Feast Day : 7 June
Anne of St. Bartholomew, O.C.D. (Spanish: Ana de San Bartolomé) (Almendral de la Cañada, Old Castile, 1 October 1549 – Antwerp, 7 June 1626), was a Spanish Discalced Carmelite nun, and companion to St. Teresa of Avila. She led the establishment of monasteries of the new Order in France and the Lowlands. She has been beatified by the Catholic Church.
Born Ana García y Manzanas, the fifth child of María Manzanas and Hernan García. She was of humble origin and spent her youth in solitude and prayer tending flocks. Both her parents had died by the time she was ten years old. When she first went to Ávila to enter the Carmelite monastery, she was refused as being too young; for several years after, she suffered much at the hands of her brothers and grew seriously ill. Concerned for her health, her brothers made a novena to St. Bartholomew. When Anne entered a small chapel dedicated to that saint on his feast day (24 August), she found herself instantly cured. From that point on, she always invoked his help as her special protector.
Anne later entered the monastery as lay sister, the first admitted by the foundress, and made her religious vows on 15 August 1572. For the next ten years she filled the post of infirmarian. When St. Teresa broke her left arm on Christmas Day 1577, Anne became her almost inseparable companion, caregiver and secretary, in whose arms Teresa died at Alba de Tormes in 1582.
Anne afterwards returned to Avila, took part in the foundation of a convent at Ocana (1595), and was one of the seven nuns selected for the introduction of the order into France (October, 1604). The French superiors, desirous of sending her as prioress to Pontoise, obliged her to pass from the state of lay sister to that of choir nun. So unusual a step met with the disapproval of her companions, but, as St. Teresa had foretold it many years previously, Anne offered no resistance. She had also been forewarned that the same step would cause her great sufferings.
Anne's priorship at Pontoise (January to September, 1605), Paris (October, 1605, to April, 1608), Tours May, 1608, to 1611) brought her heavy trials, not the least of which were differences with her superiors. At the expiration of her last term of office she returned to Paris, but warned by a vision, she proceeded to the County of Flanders (October, 1611), where she founded and became prioress of a monastery in Antwerp (27 October 1612), which she governed to the end of her life. Twice she was instrumental in delivering the town from the hands of Protestant forces.
In 1735, Anne of St. Bartholomew was declared Venerable. She was beatified in 1917.
Anne's writings include a number of letters still preserved, an autobiography now at Antwerp, edited by Marie Dominique Bouix (Paris, 1869–72), and several treatises on spiritual matters, which appeared at Paris in 1646. An extensive bibliography is found on the website of The Friends of Sr Ana.
“Silence is precious; by keeping silence and knowing how to listen to God, the soul grows in wisdom and God teaches it what it cannot learn from men.”