Teresa of Avila
Also known as
Teresa de Avila; Teresa of Jesus; Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada; The Roving Nun; Theresa of Avila
15 October; 27 August (Transverberation of her Heart)
Spanish noble, the daughter of Don Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda and Doña Beatriz. She grew up reading the lives of the saints, and playing at "hermit" in the garden. Crippled by disease in her youth, which led to her being well educated at home, she was cured after prayer to Saint Joseph. Her mother died when Teresa was 12, and she prayed to Our Lady to be her replacement. Her father opposed her entry to religious life, so she left home without telling anyone, and entered a Carmelite house at 17. Seeing her conviction to her call, her father and family consented.
Soon after taking her vows, Teresa became gravely ill, and her condition was aggravated by the inadquate medical help she received; she never fully recovered her health. She began receiving visions, and was examined by Dominicans and Jesuits, including Saint Francis Borgia, who pronounced the visions to be holy and true.
She considered her original house too lax in its rule, so she founded a reformed convent of Saint John of Avila. Founded several houses, often against fierce opposition from local authorities. Mystical writer. Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 27 September 1970 by Pope Paul VI.
28 March 1515 as Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada at Avila, Castile, Spain
4 October 1582 at Alba de Tormes in the arms of her secretary and close friend Blessed Anne of Saint Bartholomew; body incorrupt; relics preserved at Alba; her heart shows signs of Transverberation (piercing of the heart), and is displayed, too