Saints Series: Saint Teresa of Ávila

Teresa of Ávila was born March 28, 1515 in Spain. She became a Carmelite nun in 1535, against her father’s wishes. Within a couple of years, her health began to fail and she became bedridden for three years. During those three years she developed a love for mental prayer. This eventually led to her desire to return the Carmelite Order to it origins. This required that the nuns completely withdraw from society so that they could better meditate of divine law and lead a prayerful life.

St. Teresa was a great writer. Many of her writings can still be found today. One of the books that she wrote was called The Interior Castle. In The Interior Castle Teresa tells her readers that they should care for their souls with as much care as they care for their physical bodies. St. Teresa believed that prayer is necessary to the soul because without it, the soul is like “a body, palsied and lame, having hands and feet it cannot use.” (The Interior Castle)

St. Teresa faced a lot of opposition in her life when it came to following what God had called her to do. Her father didn’t want her to become a nun. Many of the leaders of both the towns where she opened her reformed convent and the other monasteries or convents were upset that she was changing things drastically. She forged ahead anyway. She died in 1582, on the road as she was returning to Ávila from Burgos, Spain.

Some of Teresa of Ávila’s Written works:

· Life of the Mother Teresa of Jesus

· Book of the Foundations

· The Way of Perfection

· The Interior Castle

· Spiritual Relations

· Exclamations of the Soul of God

· Conceptions on the Love of God

This is part of a monthly series of newsletter articles written by Intern Bridget.