Several weeks ago we shared with you the news that one of our cloistered nuns from Spain has been declared "Venerable". Following is a short biography from the General Postulator.
The Venerable Teresita of the Child Jesus was born in Eslava (Navarre, Spain) on May 2, 1904. She was the youngest of five siblings.
When she was two years old her family moved to Tafalla, also in Navarre, where her father looked after the estate of a landowner. She attended the school of the Daughters of the Cross. When she was seven years old, on November 21, 1911 she received her first Communion. By then she already felt a calling to dedicate her life to Jesus Christ and to collaborate with Him in the salvation of others.
When she was about fourteen years old she stopped going to school and dedicated herself completely to domestic work. She became part of the association called "Daughters of Mary", and assiduously collaborated in parish works and in acts of worship that were celebrated in the church of the Escolapian fathers. She proved to be sensitive to the social needs of those around her. She joined an institution denominated "The Centre", where young Christian girls of Tafalla could find a space for recreation and religious formation. She was the joy of the whole group and animator of the meetings. She acquired a passion for the Sacred Scriptures which she used intensely throughout her life. With great satisfaction she reflected on the readings from the book "Story of a soul," by Saint Therese of the Child Jesus.
On January 4, 1925 she entered the Dominican monastery of Daroca, archdiocese of Saragossa, convinced that her vocation was to live the contemplative religious life in the footsteps of St. Dominic. She made her profession on July 12, 1926. In the monastery she benefited from the spiritual and profoundly theological teachings of Bro. Emilio Sauras, who later was an expert in the Second Vatican Council. Just after her profession she was given the office of cantor and was made responsible for the liturgy. She was successively infirmarian, assistant in the linen room, secretary, bursar and porter.
The Dominicans of Daroca, aware of the needs and conditions of the Monastery of Olmedo (Valladolid), through the intervention of the Servant of God Teresa Ortega O.P., then a lay women promoter of "Catholic Action", they agreed to send sister Teresita and two other companions there. As soon as they arrived there, in January 1953, she was elected Prioress. She set out to serve the community by working for the greater glory of the Lord and promote common life. She knew how to radiate peace and love. They lacked material means, but her strong belief in divine providence encouraged her to fearlessly undertake much needed projects that were beneficial for the spiritual renewal of the monastery. She left a long lasting example in different places, by being first in every activity, starting from the most difficult tasks and practicing the most demanding of regular observances. This is how she obtained the support from her community.
She began by renewing liturgical life with the solemnity that is proper to the Dominican tradition and spirituality. She greatly improved the formation of the nuns. She introduced the study and commentary of the Sacred Scripture. She sought the help of good books and she was careful to provide for good preaching. In just a few months some novices joined them. She transmitted love, enthusiasm and zeal.
She suffered from an illness that led quickly to her death. She recommended to her novices: "Do not be sad; for from heaven I will help you much more than from earth." She thus echoed the well known and comforting phrase that was pronounced by St. Dominic at the time of his death in Bologna, and which today is taken up by the "Catechism of the Catholic Church." In addition, she asked them to never talk about her and, at the same time, explained that in everything she did she always worked for the glory of God. Finally, she revealed to them that praying for priests had been her greatest passion.
With open arms in the shape of a cross, she asked the sisters to do the same, and then they sang the Salve Regina and the Imple, Pater, quod dixisti nos tuis iuvans precibus three times! She reminded the priest, who was assisting her, that it was "Priest Thursday". She passed away on October 14th, 1954.