IHM Congregation Patrons
Mary Immaculate, The Immaculate Conception
From the very beginnings of the Congregation, the dedication to Our Lady, under the title of her Immaculate Conception, was a part of the early Constitutions given to the Sisters by Father Gillet. An excerpt from the original rule highlights the importance of this devotion to the first sisters, a heritage from their Redemptorist roots, and seven years before the dogma was officially promulgated.
(Constitution II. The Principal Patroness of the Institute will be the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of Immaculate, whose feast is celebrated the eighth of December.)
When we hear people talk of riches, honors and amusements of the world, let us remember that all things have an end, and let us then say: "My God, I wish for You alone and nothing more."
--Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Founder of the Redemptorists, whose rule the Sisters adopted for the Congregation.
Click here for a brief biography of Saint Alphonsus.
Saint Teresa of Avila
"We need no wings to go in search of Him, but have only to look upon Him present within us."
--Saint Teresa of Avila
The devotion to Saint Teresa of Avila, one of the patronesses of
the Congregation, dates from the earliest years of the foundation.
Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada, (Sister Teresa of Jesus), came from
a well-to-do noble family. She entered the Carmelite order (possibly
in 1536). Much later she underwent (c.1555) a "second conversion,"
after which she experienced mystic visions. She had entertained
a desire to found a house of reformed Carmelites (the Discalced,
or Barefoot, Carmelites, living in strict observance of the rule)
long before she had the opportunity in 1562 to found the Convent
of St. Joseph in Ávila.
St. Teresa was an excellent and tireless manager, waging a long and ultimately successful struggle with other branches of the clergy to have the Discalced Carmelites separated from the older order and eventually founding seventeen convents. The reawakening of religious fervor that she brought about in Spain was astonishing. Soon after her death the movement spread beyond Spain and across Christendom, having a profound effect on the Counter Reformation. She brought mysticism and its fruits to the common person. She was canonized in 1622.
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