Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Hidden Life for God - Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich

Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich was beatified on October 4, 2014 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, NJ, the first beatification Mass held on American soil. The Knights of Columbus recently profiled this Slovakian immigrant who died unknown at the age of 26 (I had known nothing about her before reading this article.)

Born Teresa Demjanovich, the youngest of seven children, in Bayonne, N.J., March 26, 1901, Blessed Miriam Teresa could never have anticipated her own beatification. The family had originally settled in New York City after emigrating from northeastern Slovakia, and the children were baptized and confirmed in the Ruthenian-Byzantine Catholic Church.

Teresa excelled at her studies and enjoyed music, poetry, theater and dance, while also nurturing a life of prayer. After caring for her ill mother who died of influenza in 1919, Teresa followed the advice of her family and enrolled in the College of Saint Elizabeth at Convent Station, founded in the tradition of the first native-born U.S. citizen-saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton. Majoring in English literature, she graduated summa cum laude in 1923 and began teaching English and Latin at the Academy of St. Aloysius in Jersey City. Having already discerned a religious vocation, Teresa delayed her entrance to religious life due to her father’s brief illness and subsequent death. 

She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth on Feb. 11, 1925 — the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. She soon received her novice’s habit and took the name Sister Miriam Teresa in honor of the Blessed Mother and St. Teresa of Ávila. She also had a deep devotion to St. Thérèse of Lisieux, who was canonized that same day. As a postulant and novice, Sister Miriam Teresa taught at the Academy of Saint Elizabeth in Convent Station. Over the next two years, she wrote prolifically: short plays, poems, meditations, letters and even part of her autobiography.

Read the full article here:

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