Teresa of the Andes
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|Saint Teresa of Los Andes, O.C.D.|
|Virgin and nun|
July 13, 1900|
|Died||April 12, 1920
Los Andes, Chile
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church
(Order of Discalced Carmelites and in Chile)
|Beatified||April 3, 1987, Santiago, Chile by Pope John Paul II|
|Canonized||March 21, 1993, Vatican City, by Pope John Paul II|
|Major shrine||Shrine of Saint Teresa of Los Andes
Los Andes, Chile
|Attributes||small cross, flowers|
Teresa of Los Andes, O.C.D. (July 13, 1900 – April 12, 1920), also known as Saint Teresa of Jesus of Los Andes (Spanish: Teresa de Jesús de Los Andes), was a Chilean nun of the Discalced Carmelite Order who was canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
Teresa was born Juana Enriqueta Josefina de los Sagrados Corazones Fernández y Solar in Santiago, Chile into an upper class family. Early in her life she read the autobiography of the French Carmelite nun Thérèse of Lisieux, who was later to be canonized herself. The experience had a profound effect on Juanita's already pious character, coming to the realization she wanted to live for God alone. She had to work to overcome a very self-centered personality toward being one which cared for others above all. Her further inspiration for this self-transformation was her upcoming First Communion, which led her to this commitment in an effort to be worthy of what she was to receive.
In 1919, at the age of 19, Juana entered the novitiate of the Discalced Carmelite nuns in the township of Los Andes, at which time she was given the name Teresa of Jesus. Toward the end of her short life, the new Sister Teresa began an apostolate of letter-writing, sharing her thoughts on the spiritual life with many people. Within a few months of her admission to the Order, however, she contracted typhus, which was diagnosed as fatal. She was still three months short of her twentieth birthday, and had yet six months to complete her canonical novitiate, so as to be normally able to make her religious vows; nevertheless she was allowed to profess vows in periculo mortis (danger of death). She thereby died as a professed nun of the Order on April 12, 1920, which fell during Holy Week that year.
Teresa remains popular with the estimated 100,000 pilgrims who visit each year the shrine where her remains are venerated in the Shrine of Saint Teresa of Los Andes in the township of Los Andes, 60 miles (100 km.) from Santiago. She is Chile's first saint, and is specially popular among women and young people.
Teresa was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Santiago on April 3, 1987. Her brother Luis was present at her beatification; he was the last direct relative of hers still alive then. Six years later, she was canonized by this same pope.
Teresa was the first Discalced Carmelite nun from outside of Europe to be declared a saint and the fifth "Saint Teresa" of the Order, together with the foundress, St. Teresa of Jesus, Saint Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart, the aforementioned Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.