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Feast of St. Teresa of Avila

October 15 @ 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

St. Teresa’s faith developed early on in her life. Her family had converted to Christianity during the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella; her father in particular was a devout Catholic. When she was a young girl, Teresa, along with her younger brother Rodrigo, tried to flee to Muslim controlled territory in order to become martyrs. However they were caught by a relative and brought home.

At 14, Teresa’s mother passed away. This tragedy led to Teresa developing a deeper devotion to her spiritual mother, the Virgin Mary. Her father sent her to a convent of Augustinian nuns where Teresa was educated and soon learned of her new life’s spiritual advantages.

During her second year at the convent, Teresa fell ill, which forced her to return home. Influenced by her devout uncle Peter and the writings of St. Jerome, Teresa decided that the surest way to salvation lay in forsaking marriage, property, and worldly pleasures. She soon joined the Carmelite Order.

Teresa’s illness prevailed, and at age 20, she was forced to return home once more. For two years she endured significant pain and paralysis. She was expected to die from her condition when she fell into a coma for four days. St. Teresa recovered and, despite the lingering pain, returned back to the Carmelite Order.

Twenty years later, Teresa was called back to the practice of contemplative mental prayer which she had abandoned in lieu of routine prayer after her recovery. St. Teresa began to have remarkable visions that appeared to be from God, which she was directed to write about in an autobiography, completed by her in 1565.

St. Teresa played a significant role in the renewal of the Church that took place after the Council of Trent. Part of this included her insistence that the Carmelites return to their original rule of life which had been founded on silence and solitude. She founded the Order of Discalced Carmelites with the help of St. John of the Cross but faced much opposition. Yet, despite the harsh opposition, there were 30 monasteries that were founded during St. Teresa’s lifetime.

While journeying through Salamanca in 1582, St. Teresa of Avila became sick for the last time. She accepted that God was calling her into His presence forever. On March 22, 1622, St. Teresa of Avila was canonized alongside three of her greatest contemporaries: St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, and St. Philip Neri. She was one of the first two women to be declared a Doctor of the Church by St. Paul VI in 1970.

Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila

Let nothing disturb you, 

Let nothing frighten you,

All things are passing away: 

God never changes. 

Patience obtains all things

Whoever has God lacks nothing;

God alone suffices. 



October 15
12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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