Saint Teresa Margaret Redi of the Sacred Heart
OC: Optional Memory
Teresa Margaret was born in Arezzo in Tuscany in 1747 of the noble Redi family, and entered the Discalced Carmelites in Florence on 1st September, 1764. She was given a special contemplative experience concerning the words of Saint John, "God is love." She felt deeply that her vocation was to live a hidden life of love and self-immolation. That vocation was confirmed by her heroic exercise of fraternal charity, but was soon completed: she died in 1770, aged twenty-three.
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Entrance Antiphon - 1Jn 4:16
God is love, and whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in him.
Father, you enabled Saint Teresa Margaret Redi to draw untold resources of humility and charity from the fountain-head, our Saviour. Through her prayers may we never separated from the love of Christ. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Ephesians - 3:8-12, 14-21
To know the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge.
I, who am less than the least of all the saints, have been entrusted with this special grace, not only of proclaiming to the pagans the infinite treasure of Christ but also of explaining how the mystery is to be dispensed. Through all the ages, this has been kept hidden in God, the creator of everything. Why? So that the Sovereignties and Powers should learn only now, through the Church, how comprehensive God's wisdom really is, exactly according to the plan which he had had from all eternity in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is why we are bold enough to approach God in complete confidence, through our faith in him.
This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name:
Out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God.
Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.
Responsorial Psalm - Ps: 33:2- 3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9 (R.9a)
R/. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
I will bless the Lord at all times,
his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
The humble shall hear and be glad. R/.
Glorify the Lord with me.
Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me;
from all my terrors he set me free. R/.
Look towards him and be radiant;
let your faces not be abashed.
This poor man called; the Lord heard him
and rescued him from all his distress. R/.
The angel of the lord is encamped
around those who revere him, to rescue them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
He is happy who seeks refuge in him. R/.
Revere the Lord, you his saints.
They lack nothing, those who revere him.
Strong lions suffer want and go hungry
but those who fear the Lord lack no blessing. R/.
Gospel Acclamation - 1 Jn 2:5
Whoever keeps the word of Christ
grows perfect in the love of God.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John - Jn 15:9-17
Remain in my love.
Jesus said to his disciples:
'As the Father has loved me,
so I have loved you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments
you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father's commandments
and remain in his love.
As the Father has loved me,
so I have loved you.
I have told you this
so that my own joy may be in you
and your joy may be complete.
This is my commandment:
love one another,
as I have loved you.
A man can have no greater love
than to lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends,
if you do what I command you.
I shall not call you servants any more,
because a servant does not know
his master's business;
I call you friends,
because I have made known to you
everything I have learnt from my Father.
You did not choose me,
no, I chose you;
and I commissioned you
to go out and to bear fruit,
fruit that will last;
and then the Father will give you
anything you ask him in my name.
What I command you
is to love one another'
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord, receive these gifts in memory of Saint Teresa Margaret Redi. By this perfect sacrifice make us grow in unselfish love for you and for our brothers and sisters. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon - Col 3:3-4
Your life is hidden now with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.
Prayer after Communion
Lord, may our reception of the body and blood of your Son keep us from harmful things. Help us by the example of Saint Teresa Margaret Redi to grow in your love on earth that we may rejoice for ever in heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Divine Office - From the Common of Virgins
Office of Readings
Second Reading - From the Decree of Canonization
Brief as it was, Teresa Margaret's whole life may be regarded as one continual raising up of her guiltless soul to God.
In its innocence her soul turned spontaneously to God, and seemed able to find rest in Him alone. In her, utter purity was joined to profound humility and she genuinely loved to be disregarded and despised. She did not simply bear humiliations, she rejoiced in them. Her purity of heart and her lowliness of spirit earned for her a high degree of charity, and this rapidly increased until her ardor became truly seraphic and she could hardly speak of God without her face becoming suffused with joy. Her love of God went hand in hand with a deep love for her neighbour and especially forinners, on whose behalf she offered herself unreservedly to God as a victim. Her unassuming kindness and complete self-denial for the sake of her sisters in religion, especially the sick, were such that she was regarded as an angel of charity.
The fires of her love were fed principally by the Eucharist, and she looked forward with longing to her Communions. She was also especially devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion which did much to curb the advances of Jansenism at that time in Tuscany. She was utterly devoted to Our Lady, whom she regarded as the model and protectress of her own virginal purity. She was endowed to a high degree with the gift of contemplative prayer, and daily grew closer to God, as though reflecting
the glories of the eternity she was fast approaching.
As her life neared its end this true daughter of the holy Mother Teresa and faithful disciple of Saint John of the Cross was called upon through a mystical martyrdom of the spirit, to resemble her crucife Spouse yet more closely. It was the very intensity of her love which caused this martyrdom; for the more fervent love becomes the more unrelentingly it spurs the soul on to further love, and since no love of ours can match God's infinite lovableness, such a soul suffers exquisite torments from its insatiable
thirst for greater love, and seems to itself to be wrapped in impenetrable darkness and to be totally lacking in love for God. In fact the greater love is, the less it seems to itself to be. It is the soul that is truly 'nailed to the cross with Christ' by this supreme martyrdom of the heart that wins for itself and for others the choicest fruits of redemption.
Such souls by their silent apostolate of suffering, love and prayer, are foremost in the benefits they obtain for mankind and are the purest and most exulted in the whole Church.
R/. Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is the one Lord. You must love the Lord your God with all your har and with all your soul and with all your strength.
V/. The Lord our God is a consuming fire, a jealous God is He. * You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
I am the way, the truth and the life: no one comes to the Father except through Me.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: remain in My love.