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Saturday 20 July |
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And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day: Bl. Teresa of Portugal

A princess who lived as a nun


© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / CC BY-SA 4.0

Wife, Mother, and Cistercian Founder (1178-1250)

Her life

+ Teresa was born in Coimbra, Portugal, and was the eldest daughter of King Sancho I. 

+ She was given in marriage to King Alfonso IX of Leon, Spain, and the couple had three children. However, the marriage was dissolved by the Holy See after several because it was discovered the Teresa and Alfonso were cousins. 

+ Teresa, now single, returned to Portugal, and assumed control of the Benedictine monastery of Lorvão, which she converted into a community of Cistercian nuns. 

+ She lived in the community as one of the nuns, although she never took religious vows. 

+ In 1231, she left the monastery to settle a dispute between her children as to who would inherit the throne of Leon following the death of their father. Once the matter was settled, she return to the monastery and remained there, dedicated to the Cistercian way of life, until her death on June 18, 1250.

+ Devotion to Teresa of Portugal was confirmed by Pope Clement XI in 1705. 

For prayer and reflection

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant who travels in search of fine pearls and who, on finding one of great price, sold everything and bought it.”—Matthew 13:45-46

Spiritual bonus

On June 17 we also remember Saints Daria, Nicander, and Marcian. These lay Christians were martyred together in Venafro, Italy, around the year 303. 


Pour out upon us, Lord, the spirit of knowledge and love of you, with which you filled your handmaid blessed Teresa, so that, serving you sincerely in imitation of her, we may be pleasing to you by our faith and our works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For a Holy Woman)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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