Teresian Quartet

Roderick Strange

Four extraordinary women named Teresa, whose births span four hundred years. While they shared a vocation for religious life and had much in common, they also walked distinctive paths. This article looks at their remarkable lives. Roderick Strange is a Professor of Theology at St Mary's University, Twickenham.

‘What’s in a name?’ asks the popular saying. When Mother Teresa was canonized on 5 September 2016, she joined three other women who share that name and who have been recognized as saints by the Catholic Church: Teresa of Avila, Thérèse of Lisieux, and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, who is often remembered as Edith Stein. What’s in a name?

Then besides the name they shared, these four women, this Teresian Quartet, shared as well a vocation to religious life. The first three were all Carmelites, and when the fourth, the eighteen year old Gonxha Agnes Bojaxhiu, born in 1910, joined the Sisters of Loreto in 1928, she took the name Teresa out of devotion to the little saint of Lisieux who had been canonized just three years previously. Moreover between Teresa of Avila and Teresa Benedicta there is the bond of Jewish blood.

Login for more...