a young girl growing up in Santiago, Chile, in the early 1900s, she read an autobiography of a
French-born saint—Thérèse, popularly known as the Little Flower. The experience deepened her desire
to serve God and clarified the path she would follow. At age 19 she became a Carmelite nun, taking
the name of Teresa.
offered the simple lifestyle Teresa desired and the joy of living in a community of women completely
devoted to God. She focused her days on prayer and sacrifice. “I am of Jesus,” she wrote in her
diary. “He created me and is my beginning and my end.”
Toward the end of her short life, Teresa began an apostolate of
letter-writing, sharing her thoughts on the spiritual life with many people. At age 20 she
contracted typhus and quickly took her final vows. She died a short time later, during Holy Week.
Teresa remains popular with the estimated 100,000 pilgrims who visit her shrine in Los Andes each year. She is the first Chilean saint.
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