she venerates her and invokes her with this title.
Blessed, blissful, happy, is the person who has made the Gospel’s beatitudes the center of her life; that she has lived them with heroic intensity.
In this way, our Blessed, having put into practice the beatitudes, incarnated in her life the most perfect example of holiness that is Christ. Indeed, Teresa of the Andes radiates the happiness of poverty of spirit, the goodness and meekness of her heart, the hidden suffering with which God purifies and sanctifies his chosen ones. She hungers and thirsts for justice, loves God intensely and wants God to be loved and known by all. God made her merciful in her total immolation for priests and for the conversion of sinners; peaceful and conciliatory, she sowed understanding and dialogue all around her. She reflects, above all, the bliss of purity of heart. Indeed, she gave herself totally to Christ and Jesus opened her eyes to the contemplation of his mysteries.
God also permitted her in advance to taste the sublime joy of living beforehand on earth the bliss and joyfulness of communion with God in the service of others.
This is her message: happiness is in God alone; only God is infinite joy. Young people of Chile, youth of Latin America, discover in Sister Teresa the joy of living the Christian faith to its very extreme! Take her as a model!
Saint John Paul II
Homily, Mass of Beatification of Sister Teresa of the Andes (excerpts)
Parque O’Higgins, Santiago de Chile
Friday 3 April 1987
Explore Saint John Paul II’s 1987 Apostolic Journey to Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina here
English translation of St. John Paul II's homily is the blogger's own work; do not reproduce without permission.
Visita turística obligada, desde Yunquera, es la impresionante Ronda. No queremos detenernos en describir esta ciudad colgante, la red esta llena de imágenes. Lo que no esta en las guías son algunos rincones de la ciudad que “no tienen desperdicio”.
Como la mano incorrupta de Santa Teresa
La mano incorrupta de Santa Teresa fue restituida por la familia de Franco, una vez muerto, […]
I arrived here safely on the vigil of our Lady. Señora Doña Luisa was overjoyed. We spent a lot of time talking about you, which is a pleasure for me, for since she loves you so much she doesn’t tire of this.
Saint Teresa of Avila
Letter 19 to María de Mendoza, Valladolid (excerpt) Toledo, End of March 1569
“Yo llegué aquí buena la víspera de nuestra Señora. Hase holgado en extremo la señora doña Luisa.”
Cerda, Luisa de la (d. 1596). Daughter of the second Duke of Medinaceli, Luisa de la Cerda in 1537 married Antonio Arias Pardo de Saavedra, nephew of Cardinal Pardo de Tavera and one of the wealthiest and most titled men in Castile. Of his seven children, four were still alive when he died in 1561. His death left his wife so afflicted that the family began to fear for her. Finally, after many other failed attempts to comfort her, the family asked the provincial of the Carmelites to allow Teresa to stay with her in her palace in Toledo. Teresa remained with her for about six months and was able to help free her from the bonds of her affliction, frequent the sacraments, and practice good works. While living in the palace, Teresa was able to observe that nobility and wealth did not free one from the slavery of many human passions. In 1567 Luisa offered to fund a foundation in Malagón if the nuns would pray for her deceased husband. The house that the nuns rented there was poor and inadequate for their needs. Finally, on her return from Seville, Teresa insisted that Luisa build them a new monastery, which she had promised to do. The new monastery, the only one of Teresa’s houses that was not an adaptation of some already existing house, was built according to Teresa’s own specifications and still exists as a Carmel today, as do all of Teresa’s foundations. When the foundation of nuns in Toledo was made, Luisa gave them hospitality in her home while they tried to find a house for themselves. They were very poor and met with serious difficulties, but it doesn’t seem that Luisa did anything to help them. Teresa wrote in her Foundations, “It will seem impossible that though we had stayed in the house of that lady who loved me so much, we had to enter the new foundation in so much poverty (Foundations 15.13). Nonetheless Teresa continued on good terms with Doña Luisa, sending her little gifts, but also feeling free to ask her for favors when she needed help for herself or someone else. Among these favors was the task Doña Luisa undertook to deliver the precious secret manuscript of Teresa’s Life to St. John of Avila.
Dios ha hecho brillar en ella de modo admirable la luz de su Hijo Jesucristo
Luz de Cristo para toda la Iglesia chilena es Sor Teresa de los Andes, Teresa de Jesús, carmelita descalza y primicia de santidad del Carmelo Teresiano de América Latina, que hoy es incorporada al número de los Santos de la Iglesia universal.
Al igual que en la primera lectura que hemos escuchado del libro de Samuel, la figura de Teresa sobresale no por “ su apariencia ni su gran estatura ”. “ La mirada de Dios – nos dice el libro sagrado – no es como la mirada del hombre, pues el hombre mira las apariencias, pero el Señor mira el corazón ”. Por eso, en su joven vida de poco más de 19 años, en sus once meses de carmelita, Dios ha hecho brillar en ella de modo admirable la luz de su Hijo Jesucristo, para que sirva de faro y guía a un mundo que parece cegarse con el resplandor de lo divino.
La vida de la bienaventurada Teresa grita quedamente desde el claustro:
“ ¡Sólo Dios basta! ”
A una sociedad secularizada, que vive de espaldas a Dios, esta carmelita chilena, que con vivo gozo presento como modelo de la perenne juventud del Evangelio, ofrece el límpido testimonio de una existencia que proclama a los hombres y mujeres de hoy que en el amar, adorar y servir a Dios están la grandeza y el gozo, la libertad y la realización plena de la criatura humana. La vida de la bienaventurada Teresa grita quedamente desde el claustro: “ ¡Sólo Dios basta! ”.
Y lo grita especialmente a los jóvenes, hambrientos de verdad y en búsqueda de una luz que dé sentido a sus vidas. A una juventud solicitada por los continuos mensajes y estímulos de una cultura erotizada, y a una sociedad que confunde el amor genuino, que es donación, con la utilización hedonista del otro, esta joven virgen de los Andes proclama hoy la belleza y bienaventuranza que emana de los corazones puros.
Cuando quiero, es para siempre. Una carmelita no olvida jamás. Desde su pequeña celda acompaña a las almas que en el mundo quiso.
En su tierno amor a Cristo Teresa encuentra la esencia del mensaje cristiano: amar, sufrir, orar, servir. En el seno de su familia aprendió a amar a Dios sobre todas las cosas. Y al sentirse posesión exclusiva de su Creador, su amor al prójimo se hace aún más intenso y definitivo. Así lo afirma en una de sus cartas: “ Cuando quiero, es para siempre. Una carmelita no olvida jamás. Desde su pequeña celda acompaña a las almas que en el mundo quiso ”.
Su encendido amor lleva a Teresa a desear sufrir con Jesús y como Jesús: “ Sufrir y amar, como el cordero de Dios que lleva sobre sí los pecados del mundo ” – nos dice –. Ella quiere ser hostia inmaculada ofrecida en sacrificio continuo y silencioso por los pecadores. “ Somos corredentoras del mundo – dirá más adelante – y la redención de las almas no se efectúa sin cruz ”.
La carmelita es hermana del sacerdote
La joven Santa chilena fue eminentemente un alma contemplativa. Durante largas horas junto al tabernáculo y ante la cruz que presidía su celda, ora y adora, suplica y expía por la redención del mundo, animando con la fuerza del Espíritu el apostolado de los misioneros y, en especial, el de los sacerdotes. “ La carmelita – nos dirá – es hermana del sacerdote ”. Sin embargo, ser contemplativa como María de Betania no exime a Teresa de servir como Marta. En un mundo donde se lucha sin denuedo por sobresalir, por poseer y dominar, ella nos enseña que la felicidad está en ser la última y la servidora de todos, siguiendo el ejemplo de Jesús, que no vino a ser servido sino a servir y a dar su vida en redención de muchos.
Ahora, desde la eternidad, Santa Teresa de los Andes continúa intercediendo como abogada de un sin fin de hermanos y hermanas. La que encontró su cielo en la tierra desposando a Jesús, lo contempla ahora sin velos ni sombras, y desde su inmediata cercania intercede por quienes buscan la luz de Cristo.
San Juan Pablo II
Extractos de la homilía de San Juan Pablo II para la canonización de Teresa de Jesús de los Andes y Claudine Thévenet 21 de marzo de 1993
La Fiesta de San José evoca, entre otros sentimientos, el recuerdo del “día del seminario” donde se educan los futuros sacerdotes. Con ese motivo, ofrezco unas reflexiones sobre las “vocaciones” sacerdotales y religiosas, tan escasas en tiempo de sequía de la fe cristiana, un hecho alarmante […]
El programa de televisión “Un paseo por Castilla y León” (canal 8 de rtvcyl) nos invita a conocer distintos rincones de cada una de las provincias de Castilla y León. Entrevistas a los paisanos y reportajes a pie de calle son el eje de este espacio que muestra la geografía, las tradiciones, la cultura y […]
Anna Seguí, ocd Puçol Desierto de las Palmas (Castellón), 1- abril, 2017 Introducción “Yo la voy a enamorar: la llevaré al desierto y le hablaré al corazón” (Os 2,14). Con estas palabras del profeta Oseas, quiero suavizar un poco la hostilidad que evoca la palabra desierto, como lugar improductivo, capaz de tragarnos, hasta hacernos morir. […]
Yo le digo que no sea boba, ni ande con temores que acobarden el alma. Dele a Dios lo que le ha dado y le da cada día, que parece quiere ella medir a Dios a la medida de su capacidad. Pues no ha de ser así. Aparéjese que le quiere Dios hacer una gran merced.
San Juan de la Cruz A la M. Ana de san Alberto, OCD, Priora de Caravaca Epistolario 3, 1582
Being in prayer on the feastday of the glorious St. Peter, I saw or, to put it better, I felt Christ beside me; I saw nothing with my bodily eyes or with my soul, but it seemed to me that Christ was at my side — I saw that it was He, in my opinion, who was speaking to me.
Since I was completely unaware that there could be a vision like this one, it greatly frightened me in the beginning; I did nothing but weep. However, by speaking one word alone to assure me, the Lord left me feeling as I usually did: quiet, favored, and without any fear. It seemed to me that Jesus Christ was always present at my side; but since this wasn’t an imaginative vision, I didn’t see any form.
Yet I felt very clearly that He was always present at my right side and that He was the witness of everything I did. At no time in which I was a little recollected, or not greatly distracted, was I able to ignore that He was present at my side.
Yet I felt very clearly that He was always present at my right side and that He was the witness of everything I did.
I immediately went very anxiously to my confessor to tell him. He asked me in what form I saw Him. I answered that I didn’t see Him. He asked how I knew that it was Christ.
I answered that I didn’t know how, but that I couldn’t help knowing that He was beside me, that I saw and felt Him clearly, that my recollection of soul was greater, and that I was very continuously in the prayer of quiet, that the effects were much different from those I usually experienced, and that it was very clear.
It seemed to me that Jesus Christ was always present at my side
I could do nothing but draw comparisons in order to explain myself. And, indeed, there is no comparison that fits this kind of vision very well. Since this vision is among the most sublime (as I was afterward told by a very holy and spiritual man, whose name is Friar Peter of Alcántara and of whom I shall speak later, and by other men of great learning) and the kind in which the devil can interfere the least of all, there are no means by which those of us who know little here below can explain it. Learned men will explain it better.
I couldn’t help knowing that He was beside me
I saw and felt Him clearly
my recollection of soul was greater
I was very continuously in the prayer of quiet
the effects were much different
it was very clear
SAINT TERESA OF AVILA Spiritual Testimonies, No. 6 (Malagón, Feb. 9, 1570)
Our Lord encourages her to make more foundations and to write their history
Right after I received Communion, on the second day of Lent, in St. Joseph’s at Malagón, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to me in an imaginative vision, as He usually does.
While I was gazing upon Him, I saw in place of the crown of thorns a crown of great brilliance on His head, there where the wounds must have been made.
Since I am devoted to this episode of the Passion, I was very much consoled and began to think how great the torment must have been since there were so many wounds; and I became afflicted. The Lord told me that I shouldn’t grieve over those wounds, but over the many that were now inflicted upon Him. I asked Him what I could do as a remedy for this because I was determined to do everything I could.
He told me that now was not the time for rest, but that I should hurry to establish these houses
He told me that now was not the time for rest, but that I should hurry to establish these houses; that He found his rest with the souls living in them; that I should accept as many houses as given me since there were many persons who did not serve Him because they had no place for it; that those houses I founded in small towns should be like this one, for, by desire, as much could be merited as in the other houses; that I should strive to put all the houses under the government of a superior; that I should insist that the interior peace not be lost through a concern for bodily sustenance; that He would help us so nothing would be lacking; that the sick especially should be cared for; that a prioress who did not provide for and favor the sick was like Job’s friends; that He made use of the scourge for the good of souls, and that in such an event they should practice patience;
and that I should write about the foundation of these houses.
I thought of how in regard to the house at Medina I never understood anything in a way that I could write of its foundation. He told me that that was all the more reason to write of it since He wanted it to be seen that the Medina foundation had been miraculous. He meant that He alone founded that house since it had seemed absolutely impossible to found.
And as a result I decided to write about the founding of these houses.
With profound gratitude to the translator, Father Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D., who with his Spanish collaborator Father Otilio Rodriguez is the sine qua non of all of the texts of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross that we publish on this blog. Father Kieran died 2 February 2019, just days shy of his 91st birthday. His funeral Mass is celebrated today, 9 February in the monastery chapel in Washington DC and his interment will be at the provincial cemetery in Holy Hill, Wisconsin, 14 February. To learn more about Father Kieran and his remarkable career as a translator and Discalced Carmelite, visit the Washington Provinceblog.
For a long while now I have hardly been able to do any work. From the beginning of September until the middle of December, I took care of our good, eldest lay sister, Sr. Clara (cancer of the liver, as far as the doctors can tell). Then I got the office of turn-sister [portress], which means being a contact between the cloister and the outside world. You can imagine that for this one needs a serviceable walking apparatus. I hope to be allowed to make my perpetual profession on April 21. Soon thereafter follows the Veiling Ceremony. That is, again, a big public celebration that the beloved baptismal sponsor [Hedwig Conrad-Martius] should not miss. Hopefully the League of Academics will again cover the cost of travel. We celebrated the 300th Jubilee Year of the Cologne Carmel for four days at the end of September/beginning of October. Our dear Mother <Teresa Renata> wrote a beautiful commemorative booklet for the occasion. I believe you will receive it as a gift when you next visit us.
Do you know that Husserl’s health is very poor? This summer he suffered a severe recurrence of pleurisy and is not recovering well from it. Would you write to him sometime perhaps? They now live in Freiburg-Herdern, at Schöneck 6.
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein Letter 257 to Hedwig Conrad-Martius, 17 January 1938