Feast Day: September 1st
Teresa Margaret was born in Arezzo in Tuscany in 1747 of the noble Redi family and entered the Discalced Carmelites in FLorence on September 1, 1764. She was given a special contemplative experience concerning the words of Saint John, "God is Love." She felt deeply that her vocation was to live a hidden life of love and self-immolation. That vocation was confirmed by her heroic exercise of fraternal charity, but was soon completed. She died in 1770, aged twenty three.
Texts from Carmelite Proper of the Liturgy of the Hours
FROM THE DECREE OF CANONIZATION
Brief as it was, Teresa Margaret's whole life may be regarded as one continual raising 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 lowliness of spirit earned for her a high degree of charity, and this rapidly increased until her ardor 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 of her neighbor 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 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 the purest and most exalted in the whole Church.
Tests from Carmelite Proper of the Liturgy of the Hours.
"I think that Love would make all things tolerable for us, perhaps even sweet, for love can encompass everything.. Yes, my God, I do not want anything other than to become a perfect image of you and , because your life was a hidden life of humiliation, love and sacrifice, I desire the same for myself. I wish therefore, to enclose myself in Your loving Heart as in a desert, in order to live in You, with You, and for You this hidden life of love and sacrifice." - St. Teresa Margaret