Blessed Teresa of St Augustine and Companions

Date: 
July 17, 2015
July 17, 2016
July 17, 2017
July 17, 2018
July 17, 2019
OCD commemoration: 
Memorial
Classification: 
Martyr
Virgin

Carmelite martyrs of Compiègne

As the French Revolution entered its worst days, sixteen Discalced Carmelites from the Monastery of the Incarnation in Compiègne offered their lives as a sacrifice to God, making reparation to him and imploring peace for the Church. On June 24, 1794, they were arrested and thrown into prison. Their happiness and resignation were so evident that those around them were also encouraged to draw strength from God’s love. They were condemned to death for their fidelity to the Church and their religious life and for their devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Singing hymns, and having renewed their vows before the superior, Teresa of St Augustine, they were put to death in Paris on July 17, 1794.

The martyrs consisted of fourteen nuns and lay sisters (O.C.D.), and two externs:

Choir Nuns

  • Mother Teresa of St. Augustine, prioress (Madeleine-Claudine Ledoine) b. 1752
  • Mother St. Louis, sub-prioress (Marie-Anne [or Antoinett] Brideau) b. 1752
  • Mother Henriette of Jesus, ex-prioress (Marie-Françoise Gabrielle de Croissy) b. 1745
  • Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified (Marie-Anne Piedcourt) b. 1715
  • Sister Charlotte of the Resurrection, ex-sub-prioress and sacristan (Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret) b. 1715
  • Sister Euphrasia of the Immaculate Conception (Marie-Claude Cyprienne) b. 1736
  • Sister Teresa of the Sacred Heart of Mary (Marie-Antoniette Hanisset) b. 1740
  • Sister Julie Louise of Jesus, widow (Rose-Chrétien de la Neuville) b. 1741
  • Sister Teresa of St. Ignatius (Marie-Gabrielle Trézel) b. 1743
  • Sister Mary-Henrietta of Providence (Anne Petras) b. 1760
  • Sister Constance, novice (Marie-Geneviève Meunier) b. 1765

Lay Sisters

  • Sister St. Martha (Marie Dufour) b. 1742
  • Sister Mary of the Holy Spirit (Angélique Roussel) b. 1742
  • Sister St. Francis Xavier (Julie Vérolot) b. 1764

Externs

  • Catherine Soiron b. 1742
  • Thérèse Soiron b. 1748

 

From the Way of Perfection of Saint Teresa of Jesus

(Ch. 12, no. 1-3)

 
"The life of a good religious and a close friend of God is a long martyrdom It all seems very hard work, this business of perfection and so it is: we are waging war on ourselves! But as soon as we get down to it God becomes so active in our souls and showers so many mercies on them that whatever has got to be done in this
life seems insignificant. And as we nuns do so much already, giving up our freedom for love of God and subjecting it to someone else, what excuse have we got for holding back when it comes to interior mortification?
 
That is where the secret lies of making all the rest so much more meritorious and perfect, not to mention doing it more easily and peacefully. The way to acquire it, as I have said, is to persevere bit by bit in not doing our own will or fancy, even in tiny things, till the body has been mastered by the spirit. Let me repeat that it is all—or nearly all—a matter of getting rid of self-interest and our preoccupation with our own comfort. If you have started serving God seriously, the least you can offer him is your life! If you have given him your will, what are you afraid of? If you are a real religious, a real pray-er, and want to enjoy God’s favors, you obviously can’t afford to shy away from wanting to die for him, and undergo martyrdom. Don’t you realize, sisters, that the life of a good religious—a person who wants to be one of God’s really close friends—is one long martyrdom? I say long because in comparison with those whose heads have been chopped off in a trice we can call it long, but all our lives are short, very short in some cases. And we don’t even know whether our own won’t be so short that it will come to an end in an hour, or even a second, after we have made up our mind to serve God fully. That could happen.
 
We have just got to take no account of anything that will come to an end, least of all life, for we can’t count on a single day. If we remember that every hour might be our last, is there a single one of us who will feel inclined to shirk? Well, there is nothing you can be more certain of, believe me! So we must train ourselves to thwart our own wills in every way; then, if you try hard, as I have said, though you won’t get there all of a sudden, you will gradually arrive, without realizing it, at the peak of perfection."

 

Carmelite Prayer: 
Lord God, you called Blessed Teresa of Saint Augustine and her companions to go on in the strength of the Holy Spirit from the heights of Carmel to receive a martyr’s crown. May our love too be so steadfast that it will bring us to the everlasting vision of your glory.