Anna Maria Redi was born on July 15, 1747 into a large pious family in Florence, Italy. From an early age she was drawn to God. She was sent to a Benedictine boarding school at the age of nine. The nuns noticed her love of the Blessed Sacrament. She learned to meditate at a young age. Rather than seeking attention she preferred to go unnoticed and spend time alone. After meeting someone who was about to make a profession as a Carmelite, she had a spiritual experience and decided she too wanted to become a Carmelite.
At the age of 17 she entered the Carmelite convent, taking the name Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart. She advanced quickly in her spirituality. She was able to focus both on the contemplative prayer life and serving her community. She worked among the sick and as an assistant sacristan. She was very penitential; sleeping on the floor and living a very disciplined life. Several miracles are believed to have happened while she was working with the sick.
One Sunday, while in the choir, she had a mystical experience in which God revealed the deeper meaning of the Love of God. It transformed her knowledge of God. She tried to always offer a smile and serene attitude no matter what the situation. She believed that God would be found if God alone was sought. To love her neighbor, she decided to sympathize with their troubles, excuse their faults, always speak well of them and never willingly fail in charity, in thought, word or deed.
St. Teresa Margaret did experience the Night of the Spirit. She no longer received consolations from God and greatly feared offending God. She was greatly tempted by despair. It is believed she had a premonition regarding her death. Although she was very healthy, she probably died from a strangulated hernia. It was misdiagnosed as colic.
St. Teresa Margaret died on March 7, 1770 at the age of 22. She died holding her crucifix in her hands invoking the names of Jesus and Mary, otherwise suffering in silence.
The burial of St. Teresa Margaret was delayed because her body did not begin to decay. In fact, a sweet perfume was noticed coming from the crypt (underground burial place). She was buried 18 days after her death and her body still had not decayed. Miracles were immediately reported after her death. Her incorrupt body was transferred on the Feast of the Sacred Heart to the nuns choir in the Carmel of Florence.
Always receive with equal contentment from God’s hand either consolations or sufferings, peace or distress, health or illness. Ask nothing, refuse nothing, but always be ready to do and to suffer anything that comes from His Providence.
Quote of St. Teresa Margaret Redi
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St. Teresa Margaret Redi in Art