Venerable Therese of St. Augustine

In the world Mother Therese of St. Augustine was Princess Louise Marie of France, daughter of King Louis XV and Queen Maria Leczinska. She was born in Versailles on July 15, 1737. When she was still very young she had an accident and almost died. The nuns from a nearby convent made a vow to Our Lady asking that her life be spared, and she was miraculously cured. She never forgot this, and religion marked her deeply. She was known for being extremely generous to the poor.

She also had a very strong character. One day she was hunting in Compiègne and her horse, meeting a racing carriage that was careening out of control, reared and threw Louise from the saddle to the ground. She hit the carriage, and could easily have been killed or badly hurt, but her life was spared and she was unharmed. Her companions suggested that she return to the castle in a carriage. She laughed, jumped back on her horse, brought the nervous animal under control, and continued her ride. Upon her return, she went to thank the Holy Virgin for what she called the second saving of her life.

Later, deciding to become a Carmelite, she began to study the rule and distance herself from the luxury of court life. When she was considered ready, she asked permission of her father, the King of France, and entered the Carmelite Convent of Saint-Denis in February 1770. All of France admired this example. Pope Clement XIV wrote a letter to compliment her for such a gesture.

In the convent she strove to not be treated as the daughter of the King. She also strove to say her prayers kneeling, which was very difficult for her, given a defect of one leg caused by the childhood accident. With the veil, she received her new name in religion – Therese of St. Augustine.

After many years of sacrifice, always embraced with joy, she was elected Superior of her convent. In this role she distinguished herself for the charity she showed to her religious daughters and the severity with which she treated herself, as well as for a great fidelity to the spirit of the religious rule.

She took advantage of her social situation to benefit religion and the salvation of souls. It was her influence that convinced King Louis XVI to open France to many Austrian Carmelites persecuted by Emperor Joseph II. She constantly prayed for the King, for France, and for the French people. To end her good influence over Louis XVI, the enemies of religion determined to kill her. It is almost certain that she was poisoned. In November 1787 she felt terrible stomach pains that gradually became worse. They ended soon with her death. These were her last words: "Au paradis! Vite! Au grand galop!" ("To heaven! Quickly! At the gallop!")
It was December 23, 1787.

During the French Revolution the mob ransacked her grave and dispersed her relics. But she continued to work a great number of miracles. For this reason her cause for sainthood was introduced at the Vatican. Pius IX declared her Venerable on June 19, 1873.

Dieu, notre Père,
Tu as établi Roi des nations ton Fils bien-aimé, le Christ Jésus ; à la prière de sa mère la Vierge Marie, Reine et beauté du Carmel accorde à ton Eglise de recevoir comme modèle la vénérable Thérèse de Saint-Augustin, Madame Louise de France, en confirmant la sainteté de sa vie. Par son intercession et dans la communion de l’Esprit Saint, enseigne-nous la pratique de l’Evangile dans le contexte social du quotidien ; fais que les responsables politiques œuvrent pour le bien des peuples et travaillent au mieux être des plus démunis ; développe en nous le zèle ecclésial dans le combat contre les forces du mal ; donne-nous l’amour de la vie religieuse qui est recherche de Dieu et service fraternel.

The link to the cause is in French.

On this page you will find an email to send your prayers and support for the cause.


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