Memorial: October 15th
Patron Saint of the Religious and the sick
Elizabeth Eppinger was seven years old when she first heard about the lives of the saints. As St. Teresa of Avila and her brother Rodriguez were inspired from early childhood by the heroes of the Kingdom of God, so too she had a great longing for holiness.
“This reading”, she said, “made a deep impression on me; I, too, wanted to be a saint. The desire to know and love God more, grew in me to such a degree that it caused me interior pain. I became very reflective, and for hours on end I would be occupied with the thought of what I should do and how I should behave in order to be more pleasing to God.”
She prayed and sighed: “O, Jesus, I want to become a saint. Cost what it will, I want to become a saint. Dear Jesus, you will help me become a saint, won’t you? You will not let me fall into grievous sin.”
Blessed Alphonse Marie spoke to her first followers about the great humility of the St. Teresa of Avila, “who thought more evil of herself than others could ever say about her.” She admonished them to love one another, not to let antipathies arise. She encouraged them to turn with full confidence to her in their difficulties, to obtain help.
Like St. Teresa, her patron saint, she meditates with childlike trust, simplicity and with peace and joy.
When the first followers of Mother Alphonse Marie became Sisters, she spent the day in thanksgiving, kneeling before the image of the Blessed Mother of God. But her prayers were also directed to the patrons of the Congregation: to St. Alphonsus and St. Teresa, who had taught and directed her even to this day.
St. Teresa, pray for us and grant for us the spirit of prayer and humility.
Prayer: O God, who through your Spirit raised up Saint Teresa of Jesus to show the Church the way to seek perfection, grant that we may always be nourished by the food of her heavenly teaching and fired with longing for true holiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen