Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Favorite Female Saints

Note, in first place we must put the Mother of God. So I am not going to count her among my five favorites. Note also that this list is provisional, and changes daily. So don't be offended if I don't have your favorite on the list.

5. St. Severa, a Roman martyr. Her bones are in the Basilica at Notre Dame in Indiana. I don't know anything about her except that she was a young girl. I figured that since she's obscure and hidden away in the corner of the church, she might not have many people asking her for intercession, and I used to pray to her just in case she was a bit lonely.

4. St. Clare. I love the story about her turning back an invasion by processing with the Blessed Sacrament. Plus, Poor Clares are very neat.

3. Teresa of Avila. Cranky old lady has profound mystical experiences, writes wonderful books about prayer, and by the way reforms her order and makes it a garden for saints.

2. Therese of Lisieux. Maudlin young girl who dies of tuberculosis at 24. Has spiritual dryness much of her life, but writes wonderfully about the love of God, in spite of her difficulties. I like Therese quite a bit, and have to put her on this list because she has been a great friend to me. I used to pray to her that she would intercede to convince a girl to marry me. She did (I even got a rose!), and my marriage has been very blessed. So I owe Therese big time.

1. Teresa Benedicta a Cruce, otherwise known as Edith Stein. She was a bright Jewish girl in Germany who became an atheist as a teenager, and who studied philosophy with Edmund Husserl. Her search for truth led her first to philosophy, and, after staying up all night to read the autobiography of Teresa of Avila, she said "This is Truth," and she became a Catholic. She was later martyred at Auschwitz. I have a long relationship with her, having written my dissertation on her philosophical work.

Did you notice that 3 of my top 5 are Carmelite nuns named Teresa?

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