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Saint Teresa of Avila

AKA: Teresa de Avila; Teresa of Jesus; Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada; The Roving Nun; Theresa of Avila

Born: March 28, 1515 in Gotarrendura, Avila, Crown of Castile (Today it is Spain) as Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada

Died: October 4, 1592 in Alba de Tormes, Salamanca, Spain of Natural Causes in the arms of her secretary and close friend, Blessed Ann of Saint Bartholomew; Body incorrupt; Relics preserved at Alba; Her heart shows signs of Transverberation (Piercing of the heart) and is displayed, too

Venerated: Roman Catholic Church; Lutheran Church; Anglican Communion

Beatified: April 24, 1614 by Pope Paul V

Canonized: March 12, 1622 by Pope Gregory XV

Feast Day: October 15

Patronages: Against Bodily Ills; Against Headaches; Against Sickness; Against the Death of Parents; Lace Makers; People in Need of Grace; People in Religious Orders; People Ridiculed for their Piety; Sick People; World Youth Day 2011
Places: Pozega, Croatia; Spain; Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines Diocese of Amos, Canada; Diocese of Avellaneda-Lanus, Argentina; Berzano di Tortona, Italy

Representation: Nun wearing the habit of a Discalced Carmelite; Carmelite nun with her heart pierced by an arrow held by an angel; Carmelite nun holding a pierced heart, book and crucifix, Carmelite nun with book and quill; Carmelite nun receiving a message from a dove

Saint Teresa was born on March 28, 1515, in Avila, Spain.  Her mother died when she was twelve and her father placed her in a convent of Augustinian nuns.  When she returned home, she determined to enter religion.  She became a nun in the Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation, near Avila, and made her profession in November 1534.

Though for many years in the convent she led a good religious life, certain faults still adhered to her; but the moment of grace came at last and the noble heart of Saint Teresa began to sore upward to perfection.  Inspired by the Holy Spirit and acting under the direction of enlightened men, among whom was Saint Peter of Alcantara, she undertook the superhuman task of reforming her Order and restoring its primitive observance.

Assisted by Saint John of the Cross, she succeeded in establishing the Reform of the Discalced Carmelites, for both the brethren and the sisters of her order.  Before her death in 1582, thirty-two monasteries of the Reformed Rule had been established, among which seventeen were convents of nuns.  She was canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV.

Saint Teresa received great gifts from God.  She also wrote many books on Mystical Theology considered by Popes Gregory XV and Urban VII to be equal to those of a Doctor of the Church.  Accordingly, on September 27, 1970, Pope Paul VI added her to the roll of the Doctors of the Church.

For Further Information About Saint Teresa of Avila, See CatholicSaints.Info Website

Prayer:  God, You raised up Saint Teresa by Your spirit so that she could manifest to the Church the way to perfection.  Nourish us with the food of heaven, and fire us with a desire for holiness.  Amen.