St Teresa of Avila.

posted by: Joan Vine | on: Saturday, 28 October 2017, 15:42


St Teresa of Avila

St Teresa of Avila

St Teresa was born in 1515 at Avila in Spain. She was the third child of Don Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda and his second wife. Teresa was brought up by her father and a tender and pious mother who unfortunately died when Teresa was thirteen. Following her mother's death and the marriage of her eldest sister, Teresa was sent to be educated by the Augustinian nuns at Avila which she left due to ill health after about 18 months and for some years lived with her father and occasionally with other relatives. One of her uncles introduced her to the Letters of St Jerome which persuaded her to adopt the religious life and in 1535 she entered the Carmelite Convent at Avila.

Teresa became a great reformer, and worked with St John of the Cross. Her first works of reform were inside her own convent; at the time she entered the convent it had become a social place for wealthy young ladies with large dowries who weren't destined to be married. Teresa emphasised that religious life is a vocation of penance, prayer, poverty and hard work. Her reformed convent became known as the Discalced Carmelites.

She is most remembered for her deeply spiritual mysticism, which she testifies to in her autobiography, 'The Life of Teresa of Jesus', which together with a number of other books is an integral part of Spanish Renaissance literature. Not only in writing, but also in practice, Teresa experienced deep mental prayer. She is normally pictured in a state of ecstasy and, at times, levitating during Mass. Teresa was canonised 1622, some 40 years after her death.

Finally, let St Teresa have the last word and take it to heart. "Christ has no body on earth now but yours. Yours are the eyes through which He is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which He is to bless people now." Alan Vine


 Posted: 28 Oct 2017 | There are 0 comments


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