St. Teresa of Avila – Feast Day October 15

Let nothing trouble you, let nothing make you afraid. All things pass away. God never changes. Patience obtains everything. God alone is enough.” ~ St. Teresa of Avila

St. Teresa of Avila

St. Teresa was a Spanish mystic born in 1515. She came from a loving family and as a child she loved to read the lives of the saints and martyrs with her brother, Rodrigo.

She joined the Carmelite Order and was the founder of the Discalced Carmelites, which was a reform movement within the Carmelite Order. In her work of reform, she worked very closely with St. John of the Cross.

She wrote several important works, including her autobiography, The Life of Teresa of Avila, and her most influential work, The Interior Castle, in which she talks about the mystical life in terms of seven mansions. These mansions show the growth in intimacy between the believer and God. St. Teresa was the first woman ever to be declared a Doctor of the Church (1970).

St. Teresa had a great sense of humor which showed her great trust and friendship with God. St. Teresa warned against “long-faced Saints”! Her approach to life reminds us that not only is it important to raise a holy family, but to raise a happy, holy family!

She is the patroness of headache sufferers…so anyone with kids probably suffers from headaches on occasion…so turn to St. Teresa for help!

I read a great book, My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir, by Colleen Carroll Campbell a few years back. In this book, Campbell blends a personal narrative with stories of six women saints who profoundly changed her life…Teresa of Avila was one of those saints. I highly recommend reading this book…it shows the relevance of the saints to the lives of Christians today.


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