This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

October 15 -- St. Teresa of Avila

St. Teresa ran away from her father's home to become a Carmelite nun at age 17. Although he did not approve of her taking orders, he acknowledged her determination and granted his consent. After recovering from an illness, she began seeing holy visions. Because she considered the rules of her convent too lax, she founded a reformed (the only time reformed has ever been used to mean more strict) convent. Over the objections of local religious authorities, she founded several sister-houses of her new, more strict convent.

Like many saints, she sounds like she was threatening, or at least irritating, to local authorities. She was canonized within forty years of her death, and four centuries later, was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church, but you have to wonder if the Carmelites ever regretted letting her in. When I read that she had played "hermit"as a child in her father's garden, I had to think that they all should have seen it coming.

1 comment:

  1. An inspiring thing about St. Teresa was that it was a good 10 or 15 years in the convent before her spiritual life really kicked in and the visions, huge holiness, etc. started. In fact, she thought she was pretty lax and lukewarm for those first years. Inspiration for us all.

    Also, her autobiography was the inspiration for one of the 20th century's greatest saints, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, a.k.a. Edith Stein. Stein, a secular Jew, atheist, and academic philosopher, picked of St. Teresa's autobiography during a trip to friends, if think during a storm. She stayed up all night reading it, and never turned back. She converted to Catholicism, joined the Carmelite order, and was martyred during WWII. What great fruits from her story, 400 years later!