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Bl. Anne of Saint Bartholomew

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Birth: 1549
Death: 1626

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As a thirteen-year-old orphan, Anne Garcia Manzanas, of Almendral, Spain, tended her brothers' sheep. Devoted to the Passion of Christ, she wanted to consecrate her virginity to God, but feared she would be unable to overcome her brothers' opposition to her vocation. As she later related, "I decided one day that if I were to find a man very rich, very handsome, very agreeable, very holy, and who would have helped me in the service of God, that I would have been glad with such companionship." As she was musing thus, Christ appeared to her and said, "I am the man whom you are seeking." From that day onward, Anne resolved never to marry. One night, having fallen asleep with her rosary in her hands (which she recited daily), Anne experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary showing her the Discalced Carmelites' convent in Ávila, and pressing her to become a nun there. Then Christ appeared, seconding his Mother's words and pulling Anne by her rosary beads. After waking, Anne resolved to become a Carmelite, and took her vows at Ávila in 1572. She served as secretary to the Discalced Carmelites' foundress, Saint Teresa of Ávila.

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