Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila

Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila

Autobiography of Saint Teresa of Avila (1515 – 1582)

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Nearly four centuries have passed since St. Teresa began to write, and, both in her own country and abroad, her fame is still widespread and still growing. Her purely human qualities and gifts, the saintliness of her life by which they were illumined and overshadowed, the naturalness and candour of her manner and style — these are some of the reasons why her name is not only graven upon the enduring marble of history but taken on the lips of generation after generation with reverence and love.

She is a mystic — and more than a mystic. Her works, it is true, are well known in the cloister and have served as nourishment to many who are far advanced on the Way of Perfection, and who, without her aid, would still be beginners in the life of prayer. Yet they have also entered the homes of millions living in the world and have brought consolation, assurance, hope and strength to souls who, in the technical sense, know nothing of the life of contemplation.

Devoting herself as she did, with the most wonderful persistence and tenacity, to the sublimest task given to man — the attempt to guide others toward perfection — she succeeded so well in that task that she is respected everywhere as an incredibly gifted teacher, who has revealed, more perhaps than any who came before her, the nature and extent of those gifts which the Lord has laid up in this life for those who love Him.

In past ages, of course, there had been many writers kindled with Divine love to whom He had manifested His ineffable secrets, but for the most part these secrets had gone down with them to the grave. To St. Teresa it was given to speak to the world, in her diaphanous, colloquial language and her simple, unaffected style, of the work of the Holy Spirit in the enamoured soul, of the interior strife and the continual purgation through which such a soul must pass in its ascent of Mount Carmel and of the wonders which await it on the mountain’s summit.

7 thoughts on “Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila”

  1. Hi,

    Just thought I’d mention that the picture above is of St. Theresa of The Child Jesus and The Holy Face. Also known as ‘The Little Flower’. The picture is not of Saint Teresa of Avila. Was this the only picture you had?
    If you need pictures of St. Teresa of Avila, let me know.

  2. Cheryl and Georgy: The picture and the information is correctly displayed of Saint Teresa of Jesus (Theresa of Avila). A Doctor of the Church, her writings are as detailed in theology and complexity as that of Augustine; unlike the Bishop of Hippo, Teresa was a recluse and a Mystic, of the 13the century, and a friend of Saint John of The Cross; also a Doctor of The Church known for his mystical revelations of Truth in Christ.

    Saint Therese of The Child Jesus (Lisieux, France), at age 14, had a vision of The Child Jesus, with revelations of his future suffering. Her only writing was her Journal, written in a child like manner. She died at age 24, just before the turn of the 19th to 20th century; about 800 years after Teresa of Jesus (Avila, Spain). Both were Discalced Carmelite Nuns.

  3. I have to make a poster about a saint and I chose St. Teresa of Avila, does anyone know of a nice picture of her I could use? Thanks

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