Saint Teresa of Avila Minibook
Title: Saint Teresa of Avila
Authors: Bob and Penny Lord
Publisher: Journeys of Faith
Format: Printed minibook
Saint Teresa of Avila
Reformer of the Carmelite Order
“At last, at last, a daughter of the Church”
Saint Teresa of Avila, lovingly referred to as Teresa la Grande, is a radical sign in our Church. She is so grand, yet so simple in her walk toward the Lord. We believe the reason we shied away from her for so many years is that we were intimidated by her biographers. We were afraid she was high above us, intellectually and spiritually.
We tried to bypass her Shrines at Avila and Alba de Tormes. But the more we attempted to go round her, the more she drew us to her. We planned a pilgrimage to the Shrines of Europe. A beautiful lady, Sister Jane, was celebrating her 25th anniversary as a Religious. She and another Sister also celebrating her 25th anniversary, were given the money to go with us. When we met Sister Jane, she bowled us over with her excitement. We were going to the Holy Land, Rome, Assisi, Siena, Lourdes, Fatima, and as an aside, Avila. When she heard Avila, she almost went into ecstasy. This was her greatest dream, to walk where Teresa, had walked. Because of her, we too became excited.
Teresa touched us again on that pilgrimage, in Lourdes. We were honored to meet up with our Archbishop, the late Timothy Cardinal Manning. He was on a private pilgrimage of Lourdes and the Holy Land (Ireland), with another Priest. He asked us our itinerary. When we neglected to mention Alba de Tormes, he looked us in the eye, and suggested, no, commanded, “If you don’t visit any other Shrine, you must go to Alba de Tormes.” Cardinal Manning had the ability to burrow through to your soul with his eyes and his voice.
The Shrines were beautiful. The tribute given this great Saint by the Church was awe-inspiring. But we got to know Teresa through her Carmelite Priests, at the Shrines. At her birthplace in Avila, a young Priest explained who Teresa was and is. In Alba de Tormes, Fray Hernandez, spoke of her with such simplicity and love, we hungered to learn more.
Teresa, is that when you became a part of our lives? Was it the day we discovered you were reachable, so touchable, when the Priest spoke of you so lovingly that tears came to his and our eyes? We never knew. When our daughter had spoken of castles; when we started to realize what castle she meant, the Interior Castle 1 , we became intimidated. We tried to read about the different mansions in the Castle; we felt we would never be able to go beyond the first mansion (room), if we had the courage to enter it, in the first place.
At last, at last, a daughter of the Church."
The life of Saint Teresa of Avila
We describe in detail the Convent of the Incarnation where she had mystical experiences, including Transverberation of the Heart.
We discuss San José in Avila, Valladolid, and Alba de Tormes where she died.
We write about her incorrupt arm and heart.