by Patricia Mathson
Celebrating Saint Teresa of the Andes
Lived the Gospels
Feast Day: April 12
[CLICK HERE] for a Saint Page that your learners can take home to share with their families.
Juanita Solar was born in Chile, a country in South America, in 1900. She had three brothers and two sisters. She liked getting together with her aunt and uncle and cousins. It was fun to be with family. She also played the piano. Even as a young girl, Juanita felt very close to Jesus.
Juanita read about Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and felt that God was calling her to be a Carmelite nun, too. She felt at peace when she visited the convent. So in 1919, when she was 19 years old, Juanita entered the Carmelite order and took the name Sister Teresa of Jesus.
Sister Teresa lived the Gospels each day. She loved God with all her heart. She was a joyful person who tried to show God’s love to others in every situation. She wrote in a letter that God was the joy of her life. We, too, can find joy in being God’s children.
Patron of Young People
In 1920, less than a year after she became a Carmelite nun, Sister Teresa became ill and died. She is a patron saint of young people. The example of her life shows us that we are called to share God’s love with others in our lives each day. She is known as Saint Teresa of the Andes because the convent where she lived was named after the Andes Mountains.
What Can We Do?
* Let’s talk about Saint Teresa of the Andes. Do you think it was easy for her to leave her family to enter the convent? Why did she do that? What did she try to do each day? How can we show God’s love at home and at school?
* Let’s draw pictures of how we can share God’s love with others. Think of ways to do this—such as letting someone get ahead of you in line, doing more chores than your own, donating personal care items to a homeless shelter.
* Let’s learn about other patron saints. Who is the patron saint of bakers? (Elizabeth of Hungary) Who is the patron saint of students? (Thomas Aquinas) Who is the patron saint of those who are sick? (John of God) Who is the patron saint of cancer patients? (Peregrine) Who is the patron saint of fishermen? (Andrew)
Lord Jesus Christ, help us to witness to all you do in our lives, like Saint Teresa of the Andes did. In this way we can bring hope in you to the lives of others. Amen.
Patricia Mathson has many years of experience in faith formation as a DRE. She holds a Master of Religious Education degree from the University of Dallas and currently is the children’s ministry coordinator at a family shelter in Des Moines, IA. Patricia is the author of many books including Prayers and Activities on Service (Twenty-Third Publications).
Copyright 2014, Bayard, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Bayard, Inc.
This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, August 2014.
Image Credit: Shutter Stock 544541167