Sunday, August 3, 2014


For the last five years of Teresa de Jesus' life (1577-82), Ann of St. Bartholomew served in the capacity of confidante, secretary, and inseparable companion. She is commonly referred to as Saint Teresa's nurse. One of the the three miracles used to prove Teresa of Avila's qualification for sainthood was Ann of St. Bartholomew's apparently instantaneous acquisition of the ability to write.  In her testimony supporting Teresa's beatification, Ann states that the impetus to write arose from Teresa's voluminous correspondence and need for a secretary: "If you knew how to write , you would help me answer these letters." Ann was anxious to please, but she insisted that she could learn only from Teresa's handwriting. After she refused to imitate a sample of an unknown nun's beautiful handwriting, St. Teresa gave her two lines in her own handwriting, and Ann learned to write that same afternoon.

Blessed Anne
As Ann of St. Bartholomew spoke, so she wrote. While Teresa de Jesus employed popular speech in her writing by choice and for a variety of purposes, including protection from accusations of meddling in theology and a desire to reach wide audiences, Ann of St. Bartholomew knew no other form of expression. Her writings exemplify the speech of peasant women of Castile...
Excerpt from Untold sisters: Hispanic Nuns in Their Own Works, Electa Arenal and Stacey Schlau, Trans. Amanda Powell. (Reprinted in the Carmel Clarion Volume XXI No. 5)

After the death of St. Teresa, Blessed Ann played an important role in the advancement of Carmel throughout Europe. She was humble and bore her sufferings patiently. She was known for her deep spiritual mysticism and her strict adherence to St. Teresa's teaching on obedience. A steadfast obedience to her superiors that led to conflicts with other nuns. These conflicts caused her deep personal suffering. Throughout her life, like St. Teresa, she remained a true daughter of the Church. Her feast day is June 7.

From the writings of Bl. Anne:

According to St. Bernard it is the person who keeps silent and says nothing when things go wrong who is really humble. It is very virtuous, he says, to keep silent when people are talking about our true faults; but more perfect when we are slighted or accused without having committed any fault or sin.

Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew, pray for us.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, ocds

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