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However, her father at once yielded and Teresa took the habit. After her profession in the following year she became very seriously ill, and underwent a prolonged cure and such unskillful medical treatment that she was reduced to a most pitiful state, and even after partial recovery through the intercession of St. Joseph, her health remained permanently impaired. During these years of suffering she began the practice of mental prayer, but fearing that her conversations with some world-minded relatives, frequent visitors at the convent, rendered her unworthy of the graces God bestowed on her in prayer, discontinued it, until she came under the influence, first of the Dominicans, and afterwards of the Jesuits.

Meanwhile God had begun to visit her with "intellectual visions and locutions", that is manifestations in which the exterior senses were in no way affected, the things seen and the words heard being directly impressed upon her mind, and giving her wonderful strength in trials, reprimanding her for unfaithfulness, and consoling her in trouble. Unable to reconcile such graces with her shortcomings, which her delicate conscience represented as grievous faults, she had recourse not only to the most spiritual confessors she could find, but also to some saintly laymen, who, never suspecting that the account she gave them of her sins was greatly exaggerated, believed these manifestations to be the work of the evil spirit.

The more she endeavored to resist them the more powerfully did God work in her soul.

"The Interior Castle of St. Teresa of Avila," Fr. John Welch

The whole city of Avila was troubled by the reports of the visions of this nun. It was reserved to St. Francis Borgia and St. The account of her spiritual life contained in the "Life written by herself" completed in , an earlier version being lost , in the "Relations", and in the "Interior Castle", forms one of the most remarkable spiritual biographies with which only the "Confessions of St.

Augustine" can bear comparison.

St. Teresa of Avila: The Book of Her Foundations - A Study Guide: Revised Edition 2012

To this period belong also such extraordinary manifestations as the piercing or transverberation of her heart, the spiritual espousals, and the mystical marriage. A vision of the place destined for her in hell in case she should have been unfaithful to grace, determined her to seek a more perfect life.

After many troubles and much opposition St. Joseph at Avila 24 Aug. Four years later she received the visit of the General of the Carmelites, John-Baptist Rubeo Rossi , who not only approved of what she had done but granted leave for the foundation of other convents of friars as well as nuns.


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In the "Book of Foundations" she tells the storyof these convents, nearly all of which were established in spite of violent opposition but with manifest assistance from above. Everywhere she found souls generous enough to embrace the austerities of the primitive rule of Carmel.

Having made the acquaintance of Antonio de Heredia, prior of Medina, and St. John of the Cross, she established her reform among the friars 28 Nov. A new epoch began with the entrance into religion of Jerome Gratian, inasmuch as this remarkable man was almost immediately entrusted by the nuncio with the authority of visitor Apostolic of the Carmelite friars and nuns of the old observance in Andalusia, and as such considered himself entitled to overrule the various restrictions insisted upon by the general and the general chapter.

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