Friends of the Rosary,
We celebrate today the Memorial of the Spanish Carmelite reformer, mystic, and doctor of the Church, St. Teresa of Avila.
She was canonized forty years after her earthly death, in the early 17th century, with three of her greatest contemporaries: St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, and St. Philip Neri. They all enriched the Church, challenging the heresy of Luther and other Protestants.
Together with her close collaborator, the priest and writer Saint John of the Cross, she founded the Order of Discalced Carmelites, characterized by a life of poverty, silence, and solitude. Facing fierce opposition within the Church, she built 30 monasteries during her life and a worldwide order of nuns.
Through intense prayer and after receiving the Holy Communion, Teresa of Avila contemplated Christ’s presence. Sometimes, her whole body levitated. Far from being excited about these ruptures, she “begged God very much not to give me any more favors in public.”
St. Teresa’s health failed many times during her life, suffering malaria and other diseases. Moreover, she experienced a dramatic final illness. She stated that it was God’s chosen means of calling her into his presence forever.
She wrote in her autobiography: “O my Lord, and my spouse, the desired hour now comes.” (…) “The hour wherein I shall pass out of this exile, and my soul shall enjoy in your company what I so earnestly longed for.”
[Written by Mikel A | The Rosary Network, New York]