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The Catholic Defender: Saint Teresa of Los Andes "Flower of the Andes"


As a young girl growing up in the early 1900’s in Santiago, Chile, Juana Fernandez read an autobiography of a French-born saint—Thérèse, popularly known as the Little Flower. The experience deepened her desire to serve God and clarified the path she would follow. She became a Carmelite nun, taking the name of Teresa.


  • Teresa was born in Ávila, Spain in 1515. ...

  • Saint Teresa suffered from poor health for most of her life, but that did not stop her from filling her every waking hour with productivity. ...

  • Teresa founded a total of over thirteen monasteries during her lifetime.


SAINT TERESA OF JESUS OF LOS ANDES is the first Chilean to be declared a Saint. She is the first Discalced Carmelite Nun to become a Saint outside the boundaries of Europe and the fourth Saint Teresa in Carmel together with Saints Teresa of Avila, of Florence and of Lisieux.



One needn’t live a long life to leave a deep imprint. Teresa of Los Andes is proof of that.


The convent offered the simple lifestyle Teresa desired and the joy of living in a community of women completely devoted to God . She focused her days on prayer and sacrifice. “I am God’s,” she wrote in her diary. “He created me and is my beginning and my end.”


As a young girl growing up in the early 1900’s in Santiago, Chile, Juana Fernandez read an autobiography of a French-born saint—Thérèse, popularly known as the Little Flower. The experience deepened her desire to serve God and clarified the path she would follow. At age 19 Juana became a Carmelite nun, taking the name of Teresa.

The convent offered the simple lifestyle Teresa desired and the joy of living in a community of women completely devoted to God. She focused her days on prayer and sacrifice. “I am God’s,” she wrote in her diary. “He created me and is my beginning and my end.”


One of the most famous miracles attributed to her and presented at her canonization is similar to the miracle of Jesus and Lazarus. The wall of a building fell on Teresa's young nephew and he was crushed. Apparently dead, he was brought to Teresa. She held her little nephew in her arm and prayed deeply.


St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II in 1993. She is the first Chilean saint and is the patron of young people and the sick.



Toward the end of her short life, Teresa began an apostolate of letter-writing, sharing her thoughts on the spiritual life with many people. At age 20 she contracted typhus and quickly took her final vows. She died a short time later, during Holy Week.


Known as the “Flower of the Andes,” Teresa remains popular with the estimated 100,000 pilgrims who visit her shrine in Los Andes each year. Canonized in 1993 by Pope John Paul II, she is Chile’s first saint.


Toward the end of her short life, Teresa began an apostolate of letter-writing, sharing her thoughts on the spiritual life with many people. At age 20, she contracted typhus and quickly took her final vows. She died a short time later, during Holy Week.


The special graces given Saint Teresa reflect the mysterious wisdom of God at work in individuals whether young or old. It appears God has his own logic when it comes to who gets what in the realm of grace. All we can say is; “Praised be the Lord.”


Solar was beatified on 3 April 1987 in Chile after a miracle attributed to her from her native land cleared her for beatification while another miracle coming from Chile led Pope John Paul II to canonize her as a saint on 21 March 1993 in Saint Peter's Square.


At age 20 she contracted typhus and quickly took her final vows. She died a short time later, during Holy Week. Known as the “Flower of the Andes,” Teresa remains popular with the estimated 100,000 pilgrims who visit her shrine in Los Andes each year. Canonized in 1993 by Pope John Paul II, she is Chile's first saint.


Known as the “Flower of the Andes,” Teresa remains popular with the estimated 100,000 pilgrims who visit her shrine in Los Andes each year. Canonised in 1993 by St Pope John Paul II, she is Chile’s first saint.


The special graces given Saint Teresa reflect the mysterious wisdom of God at work in individuals whether young or old. It appears, God has His own logic when it comes to who gets what in the realm of grace. All we can say is, “Praised be the Lord.”


Unfortunately, after only a few months she caught typhus and her health quickly deteriorated. She was allowed to complete her vows early and, following great suffering, she died a few months short of her twentieth birthday. A great role model for young women, she spoke to all with apostolic zeal, encouraging them to become closer to God.


Feast Day: April 12 and July 13

Patronage: against disease, against illness, young people, sick people, Santiago, Los Andes

Saint Teresa of the Andes, known as the “Flower of the Andes” was Chile’s first canonized saint. She was an active young adult and an excellent athlete with many interests. Influenced by reading the lives of the saints she was accepted into the Discalced Carmelite Order at 19. Unfortunately, after only a few months she caught typhus and her health quickly deteriorated. She was allowed to complete her vows early and, following great suffering, she died a few months short of her twentieth birthday. A great role model for young women, she spoke to all with apostolic zeal, encouraging them to become closer to God.

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