Jesus to Bl. Anne of St. Bartholomew: "I am the man you are seeking"

It was fitting that I visited the Carmelite monastery today, as today happens to be the feast day of Bl. Anne of St. Bartholomew. All Carmelites celebrate her today.

Anne lived in Spain in the early seventeenth century and grew up an orphan. In her early teens, she felt a call to the religious life but was not encouraged or supported by her one living and immediate family member, her brother. In fact, it would be fair to say that he harshly discouraged her from the religious life.

And so Anne conceded, saying that she would simply wait for a holy, rich, handsome man who would actually bring her closer to God. At this moment, Anne received a vision of Jesus, who told her: “I am the man you are seeking!”

From that moment on, Anne decided never to marry.

But she still wasn’t sure if she could make it to religious life.

One night, though, she was praying the rosary per her habit. She fell asleep and the image that popped into her mind was a discalced convent of Carmelites in Avila. Mary appeared in her vision, telling her that she was to be a nun there. At that moment, Christ appeared and tugged on her rosary beads.

She knew she couldn’t fight with that, so she entered the convent and took vows in 1572. Interestingly, she served as secretary to St. Teresa of Avila. Teresa died in Anne’s arms.

After Teresa’s death, Anne went off to France to found convents there.

Bl. Anne of St. Bartholomew: pray for us!