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1st September - Feast of St Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart

Posted on 1st September, 2019

 

1st September - St. Teresa Margaret (Redi) of the Sacred Heart, Virgin of our Order

 

Teresa Margaret belonged to the noble family of Redi, and was born in the Tuscan city of Arezzo (Italy) in 1747. She entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery at Florence on 1st September 1764. She was granted a special grace of contemplative insight based on St. John’s phrase ‘God is love,’ through which she felt called to a hidden life of love and self-sacrifice. She progressed rapidly, fulfilling her vocation through heroic charity towards others. She died in Florence in 1770.

 

St. Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart

 

Prayer

 

Father,

you enabled St. Teresa Margaret Redi

to draw untold resources of humility and charity

from the fountain-head, our Saviour.

Through her prayers

may we never be separated from the love of Christ.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

A Reading from the Acts of the Canonization of Saint Teresa Margaret

The love of Christ overwhelms us

 

     Brief as it was, Teresa Margaret’s whole life may be regarded as one continual raising up of her guiltless soul to God.

     In its innocence her soul turned spontaneously to God, and seemed able to find rest in him alone. In her, utter purity was joined to profound humility and she genuinely loved to be disregarded and despised. She did not simply bear humiliations, she rejoiced in them. Her purity of heart and her lowliness of spirit earned for her a high degree of charity, and this rapidly increased until her ardour became truly seraphic and she could hardly speak of God without her face becoming suffused with joy. Her love of God went hand in hand with a deep love for her neighbour and especially for sinners, on whose behalf she offered herself unreservedly to God as a victim. Her unassuming kindness and complete self-denial for the sake of her sisters in religion, especially the sick, were such that she was regarded as an angel of charity.

     The fires of her love were fed principally by the Eucharist, and she looked forward with longing to her communions. She was also especially devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion which did much to curb the advances of Jansenism at that time in Tuscany. She was utterly devoted to Our Lady, whom she regarded as the model and protectress of her own virginal purity. She was endowed to a high degree with the gift of contemplative prayer, and daily grew closer to God, as though reflecting the glories of the eternity she was fast approaching.

     As her life neared its end this true daughter of the holy Mother Teresa and faithful disciple of Saint John of the Cross was called upon, through a mystical martyrdom of the spirit, to resemble her crucified Spouse yet more closely. It was the very intensity of her love which caused this martyrdom; for the more fervent love becomes the more unrelentingly it spurs the soul on to further love, and since no love of ours can match God’s infinite lovableness, such a soul suffers exquisite torments from its insatiable thirst for greater love, and seems to itself to be wrapped in impenetrable darkness and to be totally lacking in love for God. In fact the greater love is, the less it seems to itself to be. It is the soul that is truly ‘nailed to the cross with Christ’ by this supreme martyrdom of the heart that wins for itself and for others the choicest fruits of redemption.

     Such souls by their silent apostolate of suffering, love and prayer, are foremost in the benefits they obtain for mankind and are the purest and most exalted in the whole Church.

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