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Anne García

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Better known as Venerable Anne of St. Bartholomew, Discalced Carmelite nun, companion of St. Teresa; b. at Almendral, Old Castile, 1 Oct. 1550; d. at Antwerp, 7 June, 1626. She was of humble origin and spent her youth in solitude and prayer tending the flocks. When she first went to Avila to enter the Carmelite convent, she was refused, being too young; for several years after, she suffered much at the hands of her brothers. Finally, overcoming all obstacles, she entered the convent as lay sister and made her vows on 15 August, 1572. For the next ten years she filled the post of infirmarian; her spirit of prayer and humility endeared her to St. Teresa, whose almost inseparable companion and secretary she now became. St. Teresa died in her arms at Alba de Tormes in 1582. Anne afterwards returned to Avila, took part in the foundation of a convent at Ocana (1595), and was one of the seven nuns selected for the introduction of the order into France (October, 1604). The French superiors, desirous of sending her as prioress to Pontoise, obliged her to pass from the state of lay sister to that of choir sister. So unusual a step met with the disapproval of her companions, but as St. Teresa had foretold it many years previously Anne offered no resistance. She had also been forewarned that the same step would cause her great sufferings, and indeed her priorship at Pontoise (January to September, 1605), Paris (October, 1605, to April, 1608), Tours May, 1608, to 1611) brought her heavy trials, not the least of which were differences with her superiors. At the expiration of her last term of office she returned to Paris, but warned by a vision, she proceeded to Belgium (October, 1611), where she founded and became prioress of a convent at Antwerp (27 Oct., 1612), which she governed to the end of her life. Twice she was instrumental in delivering the town from the hands of the enemy. In 1735, Anne of St. Bartholomew was declared Venerable; her process of beatification is not yet completed. Her writings include a number of letters still preserved, an autobiography now at Antwerp, edited by M. Bouix (Paris, 1869-72), and several treatises on spiritual matters, which appeared at Paris in 1646.

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