Saturday, 7 June 2008

Patron Saint of the Day

Blessed Mother Anne of St. Bartholomew

Born Anna Garcia in Spain of peasant stock. A shepherdess. Was refused entry to the Carmelites in Avila for being too young. Suffered at the hands of her brothers. Finally took vows aged 23 and worked as the convent infirmarian for 10 years. Her spirit of prayer & humility endeared her to St Teresa of Avila. Anne became her secretary and inseparable companion. St. Teresa died in Anne's arms in Alba de Tormes. After, Anne returned to Avila and helped found a new convent. She was one of the 7 nuns chosen to introduce the Carmelite Order to France. The French mother superiors wanted to make her Prioress so they obliged her to become a higher-ranking choir sister. Anne agreed as Teresa had predicted it. Teresa had also told her the step up would cause her to suffer, which it did as she clashed with her superiors. Anne was prioress of 3 French convents before moving on to Antwerp, Belgium where she founded another. Twice she helped save the town from invasion. She wrote letters and poetry, which survive today.

Declared Venerable in 1735, and Beatified in 1917 by Pope Benedict XV. Her canonisation is pending. Any relevant information to:
Karmelklooster, Rosier 22, 2000, Antwerpen-1, Belgium.

"On other days my soul was like a silkworm. It is treated with the greatest care by those who raise it. They feed it on tender leaves; having reached maturity it commences to spin with its mouth a thread of very delicate silk and makes its cocoon. It finds so much pleasure and comfort in this, it does not realize it will ever cease to exist; finally its strength being exhausted, it remains fastened up in its cocoon and dies there. "

Autobiography of the Blessed Mother Anne of Saint Bartholomew Inseparable Companion of Saint Teresa of Avila and Foundress of the Carmels of Pontoise, Tours and Antwerp: French Translation of the Unpublished Autograph of the Venerable Servant of God, Preserved by the Carmelites of Antwerp, with Commentary and Historical Notes. By Reverend Marcel Bouis, S.J.: Trnaslated from the French by a Religious of the Carmel of St. Louis, MO., U.S.A. Imprimatur: Joannes Josephus, Archiepiscopus, Sti. Ludovici. 20 December, 1916

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