About St. Teresa of Avila and Mother Marie Louise De Meester
Mother Marie Louise de Meester
Foundress of the Missionary Sisters of St. Augustine now called the Immaculati Cordis Mariae (ICM) Congregation. Mother Marie Louise De Meester founded the Religious - Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (ICM) in Mulagumoodu, India in 1897. Born on April 8, 1857 in Roeselare, a coastal town in Belgium, Maria grew up to be a talented young lady with a love for the missions. At 22, she joined the Canonesses of St. Augustine in leper, Belgium, where she received the religious name, Dame Marie Louise.
After her religious profession, she was put in charge of the younger children. She put into her teaching competence and kindness which won the respect, admiration and love of her students. Although the teaching congregation she joined was not a missionary one, Dame Marie Louise inspired her wards with stories of the courage of missionaries in far-away lands. They, in turn, wrote letters to these missionaries and saved money for the missions. Thus, it was then that she got in touch with the Carmelite Fr. Victor Verleure in Mulagumoodu, India in 1891. Fr. Victor invited the Canonesses to send some of their sisters to his missions. Six years later, Dame Marie Louise herself would eventually set out for India, with Dame Marie Ursule to answer the call to help Fr. Victor in his work among the poor, especially the orphans. Thus, the ICM Congregation was born. From Asia, the Sisters of Mother Marie Louise spread to other parts of the world. They are now in Europe, Asia, the United States, Africa and Latin America. Their latest foundations (1995) are Outer Mongolia and Chad.
On October 10, 1928, Mother Marie Louise died in Heverlee, Belgium, at the age of 71. She is lovingly remembered for these inspiring and challenging words:
"LET YOUR HEART BE LIKE CHRIST SO GENEROUS AND SO GREAT THAT THE WORLD MAY FIND ROOM IN IT."
-Mother Marie Louise de Meester
ST. TERESA OF AVILA
Feast Day: October 15
“…Let nothing trouble you. Let nothing scare you….GOD ALONE SUFFICES…”
Teresa was born in Avila, Spain, in 1515 of good parents who reared their children in the spirit of Christianity. Teresa was charming, intelligent, and endowed with a lively sense of humor. When she was only seven years old, she and her brother Rodrigo ran away from home. They wanted to become martyrs because they thought it was the fastest way to heaven. They decided to find the country of the heathen Moors who would behead the young Christians that they were. But the would-be martyrs had not gone far when their uncle met them on the way and brought them back home.
When her mother died when she was still 13, her father decided to place her in a Covent of Augustinian nuns in Avila. After a year and a half in the Convent school, she became ill and she had to return home. It was during these days that she began to read letters of St. Jerome. She seriously began to consider entering a Convent but was disturbed by her father's reaction to such plans. Fearing that a delay might weaken her, she resolved to dedicate her life to God. She entered the Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation in a suburb in Avila.Once again, she was struck by illness and suffered unskilled medical treatment that her health became permanently impaired. She attributed her partial recovery to the intercession of St. Joseph. Her suffering during the three years at home was spiritually fruitful in a sense that she developed mental prayer to a remarkable degree. When she returned to the convent, she cultivated her interior union with God and she began to experience certain manifestations that troubled her. She received visions of divine things and heard inner voices. Convinced that they were from God, she was perplexed. With simplicity, she sought to find an answer by confiding on her friends and confessors.
Teresa, with her contemporary courageous spirit that moved her to work for much needed changes in the Church during her time, won universal
admiration. Her charm and intelligence, her mysticism and writings have given her a remarkable place in the affection of the Christian world. She is a Daughter and Doctor of the Church, a woman who loved God and His people, renowned for all time.
St. Theresa’s College has adopted St. Theresa of Avila also known as Sta. Teresa de Avila as patroness for Theresians to follow her –
Depth of character
Unity with God
Love for Others
Determination to reach the goal of life