Juana Fernandez Solar was born on July 13, 1900, in Santiago, Chile. Since she was a little girl, she enjoyed the privileges of belonging to a wealthy family and she was raised with Christian faith.
She studied at the Teresianas school, the Sacred Heart School and later in the boarding school of the Sacred Heart of Maestranza. An outstanding student, Fernandez not only acquired an excellent academic education, but she also began a very deep relationship with the Christian faith and carried out tireless missionary work.
At the age of 14, moved by the poverty of an 8 year old who was begging on the street, she decided to look after him and even became his baptism godmother.
That same year, she felt her first calling to become a Carmelite nun.
The life of French woman Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and Saint Teresa of Avila were her inspiration, reason for which she decided to first express her wish of entering la religious order, after years of devotion and preparation, on September 5, 1917.
Her wish came true on May 7th, 1919, when she finally entered the Monastery of the Discalced Carmelites in the city of Los Andes. Accompanied by her mother and two of her brothers, Juana Fernandez never backed out of her decision, changing her name to Teresa de Jesus (Teresa of Jesus); on October 14th, she put on her nun’s habit, thus beginning her novitiate.
Her stay at El Carmelo was filled with sacrifices. She underwent a self imposed fast, and on occasions she would be near death (Carmelite in articulo mortis). She passed away on April 12, 1920, and she was buried at the convent's cemetery.
The path of sainthood she followed during her life caused the admiration of some believers, who started to ask for her intercession and to thank her for favors. On April 3, 1987, during the visit of Pope John Paul II to Chile, she was beatified, and on March 21, 1993, she was canonized by the same pontiff, becoming the first Chilean saint.
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