The saint for March 07
St. Teresa Margaret Redi
 
Optional Memorial
Carmelite Calendar

Born 1747 in Arrezzo, Italy
Died March 7 1779, Florence Italy, in the Carmel there
Canonized 1934

Anna Maria Redi was a mature and piously disposed child, who was noted for her devotion to the Blessed Mother. As a teenage she received a locution from St. Teresa of Avila, urging her to become a Carmelite. Accordingly, she entered the Carmel at Florence at age 17, taking the name of Sr. Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart.

In Carmel, she achieved that hiddeness she desired, immersing herself in her pursuit of her beloved. One Sunday after Pentecost, in 1767, she received a great grace from God. In reciting the words in choir, "Dei caritas est" (God is love) her soul was suddenly flooded with an entirely new understanding of the meaning of these words, and their significance for her pursuit of the beloved. Lifted by the strength of this extraordinary grace she experienced a great urgency in proving this love by deeds of charity. Despite all this, and the obviousness of the fact that their sister had received a great outpouring of grace, Sr. Teresa Margaret remained a "hidden saint"; those with whom she shared her life of hidden prayer and sacrifice did not detect the great heights of her sanctity.

So much did Teresa Margaret love God that she was resolved to love Him even should he cast her into the depths of hell. She endured great interior trials, feeling that she was very lukewarm toward her beloved. In fact her soul was a fiery furnace of devotion and longing.

She made a pact with an elderly Sr. Adelaide, whom she was nursing in the infirmary, that when Sr. Adelaide stood before God, she would ask Him to release Sr. Teresa from her earthly prison, so that she could love and praise him forever, as she so ardently desired. It is a sweet irony that it may have been St.Teresa Margaret's lifting of Sr. Adelaide's body, to help prepare it for burial, that caused the abdominal hernia which brought about her death

St. Teresa Margaret's sufferings lasted only for a day, but they were extreme, although she made no murmur of complaint. She seems to have had a strong premonition of her death, and to have made earlier confession and communion as preparation for it.

As soon as she died, the saint's body began to turn black and show signs of decomposition, such that hasty preparations were made for an early burial. But, on the morrow, as preparations were made to place her in the crypt, it was noticed that the discoloration was much less extreme, which was unusual enough to cause a delay. Shortly her body returned to the bloom of health in appearance, and a sweet aroma of flowers lingered about. God had made apparent to all His declaration of love. Even today, except for some darkening of the features, St. Teresa Margaret's body remains incorrupt.

Pray to for: Consuming Love of God
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