Our Patroness: St. Teresa of Avila

St. Teresa of Avila, patroness Saint of our church, was born March 28, 1515, at Avila, Castile, Spain. She was educated by Augustinian nuns, but ill health forced her to leave their convent at the age of 17. Long attracted to the religious life, she became a Carmelite in 1536.

Teresa experienced visions and heard voices, which caused her great anguish until her spiritual adviser convinced her that they were authentic.

Assisted by St. John of the Cross, she established the Reform of the Discalced Carmelites, both for the brethren and sisters in her Order. During 18 turbulent years of bitter struggle, Teresa traveled all over Spain. During this time she wrote letters and books which are widely regarded as classics of spiritual literature. Some of her most notable works are Autobiography, The Way of Perfection, and Interior Castle.

One of the great mystics of all times, she was intelligent, hard-headed, charming, deeply spiriutal, and was able to successfully blend a highly active life with a life of deep contemplation.

She died at the age of 67 and was canonized 40 years later by Pope Gregory XV. She was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970 by Pope Paul VI - the first woman to be so honored.

As patroness of our church she has a special interest in all parishioners. All the people of the parish should remember to show special honor and devotion towards this great "Saint of God."