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I began to think of the soul as if it were a castle made of a single diamond or of a very clear crystal, in which there are many rooms, just as in Heaven there are many mansions.


St. Teresa of Avila
(1515-1582)

 

About St. Teresa of Avila:

 

St. Teresa of Avila was a Spanish mystic born in 1515 in Avila, Spain. She was an influential author and the founder of the religious order to the Discalced (barefoot) Carmelites. She is also known as Teresa of Jesus.

 

St. Teresa joined the Carmelite order in 1535. She spent a number of years in the convent, punctuated by a severe illness that left her legs paralyzed for three years. She then experienced a vision of "the sorely wounded Christ" that changed her life forever.

 

Since that vision, St. Teresa moved into a period of increasingly ecstatic experiences in which she came to focus more and more sharply on Christ's passion. With these visions as her impetus, she set herself to the reformation of her order, beginning with her attempt to master herself and her adherence to the rule. Gathering a group of supporters, Teresa endeavored to create a more primitive type of Carmelite. 

 

From 1560 until her death, Teresa struggled to establish and broaden the movement of Discalced or barefoot Carmelites.  In 1567, she met St. John of the Cross, who she enlisted to extend her reform into the male side of the Carmelite Order. St. Teresa died in 1582.

 

St. Teresa's writings, all published posthumously, are valued as unique contributions to mystical and devotional literature and as masterpieces of Spanish prose. 

 

Teresa was canonized in 1622. In 1970, she was proclaimed a Doctor of Church, the first woman to be named so. Her feast day is October 15. She is the patron saint of headache sufferers.

 

Read a full biography 

 

Featured Books:

 

The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila by Herself (Penguin Classics)
Famous Carmelite classic in a wonderful traditional translation. her spiritual struggles, vision of her potential place in Hell, mystical graces - yet she remained very down to earth. Full of strong Catholic faith and robust common sense. One of the most admirable women of all time!

 


Let Nothing Disturb You
A Journey to the Center of the Soul With Teresa of Avila (30 Days With a Great Spiritual Teacher)
by John Kirvan

 

The Way of Perfection
Although Teresa of Avila lived and wrote almost four centuries ago, her superbly inspiring classic on the practice of prayer is as fresh and meaningful today as it was when she first wrote it. Through the entire work there runs the author's desire to teach a deep and lasting love of prayer. Of all Teresa's writings, The Way of Perfection is the most easily understood. Although it is a mystical classic, its outstanding hallmark is a simple and practical nature and inspires all those who seek a life of wholeness.

 

 

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