(St. Teresa of the Andes)
In a secularized society which turns its back on God, this Chilean Carmelite whom to my great joy I present as a model of the perennial youth of the Gospel, gives the shining witness of a life which proclaims to the men and women of our day that it is in loving, adoring and serving God that the human person finds greatness and joy, freedom and fulfillment. The life of Blessed Teresa cries out continually from within her cloister “God alone suffices.”
She shouts it out particularly to the young people who hunger for the truth and seek a light which will give direction to their lives. To young people who are being allured by the continuous messages and stimuli of an erotic culture, a society which mistakes the hedonistic exploitation of another for genuine love, which is self-giving, this young virgin of the Andes today proclaims the beauty and happiness that comes from a pure heart.
(Homily of Pope John Paul II for the Canonizationf of St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes, March 21, 1993)
St. Tesesa lived a brief life, dying a teenager at the age of 19 years old. She lived as a Discalced Carmelite nun for 11 months in the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Los Andes, Chile. Juana Henrietta Josephine was born in 1900, into a wealthy, aristocratic family. She was surrounded by the love of a large extended family and every possible comfort. She was a good student and musically gifted. She played the piano and had a pleasing voice. St. Teresa also loved sports; she was an excellent swimmer and loved horsback riding.
St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes has been proposed as a model for young people today by our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. St. Teresa….pray for us!