2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Teresa of Avila
Teresa was born March 28, 1515 in Avila. When she was 16, she was sent to an Augustinian convent where she stayed for five years before entering the Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation. She became ill with catalepsy, and was partially paralzed for several years. In 1555 she was "re-awakened" and saw images of Jesus Christ, angels and demons. She then reformed and strengthed her religious ways. Teresa founded the first community for reformed Disclaced Carmelite nuns. After this community was approved, she was encouraged to develop similar houses for men. With the help of John of the Cross, 30 new foundations for men and women were developed. The Disclaced Carmelites received recognition as an independent monastic body two years before Teresa's death in 1582. Teresa wrote two autobiographies and two books offering advice to her nuns. In 1970, she became the first woman to be named Doctor of the Church.
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