St. Teresa of Avila

by Edward O'Shaughnessy

St. Teresa was born in a small village called Avila. The date was the twenty-eighth of March 1515. Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda, her father, was a good man of a good family. Beatrice Davila y Ahumada was the mother of Teresa. Her father was a very charitable man, compassionate to the sick, and gentle towards his servants. He was known for his veracity, modesty and chastity, and he never swore. When Teresa was twelve years old her mother died at the age of thirty-three.

God caught the heart of Teresa at a very early age, and when she was only seven years old, she took a great pleasure in reading pious books. Teresa and her brother had a heart for the saints and prayed to God that He would give them the grace to be able to love Him. Even at an early age Teresa spent many a time saying prayers and the rosary. She had a special devotion for the Virgin Mary.

Teresa a the age of twelve started to read lots of romances that made her vain and spend most of her time making herself look nice. This offended God. She later in her life saw what she had done and lamented over her sin. By about the age of seventeen Teresa went to join a convent of the Carmelite nuns. Teresa when she was twenty suffered from fainting, swooning, and she had violent pains at her heart. No doctor could find the problem so she was removed from the convent and went to stay with her sister. Teresa kept on getting pains and even her sinews began to shrink. Finally it all abated and she was able to go back to the convent even though she kept getting fevers. After three years Teresa was restored to health only by the grace of God. This wonderful saint died on the fourth of October 1582, aged sixty-seven. St. Teresa was canonized by Gregory XV in 1621.

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