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Legatus Magazine

Cover Story
Brian Fraga | author
Apr 01, 2019
Filed under Saints
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St. Teresa of the Andes (1900-1920)

Feast Day: April 12
Canonization: March 21, 1993
Patroness of Ill People, Youth, and Against Illness

Juana Enriqueta Josefina Fernandez Solar was born July 13, 1900 in Santiago, Chile. The fourth of six children, from childhood she demonstrated an openness to the spiritual life.

Educated by French nuns from the Sacred Heart order, she read St. Therese of Lisieux’s autobiography which had a profound effect on her. She was inspired to overcome self-centered character traits.

At 14, she consecrated herself and became a religious. In May 1919, she entered the Discalced Carmelites in Los Andes, and was given the religious name, “Teresa of Jesus.”

Sister Teresa of Jesus was in religious life only briefly. She might have contracted typhus, though some historians suggest it was Spanish Flu. She professed religious vows on April 7, 1920, and died five days later, three months shy of her 20th birthday.

Pope St. John Paul II beatified and canonized St. Teresa, the first Chilean declared a saint, and the first Discalced Carmelite outside Europe to be canonized. An estimated 100,000 pilgrims every year visit the shrine in Los Andes where her relics are venerated.

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