St. Teresa of Jesus

Teresa of Avila (photo of painting by Fray Juan de la Miseria 1576)St. Teresa of Jesus
Born: 28 Mar 1515
Died: 4 Oct 1582
The Gregorian Calendar was introduced that year,
so the day following Teresa’s death became 15 Oct.
Beatified: 24 Apr 1614 by Paul V
Canonised: 12 Mar 1622 by Gregory XV
Doctor of the Church: 27 Sep 1970 by Paul VI

A woman of great humility and courage, she herself struggled with prayer during her early years as a Carmelite nun. However, after her deeper conversion she was able to assist others on the journey towards God. A key figure in the reform of Carmel, her inspiring works are some of the best and most complete descriptions of the spiritual journey and widely read even today.

“…mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us. In order that love be true and the friendship endure, the wills of the friends must be in accord.” (Life, 8, 5)

“If beginners with the assistance of God struggle to reach the summit of perfection, I believe they will never go to heaven alone; they will always lead many people along after them.” (Life, 11, 4)

“If the soul perseveres in prayer, in the midst of the sins, temptations, and failures of a thousand kinds that the devil places in its path, in the end, I hold as certain, the Lord will draw it forth to the harbour of salvation.” (Life, 8, 4)