Less than two decades before the birth of Saint Teresa of Avila in 1515, Columbus unveiled the Western Hemisphere to European explorers. Shortly after her birth, Luther ignited the Protestant Reformation. Amidst these transformative times, Teresa emerged, advocating for inner peace amidst external chaos.

Teresa’s early life was marked by contrasting influences. Her father was devout and stringent, possibly to an extreme. Her mother, on the other hand, harbored a love for romance novels, secretly reading them due to her husband’s disapproval. Young Teresa found herself torn between these worlds, fond of the romantic tales yet caught between her parents’ contrasting views.

A particularly daring escapade saw a five-year-old Teresa attempting to venture to the land of the Moors with her elder brother, hoping to become martyrs. The adventure was cut short when an uncle intercepted them. Rather than seeing this as a sign of early sainthood, it might better be viewed as a testament to her mischievous spirit.

As a teenager, Teresa was no different from many of her contemporaries – intrigued by fashion, boys, and a bit of rebellion. Concerned about her behavior, her father sent her to a convent. Initially reluctant, Teresa gradually warmed to the religious life, influenced by her deepening connection to God and the relative leniency of the convent compared to her father’s home.

However, when the time came to commit to religious life or matrimony, Teresa struggled. Witnessing her mother’s challenging marriage made her wary. Yet, she chose the religious path, driven by the belief that it might shield her from her perceived sinful nature.

At the Carmelite convent, Teresa devoted herself to mental prayer. But, the environment wasn’t always conducive. The convent housed many who weren’t necessarily there for spiritual reasons, and distractions were rampant. Teresa herself was not immune, often getting drawn into worldly pursuits like gossip and vanity.

A severe bout of malaria, which left Teresa paralyzed for years, should have brought her closer to God. But instead, she drifted away, using her illness as an excuse. It wasn’t until she was 41 that she recommitted to her prayer life.

Teresa’s renewed devotion brought her profound spiritual experiences, but it also drew scrutiny. Some viewed her visions with suspicion. At one point, following a confessor’s advice, she even made obscene gestures during her visions to counteract supposed demonic influences.

Realizing the need for reform in her religious order, at 43, Teresa embarked on a mission to establish a new convent grounded in simplicity and devout prayer. This was not without challenges. She faced opposition from religious leaders, fellow nuns, and even society at large. Yet, she persisted.

Despite the hardships, Teresa’s message about prayer resonated far and wide. Her writings became influential, providing insights on spiritual life and the nature of prayer.

Teresa’s life was a blend of challenges and spiritual revelations. She navigated through worldly obstacles with grace and humor. Passing away at 67, her legacy endures in the Discalced Carmelites order she founded. In 1970, her profound writings on prayer earned her the title of a Doctor of the Church. Today, she stands as a beacon for those seeking spiritual depth, and as a patron saint for headache sufferers. Her legacy is symbolized by a heart, an arrow, and a book, and her canonization in 1622 solidified her place in history.

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  1. Hello,
    I enjoy reading the articles on this site, but am disappointed by the amount of grammatical errors. Do you not have editors? If you wish to “Spread the Word”, it would be much easier to do so if the articles were written with more attention to detail. Thank you for sharing so much information.
    God bless,

    • I’m just curious at what sort of errors you are seeing, since I have seen a few, here and there, but nothing that obscures meaning. I’m not the person who runs this site, by the way. I think the articles might originally come from a different source. This site is more of a portal to the resources and doesn’t require much upkeep itself. That is my conjecture, at least.

      However, I doubt the spreading of the Gospel will be impeded by small grammatical errors, unless it is the reader who places too much importance on such matters and hardens their heart out of pride because of it. Love is patient and endures all things.

      It would be nice if the errors will fixed, though, I agree.

      • Sᴛᴀʀᴛ ᴡᴏʀᴋɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ʜᴏᴍᴇ! Gʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴊᴏʙ ғᴏʀ sᴛᴜᴅᴇɴᴛs, And Jobless Persons sᴛᴀʏ-ᴀᴛ-ʜᴏᴍᴇ ᴍᴏᴍs ᴏʀ ᴀɴʏᴏɴᴇ ɴᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ ᴀɴ ᴇxᴛʀᴀ ɪɴᴄᴏᴍᴇ. Yᴏᴜ ᴏɴʟʏ ɴᴇᴇᴅ ᴀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀ ʀᴇʟɪᴀʙʟᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴇᴛ ᴄᴏɴɴᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ. Mᴀᴋᴇ $80 ʜᴏᴜʀʟʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴜᴘ ᴛᴏ $13,000 ᴀ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ʙʏ ғᴏʟʟᴏᴡɪɴɢ ʟɪɴᴋ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴛᴛᴏᴍ ᴀɴᴅ sɪɢɴɪɴɢ ᴜᴘ. pi Yᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʏᴏᴜʀ ғɪʀsᴛ ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ʙʏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇɴᴅ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪs ᴡᴇᴇᴋ. . .
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    • I find the errors quite distracting and don’t see why an English speaker person can not edit them. They are not huge – just very distracting.

    • It’s a matter of credibility, which all error weakens. Whether blog posts or classic literature, especially when money has been invested, precise editing is certainly called for and expected. Volunteers or freebees are subject to less critical evaluation, but should still make every effort to communicate effectively. It puts the responsibility on the reader, not the writer, which is counterproductive. Intentionally or unintentionally. Social media fosters lazy habits in many, which is repulsive to any trained eye. The only thing worse, are spam posts that won’t allow you to report or delete them! Ugh.

  2. I love this article! And I am now an official fan of St. Teresa of Avila. My confirmation name is Therese, not knowing at the time ( 1968; I was 14!) that it was also the name of The Little Flower of Jesus. By the time I was a sophomore in college (1973) , I discovered why I “chose” that name. I became more aware of the Carmelite Order. We have a monastery located within 45 minutes of my home! We had just gotten a new priest who “happened” to be very close to them. Also, at the recommendation of my Nanny, my godfather’s wife, I began writing to the sisters for a special intention. I eventually found myself in the outer receiving room of the monastery, gazing at a beautiful hand-crafted wall plaque with the words “Let nothing disturb you, Patience obtains everything, God alone suffices,” with St. Teresa of Avila written below the quote. Well, I thoroughly became acquainted with Therese of Lisieux, but never her senior Carmelite patron saint. TODAY, I have met Teresa of Avila, and recognize, again, that it has been in God’s good time. But I never forgot her words that are emblazoned in my memory from the image of that plaque. Thank you for posting this for us to read! Thank God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – that He let me “find” it and that I may begin to know her. Amen!

    • I have a similar story although I don’t remember which Teresa I picked at Confirmation. I love them both! I love the “little way” when I can DO nothing else but little things (which is frequently). I’ve also been known to love contemplation and deep mediation which happened to me all the time without my knowing what was going on (in 7th grade prior to my Confirmation.) I took a yoga class in my 20’s and the instructor also taught us “meditation” and then I recognized what had been happening to me in 7th grade. I sure wish I would have had someone to talk to about spiritual and Catholic things in those days, but I suppose maybe things went as they were supposed to go.

  3. 1Ch 29:20 And David said to all the people, Now give praise to the Lord your God. And all the people gave praise to the Lord, the God of their fathers, with bent heads worshipping the Lord and the king.

  4. Why is it showing October 12th as feast day for St. Teresa of Avila. Everything I have ever seen shows it as October 15th. Did something change? Just curious! Thanks!! 🙂

  5. Thank you St. Teresa of Avila. 🙂 Your words and actions during your life rippled through History and until now, I for one was influenced by you.

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    • Sᴛᴀʀᴛ ᴡᴏʀᴋɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ʜᴏᴍᴇ! Gʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴊᴏʙ ғᴏʀ sᴛᴜᴅᴇɴᴛs, And Jobless Persons sᴛᴀʏ-ᴀᴛ-ʜᴏᴍᴇ ᴍᴏᴍs ᴏʀ ᴀɴʏᴏɴᴇ ɴᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ ᴀɴ ᴇxᴛʀᴀ ɪɴᴄᴏᴍᴇ. Yᴏᴜ ᴏɴʟʏ ɴᴇᴇᴅ ᴀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀ ʀᴇʟɪᴀʙʟᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴇᴛ ᴄᴏɴɴᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ. Mᴀᴋᴇ $80 ʜᴏᴜʀʟʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴜᴘ ᴛᴏ $13,000 ᴀ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ʙʏ ғᴏʟʟᴏᴡɪɴɢ ʟɪɴᴋ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴛᴛᴏᴍ ᴀɴᴅ sɪɢɴɪɴɢ ᴜᴘ. po Yᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʏᴏᴜʀ ғɪʀsᴛ ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ʙʏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇɴᴅ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪs ᴡᴇᴇᴋ. . .
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  13. Heavenly Father, thank you for another productive day and forgive me for my sins. Please pray for the souls of my Mother Carmen, Father Victorino, Brother Nelson and other relatives who had passed away already. Comfort them in your arms in their eternal life in your kingdom. Protect our whole family from any harms and danger. Be my guide at all times in all plans and actions in life. Lead me the way towards the right path and directions to follow. Hear the prayer requests of this online community. Lord, hear our prayers. Mary Help of Christians, pray for us! In Jesus name, Amen.

  14. O Saint Teresa, seraphic Virgin, beloved spouse of thy crucified Lord, thou who on earth didst burn with a love so intense toward thy God and my God, and now dost glow with a brighter and purer flame in paradise: obtain for me also, I beseech thee, a spark of that same holy fire which shall cause me to forget the world, all things created, and even myself; for thou didst ever avidly desire to see Him loved by all men. Grant that my every thought and desire and affection may be continually directed to doing the will of God, the supreme Good, wheter I am in joy or in pain, for He is worthy to be loved and obeyed forever. Obtain for me this grace, thou who art so powerful with God; may I be all on fire, like thee, with the holy love of God. Amen.

  15. Ecce Crucem Domini!
    Fugite partes adversae!
    Vicit Leo de tribu Juda,
    Radix David! Alleluia!
    Saint Anthony, pray for us. For Italy.
    Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us. For Rome.

    • Sᴛᴀʀᴛ ᴡᴏʀᴋɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ʜᴏᴍᴇ! Gʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴊᴏʙ ғᴏʀ sᴛᴜᴅᴇɴᴛs, And Jobless Persons sᴛᴀʏ-ᴀᴛ-ʜᴏᴍᴇ ᴍᴏᴍs ᴏʀ ᴀɴʏᴏɴᴇ ɴᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ ᴀɴ ᴇxᴛʀᴀ ɪɴᴄᴏᴍᴇ. Yᴏᴜ ᴏɴʟʏ ɴᴇᴇᴅ ᴀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀ ʀᴇʟɪᴀʙʟᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴇᴛ ᴄᴏɴɴᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ. Mᴀᴋᴇ $80 ʜᴏᴜʀʟʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴜᴘ ᴛᴏ $13,000 ᴀ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ʙʏ ғᴏʟʟᴏᴡɪɴɢ ʟɪɴᴋ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴛᴛᴏᴍ ᴀɴᴅ sɪɢɴɪɴɢ ᴜᴘ. pp Yᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʏᴏᴜʀ ғɪʀsᴛ ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ʙʏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇɴᴅ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪs ᴡᴇᴇᴋ. . .
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