St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church
October 15–Patroness of Headache Sufferers
St. Teresa was born on March 28, 1515 in Avila, Spain. Her mother died when she was twelve and her father placed her in a convent of Augustinian nuns. When she returned home, she determined to enter religion. She became a nun in the Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation near Avila, and made her profession in November of 1534.
Though for many years in the convent she led a good religious life, certain faults still adhered to her; but the moment of grace came at last and the noble heart of St. Teresa began to soar upward to perfection. Inspired by the Holy Spirit and acting under the direction of enlightened men, among whom was St. Peter of Alcantara, she undertook the superhuman task of reforming her Order and restoring its primitive observance.
Assisted by St. John of the Cross, she succeeded in establishing the Reform of the Discalced Carmelites, for both the brethren and the sisters of her Order. Before her death in 1582, thirty-two monasteries of the Reformed Rule had been established, among which seventeen were convents of nuns. She was canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV.
Teresa received great gifts from God. She also wrote many books on Mystical Theology considered by Popes Gregory XV and Urban VII to be equal to those of a Doctor of the Church. Accordingly, on September 27, 1970, Pope Paul VI added her to the roll of Doctors of the Church.
PRAYER God, You raised up St. Teresa by Your Spirit so that she could manifest to the Church the way to perfection. Nourish us with the food of heaven, and fire us with a desire for holiness. Amen.
Hoever, Rev. Hugo, (1999, 1993, 1955). Lives of the Saints. 1st ed. New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Corp.