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Five hundred years since the birth of Saint Teresa of Avila

2015-03-28

Five hundred years ago, on March 28th, one of the most important women in the history of the Church was born. That woman is St. Teresa of Avila.

She had a strong personality. At first, it seemed like she was very much against becoming a nun. However, over the years, St. Teresa began considering religious vocation. In 1535, she entered the convent of the Incarnation, against the will of her father. 

However, the lax standards of the convent did not please her. When she turned 39, she began having visions and mystical experiences that led her to lead a revolution.

She reformed the Carmelite order to regain its initial spirit. The Church opposed her at the time.  She helped found the Discalced Carmelites. While coping with her difficulties, she coined this famous phrase: "Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing.” Doubts about her reforms dissipated. Eventually, 17 new convents were built.

St. Teresa died in Alba de Tormes, in October 1582.

She was beatified by Pope Paul V in 1614, and canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. Pope Paul VI named her a Doctor of the Universal Church in 1970. She was the first woman to earn the title.


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