The 1st September! Autumn has come, the schools are open, the countdown to Hallowe'en and Christmas has started for the shops. I hear the Christmas shops have already started opening. Brown Thomas, one of Dublin's most exclusive department stores, opened its Christmas shop yesterday. God help us all.
But today in Discalced Carmel, we celebrate the feast of one of our canonised saints, a great devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: St Teresa Margart Redi, or in religion, St Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
St Teresa Margaret is one of lesser known Saints, and yet she has progressed to canonisation where other more popular ones like Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity still await the honours - although word in the Order is we may have a miracle for her, so expect a canonisation soon, we pray.
Teresa Margaret was born Anna Maria Redi in Arezzo in Italy in 1747 and died at the young age of 23 in 1770. Yet, despite her youth, like St Therese, she achieved great sanctity and became an important teacher in the Carmelite tradition, bringing a Carmelite dimension to the devotion to the Sacred Heart. Here is a short biography.
Teresa Margaret is of great interest to me because we share the same birthday - 15th July, and the same baptismal day - 16th July, feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. She came to Carmel as a result of a locution in which she heard the voice of our Holy Mother, St Teresa who said to her: "I am Teresa of Jesus, and I want you among my daughters." Can't be any clearer than that. So off Anna Maria went, entered Carmel in Florence at the age of seventeen. As one would expect she did not have it easy, but suffered a great deal, but for all of it she never lost her serenity or her joy, but rather entrusted herself more and more to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
To celebrate her feast day, a few quotes to munch on:
“Lord, I shall be yours, whatever the cost, despite all repugnance.”
“Always receive with equal contentment from God’s hand either consolations or sufferings, peace or distress, health or illness. Ask nothing, refuse nothing, but always be ready to do and to suffer anything that comes from His Providence.”
“I propose to have no other purpose in all my activities, either interior or exterior, than the motive of love alone, by constantly asking myself: ‘Now what am I doing in this action? Do I love God?’ If I should notice any obstacle to pure love, I shall take myself in hand and recall that I must seek to return my love for His love.”
Her body is incorrupt, and lies in the Carmel in Florence.