Teresa of Ávila
Saint Teresa of Ávila, born Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus (28 March 1515 – 4 October 1582), was a Spanish noblewoman with Jewish roots who chose a monastic life in the Roman Catholic church. A Carmelite nun, prominent Spanish mystic, religious reformer, author, theologian of the contemplative life and mental prayer, she earned the rare distinction of being declared a Doctor of the Church over four centuries after her death. Active during the Counter-Reformation, she reformed the Carmelite Orders of both women and men. The movement she initiated was later joined by the younger Spanish Carmelite friar and mystic, Saint John of the Cross. It led eventually to the establishment of the Discalced Carmelites. A formal papal decree adopting the split was issued in 1580.
Saint Teresa of Ávila
Saint Teresa of Ávila by Peter Paul Rubens
|Teresa of Jesus, Reverend Mother, Prioress, Doctor of the Church|
|Born||28 March 1515|
Ávila, Crown of Castile (today Spain)
|Died||4 October 1582 (aged 67)|
Alba de Tormes, Salamanca, Spain
|Beatified||24 April 1614, Rome by Pope Paul V|
|Canonized||12 March 1622, Rome by Pope Gregory XV|
|Major shrine||Convent of the Annunciation, Alba de Tormes, Spain|
|Attributes||of Spanish-Jewish parentage, contemplative, mystic, ecstatic, writer on Mental prayer, Religious reformer, Administrator, prolific correspondent possibly temporal lobe epilepsy sufferer|
|Patronage||Spain, sick people, people in religious orders, people ridiculed for their piety, lacemakers, Požega, Croatia, Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines|
|Controversy||Her reforms met with determined opposition and interest from the Spanish Inquisition, but no charges were laid against her. Her order split as a result|
Although Theresa, who had been a social celebrity in her home province, was dogged by early family losses and ill health. Yet in her mature years, she became the central figure of a movement of spiritual and monastic renewal borne out of an inner conviction and honed by ascetic practice. She was also at the centre of deep ecclesiastical controversy as she took on the pervasive laxity in her order against the background of the Protestant reformation sweeping over Europe and the Spanish Inquisition asserting church discipline in her home country. The consequences were to last well beyond her life.
Forty years after her death in 1622, Teresa was canonized by Pope Gregory XV. At the time she was considered a candidate for national patron saint of Spain, but lost out to St. James the Apostle. She has since become one of the patron saints of Spain.
Her written contributions, which include her autobiography, The Life of Teresa of Jesus and her seminal work The Interior Castle, are today an integral part of Spanish Renaissance literature. Together with The Way of Perfection, her works form part of the Literary canon of Christian mysticism and Christian meditation practice, and continue to attract interest from people both within and outside her church. However, not until September 27, 1970, did Pope Paul VI proclaim Teresa a Doctor of the Church in recognition of her centuries-long spiritual legacy to Catholicism.
Other associations with Teresa beyond her writings continue to exert a wide influence. A Santero image of the Immaculate Conception of El Viejo said to have been sent by her with a brother emigrating to Peru, was canonically crowned by Pope John Paul II on December 28, 1989 at the Shrine of El Viejo in Nicaragua. Another Catholic tradition holds that Saint Teresa is personally associated with devotion to the Infant Jesus of Prague, a statue she may have owned. Since her death, her reputation has grown, leading to multiple portrayals. She continues to be widely noted as inspiration to philosophers, theologians, historians, neurologists, fiction writers, artists as well as countless ordinary people interested in Christian spirituality and mysticism.
Speaking to pilgrims from Avila in October 1981, Pope John Paul II said: "It is necessary for the rich legacy left by Teresa of Jesus to be deeply reconsidered so that it can effect a renewal of the inner life of your nation and thereby influence the renewal of life in the entire church in all its aspects. The giant figure of the Great Teresa should act as a strong encouragement in that direction not only on a local or national scale but also on a universal scale".
Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada was born in 1515 in Ávila, Spain. Her paternal grandfather, Juan Sánchez de Toledo, was a marrano or Converso, a Jewish man who was forced to convert to Christianity. When Teresa's father was a child, Juan was condemned by the Spanish Inquisition for allegedly returning to the Jewish faith, but he was later able to assume a Catholic identity. Her father, Alonso Sánchez de Cepeda, was a successful wool merchant and one of the wealthiest men in Ávila. He father bought a knighthood and was successfully assimilated into Christian society.
Teresa's mother was keen to raise her daughter as a pious Christian. Teresa was fascinated by accounts of the lives of the saints and ran away from home at age seven with her brother Rodrigo to find martyrdom among the Moors. Her uncle stopped them on the road as he was returning to the town, having spotted them outside the town walls.
When Teresa was eleven years old, her mother died, leaving her grief-stricken. This prompted her to embrace a deeper devotion to the Virgin Mary as her spiritual mother. Teresa was also enamored of popular fiction, which, at the time was primarily medieval tales of knighthood and works about fashion, gardens and flowers. Teresa was sent to the Augustinian nuns' school at Ávila.
Entry into religious lifeEdit
After completing her education, she initially resisted the idea of a religious vocation, but after a stay with her uncle and other relatives, she relented. In 1536 aged 18, much to the disappointment of her pious and austere father, she decided to enter the local easy-going Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation, significantly built on top of land that had been used previously as a burial ground for Jews. She took up religious reading on contemplative prayer, especially Osuna’s Third Spiritual Alphabet (1527). Her zeal for mortification caused her to became ill again and she spent almost a year in bed, causing huge worry to her community and family. She nearly died but, she recovered thanks to the miraculous intercession of St. Joseph, she believed. She began to experience instances of religious ecstasy.
Foundations of spiritualityEdit
Her reading of medieval mystics, consisted of directions for examinations of conscience and for spiritual self-concentration and inner contemplation known in mystical nomenclature as oratio recollectionis or oratio mentalis. She also dipped into other mystical ascetic works such as the Tractatus de oratione et meditatione of Saint Peter of Alcantara, and perhaps some upon which Saint Ignatius of Loyola based his Spiritual Exercises—possibly the Spiritual Exercises themselves.
She reported that, during her illness, she had risen from the lowest stage, "recollection", to the "devotions of silence" or even to the "devotions of ecstasy", which was one of perfect union with God (see § Mysticism). During this final stage, she said she frequently experienced a rich "blessing of tears". As the Catholic distinction between mortal and venial sin became clear to her, she came to understand the awful terror of sin and the inherent nature of original sin. She also became conscious of her own natural impotence in confronting sin and the necessity of absolute subjection to God.
Around 1556, friends suggested that her newfound knowledge was diabolical, not divine. She had begun to inflict mortifications of the flesh upon herself. But her confessor, the Jesuit Saint Francis Borgia, reassured her of the divine inspiration of her thoughts. On St. Peter's Day in 1559, Teresa became firmly convinced that Jesus Christ presented himself to her in bodily form, though invisible. These visions lasted almost uninterrupted for more than two years. In another vision, a seraph drove the fiery point of a golden lance repeatedly through her heart, causing an ineffable spiritual and bodily pain:
I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it...
The memory of this episode served as an inspiration throughout the rest of her life, and motivated her lifelong imitation of the life and suffering of Jesus, epitomized in the adage often associated with her: "Lord, either let me suffer or let me die."
Embarassment of rapturesEdit
Teresa who became a celebrity in her town dispensing wisdom from behind the convent grille, was also known for her raptures which sometimes involved levitation. It was a source of embarrassment to her and she bade her sisters hold her down when this occurred. Subsequently, historians and neurologists and psychiatrists like, Peter Fenwick and Javier Alvarez-Rodriguez among others, have taken an interest in her symptomatology. The fact that she wrote down virtually everything that happened to her during her religious life, means that an invaluable and exceedingly rare medical record from the 16th-century has been preserved. Examination of this record has led to the speculative conclusion that she may have suffered from Temporal lobe epilepsy.
Over time, Teresa found herself increasingly at odds with the spiritual malaise prevailing in her convent of the Incarnation. Among the 150 nuns living there, the observance of cloister, designed to protect and strengthen spiritual practice and prayer, became so lax that it appeared to lose its purpose. The daily invasion of visitors, many of high social and political rank, disturbed the atmosphere with frivolous concerns and vacuous conversation. Such intrusions in the solitude essential to develop and sustain contemplative prayer so grieved Teresa that she longed to intervene.
The incentive to take the practical steps inspired by her inward motivation was supported by the Franciscan priest, Saint Peter of Alcantara, who met her early in 1560 and became her spiritual adviser. She resolved to found a "reformed" Carmelite convent, correcting the laxity which she had found at the Incarnation convent and elsewhere besides. Guimara de Ulloa, a woman of wealth and a friend, supplied the funds for the project.
The abject poverty of the new convent, established in 1562 and named St. Joseph's (San José), at first caused a scandal among the citizens and authorities of Ávila, and the small house with its chapel was in peril of suppression. However powerful patrons, including the local bishop, coupled with the impression of well ordered subsistence and purpose, turned animosity into approval.
In March 1563, after Teresa had moved to the new convent house, she received papal sanction for her primary principles of absolute poverty and renunciation of ownership of property, which she proceeded to formulate into a "constitution". Her plan was the revival of the earlier, stricter monastic rules, supplemented by new regulations including the three disciplines of ceremonial flagellation prescribed for the Divine Office every week, and the discalceation of the religious. For the first five years, Teresa remained in seclusion, mostly engaged in prayer and writing.
In 1567, Teresa received a patent from the Carmelite General, Rubeo de Ravenna, to establish further houses of the new order. This process required many visitations and long journeys across nearly all the provinces of Spain. She left a record of the arduous project in her Libro de las Fundaciones. Between 1567 and 1571, reformed convents were established at Medina del Campo, Malagón, Valladolid, Toledo, Pastrana, Salamanca, and Alba de Tormes.
As part of the original patent, Teresa was given permission to set up two houses for men who wished to adopt the reforms. She convinced two Carmelite friars, John of the Cross and Father Anthony of Jesus to help with this. They founded the first monastery of Discalced Carmelite brothers in November 1568 at Duruelo. Another friend of Teresa, Jerónimo Gracián, the Carmelite visitator of the older observance of Andalusia and apostolic commissioner, and later provincial of the Teresian order, gave her powerful support in founding monasteries at Segovia (1571), Beas de Segura (1574), Seville (1575), and Caravaca de la Cruz (Murcia, 1576). Meanwhile, John of the Cross promoted the inner life of the movement through his power as a teacher and preacher.
Opposition to reformsEdit
In 1576, unreformed members of the Carmelite order began to persecute Teresa, her supporters and her reforms. Following a number of resolutions adopted at the general chapter at Piacenza, the governing body of the order forbade all further founding of reformed convents. The general chapter instructed her to go into "voluntary" retirement at one of her institutions. She obeyed and chose St. Joseph's at Toledo. Meanwhile her friends and associates were subjected to further attacks.
Several years later, her appeals by letter to King Philip II of Spain secured relief. As a result, in 1579, the cases before the inquisition against her, Father Gracian and others, were dropped. This allowed the reform to resume. An edict from Pope Gregory XIII allowed the appointment of a special provincial for the newer branch of the Carmelite religious, and a royal decree created a "protective" board of four assessors for the reform.
During the last three years of her life, Teresa founded convents at Villanueva de la Jara in northern Andalusia (1580), Palencia (1580), Soria (1581), Burgos, and Granada (1582). In total, seventeen convents, all but one founded by her, and as many men's monasteries were owed to her reforms over twenty years.
Last days and DeathEdit
Her final illness overtook her on one of her journeys from Burgos to Alba de Tormes. She died in 1582, just as Catholic Europe was making the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, which required the excision of the dates of 5–14 October from the calendar. She died either before midnight of 4 October or early in the morning of 15 October which is celebrated as her feast day. According to the liturgical calendar then in use, she died on the 15th. Her last words were: "My Lord, it is time to move on. Well then, may your will be done. O my Lord and my Spouse, the hour that I have longed for has come. It is time to meet one another."
She was buried at the Convento de la Anunciación in Alba de Tormes. Nine months after her death the coffin was opened and her body was found to be intact but the clothing had rotted. Before the body was re-interred one of her hands was cut off, wrapped in a scarf and sent to Ávila. Father Gracián cut the little finger off the hand and - according to his own account - kept it with him until it was taken by the occupying Ottoman Turks, which he had to redeemed it with a few rings and 20 reales. The body was exhumed again on 25 November 1585 to be moved to Ávila and found to be incorrupt. An arm was removed and left in Alba de Tormes at the nuns' request, to compensate for losing the main relic of Teresa, but the rest of the body was reburied in the Discalced Carmelite chapter house in Ávila. The removal was done without the approval of the Duke of Alba de Tormes and he brought the body back in 1586, with pope Sixtus V ordering that it remain in Alba de Tormes on pain of excommunication. A grander tomb on the original site was raised in 1598 and the body was moved to a new chapel in 1616.
The body still remains there, apart from the following parts:
- Rome - right foot and part of the upper jaw
- Lisbon - left hand
- Ronda, Spain - left eye and right hand (the latter was kept by Francisco Franco until his death after Francoist troops captured it from Republican troops during the Spanish Civil War)
- Museum of the Church of the Annunciation, Alba de Tormes - left arm and heart
- Church of Our Lady of Loreto, Paris, France - one finger
- Sanlúcar de Barrameda - one finger
In 1622, forty years after her death, she was canonized by Pope Gregory XV. The Cortes exalted her to patroness of Spain in 1627. The University of Salamanca had granted her the title Doctor ecclesiae (Latin for "Doctor of the Church") with a diploma in her lifetime but that title is distinct from the papal honor of Doctor of the Church, which is always conferred posthumously. The latter was finally bestowed upon her by Pope Paul VI on 27 September 1970, along with Saint Catherine of Siena, making them the first women to be awarded the distinction. Teresa is revered as the Doctor of Prayer. The mysticism in her works exerted a formative influence upon many theologians of the following centuries, such as Francis of Sales, Fénelon, and the Port-Royalists. In 1670 her coffin was plated in silver.
The ultimate preoccupation of Teresa's mystical thought, as consistently reflected in her writings, is the ascent of the soul to God in four stages (see: The Autobiography Chs. 10-22):
- The first, Devotion of the Heart, consists of mental prayer and contemplation. It means the withdrawal of the soul from without, penitence and especially the devout meditation on the passion of Christ (Autobiography 11.20).
- The second, Devotion of Peace, is where human will is surrendered to God. This occurs by virtue of an uplifted awareness granted by God, while other faculties, such as memory, reason, and imagination, are not yet safe from worldly distraction. Although a partial distraction can happen, due to outer activity such as repetition of prayers or writing down spiritual things, the prevailing state is one of quietude (Autobiography 14.1).
- The third, Devotion of Union, concerns the absorption-in-God. It is not only a heightened, but essentially, an ecstatic state. At this level, reason is also surrendered to God, and only the memory and imagination are left to ramble. This state is characterized by a blissful peace, a sweet slumber of at least the higher soul faculties, that is a consciousness of being enraptured by the love of God.
- The fourth, Devotion of Ecstasy, is where the consciousness of being in the body disappears. Sensory faculties cease to operate. Memory and imagination also become absorbed in God, as though intoxicated. Body and spirit dwell in the throes of exquisite pain, alternating between a fearful fiery glow, in complete unconscious helplessness, and periods of apparent strangulation. Sometimes such ecstatic transports literally cause the body to be lifted into space. This state may last as long as half an hour and tends to be followed by relaxation of a few hours of swoon-like weakness, attended by the absence of all faculties while in union with God. The subject awakens from this trance state in tears. it may be regarded as the culmination of mystical experience.
Teresa is regarded as one of the foremost writers on mental prayer, and her position among writers on mystical theology as unique. Her writings on this theme, stem from her personal experiences, thereby manifesting considerable insight and analytical gifts. Her definitions have been used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Teresa states: "Contemplative prayer, oración mental, in my opinion is nothing other than a close sharing between friends. It means frequently taking time to be alone with Him whom we know loves us." Throughout her writings, Teresa returns to the image of watering one's garden as a metaphor for mystical prayer.
Teresa's writings are regarded as among the most remarkable in the mystical literature of the Catholic Church.
- The Autobiography, written before 1567, under the direction of her confessor, Fr. Pedro Ibáñez.
- El Camino de Perfección (The Way of Perfection), written also before 1567, at the direction of her confessor.
- "Meditations on Song of Songs", 1567, written nominally for her daughters at the convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
- El Castillo Interior (The Interior Castle), written in 1577. 
- Relaciones (Relationships), an extension of the autobiography giving her inner and outer experiences in epistolary form.
- Two smaller works are the Conceptos del Amor ("Concepts of Love") and Exclamaciones. In addition, there are Las Cartas (Saragossa, 1671), or her correspondence, of which there are 342 extant letters and 87 fragments of others. St Teresa's prose is marked by an unaffected grace, an ornate neatness, and charming power of expression, together placing her in the front rank of Spanish prose writers.
- Her rare poems ("Todas las poesías", Munster, 1854) are distinguished for tenderness of feeling and rhythm of thought.
Christia Mercer, Columbia University philosophy professor, claims that the seventeenth-century Frenchman, René Descartes, lifted some of his most influential ideas from Teresa of Ávila, who, fifty years before Descartes, wrote popular books about the role of philosophical reflection in intellectual growth.  She describes a number of striking similarities between Descartes' seminal work Meditations on First Philosophy and Teresa's Interior Castle.
Saint Teresa, who reported visions of Jesus and Mary, was a strong believer in the efficacy of holy water, claiming to have used it with success to repel evil spirits and temptations. She wrote: "I know from frequent experience that there is nothing which puts devils to flight better than holy water."
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.— St. Teresa, The bookmark of Teresa of Ávila, 
Legacy and the Infant Jesus of PragueEdit
The Spanish nuns who established Carmel in France brought a devotion to the Infant Jesus with them, and it became widespread in France. Indeed, one of Teresa's most famous later followers, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (1875-1898), a French Carmelite, herself named for Teresa, took as her religious name Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.
Though there are no written historical accounts establishing that Teresa of Ávila ever owned the famous Infant Jesus of Prague statue, according to tradition, such a statue is said to have been in her possession and Teresa is reputed to have given it to a noblewoman travelling to Prague. The age of the statue dates to approximately the same time as Teresa. It has been thought that Teresa carried a portable statue of the Child Jesus wherever she went, the idea circulated by the early 1700s.
In the 1620s, Spain debated who should be the country's patron saint; the choices were either the current patron, Saint James Matamoros, or a pairing of him and the newly canonised Saint Teresa of Ávila. Teresa's promoters said Spain faced newer challenges, especially the threat of Protestantism and societal decline at home, thus needing a more contemporary patron who understood those issues and could guide the Spanish nation. Santiago's supporters (Santiaguistas) fought back and eventually won the argument, but Teresa of Ávila remained far more popular at the local level. Saint James the Greater kept the title of patron saint for the Spanish people, and the most Blessed Virgin Mary under the title Immaculate Conception as the sole patroness for the entire Spanish Kingdom.
They include the following:
- Marc-Antoine Charpentier composed two motets for the feast of Saint Teresa: Flores, flores o Gallia for two voices and two flutes (H 374), c. 1680 and the other, for two high voices, one bass and Bass continuo (H 342), in 1686.
- She is a principal character of the opera Four Saints in Three Acts by the composer Virgil Thomson with a libretto by Gertrude Stein.
- Saint Teresa is the subject of the song "Theresa's Sound-World" by Sonic Youth off the 1992 album Dirty, lyrics by Thurston Moore.
- Saint Teresa is a track on Joan Osborne's Relish album, nominated for a Grammy Award in 1996.
Painting and sculptureEdit
- Saint Teresa was the inspiration for one of Bernini's most famous sculptures, The Ecstasy of St. Teresa in Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome.
- Teresa was the subject of a portrait by the Flemish master, Sir Pieter Paul Rubens (1615) now in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
- St. Teresa was painted in 1819–20 by François Gérard, a French neoclassical painter.
- Simone de Beauvoir singles out Teresa as a woman who lived the human condition (perhaps the only woman to do so) in her book The Second Sex.
- She is mentioned prominently in Kathryn Harrison's novel Poison. The main character, Francisca De Luarca, is fascinated by her life.
- R. A. Lafferty was strongly inspired by El Castillo Interior when he wrote his novel Fourth Mansions. Quotations from St. Teresa's work are frequently used as chapter headings.
- Pierre Klossowski prominently features Saint Teresa of Ávila in his metaphysical novel The Baphomet.
- George Eliot compared Dorothea Brooke to St. Teresa in Middlemarch (1871–1872) and wrote briefly about the life and works of St. Teresa in the "Prelude" to the novel.
- Thomas Hardy took Saint Teresa as the inspiration for much of the characterisation of the heroine Tess (Teresa) Durbeyfield, in Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), most notably the scene in which she lies in a field and senses her soul ecstatically above her.
- The contemporary poet Jorie Graham features Saint Teresa in the poem Breakdancing in her volume The End of Beauty.
- Barbara Mujica's novel Sister Teresa, while not strictly hagiographical, is based upon Teresa's life.
- Timothy Findley's 1999 novel Pilgrim features Saint Teresa as a minor character.
- Zepeda, Reginald (2012). From Spain to Texas: A Cepeda y Ahumada Family Journey. Xlibris. ISBN 9781479770083.[self-published source]
Drama and FilmEdit
- Performance artist Linda Montano has cited Teresa of Ávila as one of the most important influences on her work and since her return to Catholicism in the 2000s has done performances of her life.
- Teresa de Jesús (1984), directed by Josefina Molina and starring Concha Velasco, is a Spanish made for TV mini-series. In it Teresa is portrayed as the determined foundress of new carmelite houses while protecting the infant Jesus statue on her many arduous journeys. The devotion to the Child Jesus spread quickly in Spain, possibly due to her mystical reputation and then to other places, including France.
- Nigel Wingrove's 1989 short film Visions of Ecstasy was based on Teresa of Ávila. The film features phantasied sexualised scenes of Teresa with the body of Jesus on the cross. It is the only work to be refused certification by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) on the grounds of blasphemy.
- Dževad Karahasan. The Delighted Angel drama about Teresa of Ávila and Rabija al-Adavija, Vienna-Salzburg-Klagenfurt, ARBOS 1995.
- Paz Vega stars as Teresa in Teresa, el cuerpo de Cristo, a 2007 Spanish biopic directed by Ray Loriga.
- Asín on mystical analogies in Saint Teresa of Avila and Islam
- Book of the First Monks
- Byzantine Discalced Carmelites
- Carmelite Rule of St. Albert
- Constitutions of the Carmelite Order
- Mount Carmel#Carmelites
- Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites
- Saints and levitation
- Spanish Renaissance literature
- Teresa de Jesús, 1984 Spanish language mini-series
References and NotesEdit
- At some hour of the night between 4 October and 15 October 1582, the night of the transition in Spain from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.
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- As of 2019, there are 36 "Doctors of the Church", of whom only four are women.
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- "27 settembre 1970: Proclamazione di Santa Teresa d'Ávila Dottore della Chiesa - Paolo VI". Vatican.va. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
- "Inmaculada del Viejo". Corazones.org. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
- Pope John Paul II addressing pilgrims from Avila at the Vatican on 8 October 1981.
- Rowan Williams (2004). Teresa of Avila. Continuum Compact Series Outstanding Christian Thinkers (reprint ed.). Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 230. ISBN 9780826473417. Retrieved 2019-04-14.
- Schillinger Liesl (26 December 1999). "The Original Flying Nun - Review of Cathleen Medwick's Teresa of Avila: The Progress of a Soul. Knopf". New York Times. Retrieved 2019-04-14.
- Foa, Anna (March 2, 2015). "Teresa's 'marrano' grandfather". Osservatore Romano.
- Stephen Clissold (1982). St. Teresa of Avila (2 ed.). London: Sheldon. ISBN 0 85969 347 3.
- Medwick, Cathleen, Teresa of Avila: The Progress of a Soul, Knopf, 1999 ISBN 0-394-54794-2
- Lewis, David (27 September 1904). The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus (3 ed.). London: Gutenberg/Thomas Baker. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
- "ST. TERESA OF AVILA :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)". Catholic News Agency.
- Zimmerman 1911.
- Stephen Clissold (1982). St. Teresa of Avila (2 ed.). London: Sheldon.
- Teresa wrote that it must be a cherub (Deben ser los que llaman cherubines), but Fr. Domingo Báñez wrote in the margin that it seemed more like a seraph (mas parece de los que se llaman seraphis), an identification that most editors have followed. Santa Teresa de Ávila. "Libro de su vida". Escritos de Santa Teresa.
- Marcella Biro Barton (1982). “Saint Teresa of Avila: Did she have Epilepsy?”, The Catholic Historical Review. Vol. LXVIII, no.4.
- Javier Alvarez Rodriguez (2007). Epilepsy and Mysticism. pp. 59–69. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
- "HISTORY - discalced carmelite order - Contemplative Discalced Carmelite Nuns". Pcn.net. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
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- Kavanaugh, Kieran (1991). "General Introduction: Biographical Sketch". In Kieran Kavanaugh (ed.). The Collected Works of St John of the Cross. Washington: ICS Publications. pp. 9–27. ISBN 978-0-935216-14-1.
- Salamony, Ryan (2017). "The Compassionate Mother of Carmel: Teresa of Avila and the Carmelite Model for Twenty-First-Century Seekers" (PDF). Goucher College Repository.
- 2000 Years of Prayer by Michael Counsell (2004) ISBN 978-1-853-11623-0, p. 207.
- "3 ottobre 1970: Proclamazione di Santa Caterina da Siena Dottore della Chiesa - Paolo VI". w2.vatican.va. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
- Clissold Stephen (1982). St Teresa of Avila. London: Sheldon Press. pp. 63–64. ISBN 0 85969 347 3.
- "Catechism of the Catholic Church". 1997.
- Pedro Ibáñez, La Vida de la Santa Madre Teresa de Jesús, Madrid, 1882; English translation, The Life of S. Teresa of Jesus, London, 1888.
- "El Camino de Perfección", Salamanca, 1589; English translation, "The Way of Perfection", London, 1852.
- "El Castillo Interior," English translation, "The Interior Castle," London, 1852, comparing the contemplative soul to a castle with seven successive interior courts, or chambers, analogous to the Seven Heavens.
- It may have influenced René Descartes, especially his Meditations on First Philosophy
- "She Thinks, Therefore I Am". Columbia Magazine. Fall 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
- Mercer lays out her case in the journal of Philosophical Studies.Mercer, Christia (2017). "Descartes' debt to Teresa of Ávila, or why we should work on women in the history of philosophy". Philosophical Studies. 174 (10): 2539–2555. doi:10.1007/s11098-016-0737-9.
- "She thinks, therefore I am". Columbia Magazine. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
- Bielecki, pp 238-241
- Teresa of Avila, 2008 Life of St. Teresa of Jesus ISBN 978-1-60680-041-6, p 246.
- Teresa of Ávila. Let Nothing Disturb You: A Journey to the Center of the Soul with Teresa of Avila. Editor John Kirvan. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1996. ISBN 978-0-87793-570-4
- Howell, James C. (2009). Introducing Christianity : exploring the Bible, faith, and life (1st ed.). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 151. ISBN 9780664232979.
- "The Journey with Jesus: Poems and Prayers". Retrieved 6 December 2012.
- Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (7th ed.). Oxford: OUP. 2009. p. 684. ISBN 9780199237173.
- about a French carmelite nun, Marguerite Parigot (1619-1648) and her devotion to the Infant Jesus
- ""Saint Therese of Lisieux: A Gateway" Blog - Saint Therese of Lisieux". Thereseoflisieux.org. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
- Anders Wong. "History of the Infant Jesus of Prague" (TXT). Ewtn.com. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2012-01-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Padre Seraphim. "DEVOTIONS & PRAYERS". Devotionsandprayers.blogspot.com. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
- "CatholicSaints.Info". CatholicSaints.Info. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
- M. Santini: The Holy Infant of Prague. Martin, Prague, 1995
- Erin Kathleen Rowe, Saint and Nation: Santiago, Teresa of Avila, and Plural Identities in Early Modern Spain (2011)
- Park, Josephine Nock-Hee (2009). "The Orients of Gertrude Stein". College Literature. 36 (3): 28–44. ISSN 0093-3139.
- Tommasini, Anthony (1998). Virgil Thomson: Composer on the Aisle. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 9780393318586.
- the track's chart placing (in German)
- Jordanova, Ludmilla (2012). "'The Jewel of the Church': Bernini's Ecstasy of St Teresa". The Look of the Past: Visual and Material Evidence in Historical Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 79–94. ISBN 9780521709064.
- "Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa | History and Appreciation of Art II". courses.lumenlearning.com. Retrieved 2018-02-28.
- Museum of Art History, Vienna
- "St. Teresa of Avila – On Love". The Fra Angelico Institute for Sacred Art. 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
- de Beauvoir, Simone (2011). The Second Sex. New York, NY: Vintage. p. 729. ISBN 9780307277787.
- Lafferty, R.A. (1969). Fourth Mansions. New York: Ace Publishing Company.
- Klossowski, Pierre (1998). The Baphomet. ISBN 9781568860565.
- Maynard, Lee Anna (2009). Beautiful Boredom: Idleness and Feminine Self-Realization in the Victorian Novel. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. pp. 77–80. ISBN 9780786445554.
- Moore, Kevin Z. (1990). The Descent of the Imagination: Postromantic Culture in the Later Novels of Thomas Hardy. NYU Press. ISBN 9780814754511.
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- "Bárbara Mujica | Washington Independent Review of Books". www.washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- storyline of the Findley novel.
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Works by TeresaEdit
- Teresa, of Avila (27 September 1904). David Lewis (ed.). The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus. London: Thomas Baker., St. Teresa's autobiography in an online version at Project Gutenberg
- Teresa, of Avila (1957). Cohen, J.M. (ed.). The Life Of Saint Teresa Of Avila By Herself. Penguin Classics.
- The Complete Works of St Teresa of Jesus, in five volumes, translated and edited by E. Allison Peers, including 2 volumes of correspondence. London: Sheed and Ward, 1982.
- The Interior Castle. Edited by E. Allison Peers, Doubleday, 1972. ISBN 978-0-385-03643-6
- The Way of Perfection. Translated and Edited by E. Allison Peers, Doubleday, 1991. ISBN 978-0-385-06539-9
- The Life of Teresa of Jesus: The Autobiography of Teresa of Avila. Translated by E. Allison Peers, Doubleday, 1991. ISBN 978-0-385-01109-9
- "Works of St. Teresa of Avila (Online)". Christian Classics Ethereal Library.
- The Interior Castle - The Mansions, TAN Books, 1997. ISBN 978-0-89555-604-2
- The Way of Perfection, TAN Books, 1997. ISBN 978-0-89555-602-8
- Way of Perfection, London, 2012. limovia.net ISBN 978-1-78336-025-3
- The Book of Her Life, translated, with Notes, by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD and Otilio Rodriguez, OCD. Introduction by Jodi Bilinkoff. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, 2008. ISBN 978-0-87220-907-7
- The Complete Poetry of St. Teresa of Avila. A Bilingual Edition - Edición y traducción de Eric W. Vogt. New Orleans University Press of the South, 1996. Second edition, 2015. xl, 116 p. ISBN 978-1-937030-52-0
This article was originally based on the text in the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge.
- Auclair, Marcelle (1950). La vie de Sainte Thérèse d'Avila, la Dame Errante de Dieu. Paris, France: Éditions du Seuil. OCLC 4154440. (493 pages) French original
- Auclair, Marcelle. (1953) Saint Teresa of Avila. First English publication: New York: Pantheon. Auclair, Marcelle (1988). Saint Teresa of Avila. Kathleen Pond (trans.) (Reprint of first English publication: New York: Pantheon, 1953 ed.). Petersham, MA: St. Bede's Publications. ISBN 9780932506672. ISBN 0932506674, OCLC 18292197 (457 pages)
- Balltondre Pla, Mónica (2012). Extasis y visiones: La experiencia contemplativa de Teresa de Ávila (Pensamiento del Presente). Erasmus. ISBN 9788492806980.
- Du Boulay, Shirley (2004). Teresa of Avila: An Extraordinary Life. Katonah, New York: BlueBridge. ISBN 978-0-974-24052-7. .
- Williams, Rowan (2004). Teresa of Avila. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-8264-7341-7.
- Bielecki, Tessa; tr. by Mirabai Starr (2008). Teresa of Avila: The Book of My Life. Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications. ISBN 978-1-59030-573-7.
- "St. Teresa of Jesus (Teresa of Avila)". 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). . Encyclopædia Britannica. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Zimmerman, Benedict (1912). . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- Vita Sackville-West. The Eagle and the Dove, Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, First published in 1943 by Michael Joseph LTD, 26 Bloomsbury Street, London, W.C.1
- Carolyn A. Greene. Castles in the Sand fiction with cited sources about Teresa of Avila Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9791315-4-7
- Jean Abiven. 15 Days of Prayer with Saint Teresa of Avila, New City Press, 2011. ISBN 978-1-56548-366-8
- Gould Levine, Linda; Engelson Marson, Ellen; Feiman Waldman, Gloria, eds. (1993). Spanish Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Source Book. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-31326-823-6.
- Bárbara Mujica, Teresa de Ávila: Lettered Woman, (Nashville, Vanderbilt University Press, 2009).
- E. Rhodes, "Teresa de Jesus's Book and the Reform of the Religious Man in Sixteenth Century Spain," in Laurence Lux-Sterritt and Carmen Mangion (eds), Gender, Catholicism and Spirituality: Women and the Roman Catholic Church in Britain and Europe, 1200-1900 (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011),
- John Thomas, "Ecstasy, art & the body. St. Teresa of Avila's 'Transverberation', and it depiction in the sculpture of Gianlorenzo Bernini" in John Thomas, Happiness, Truth & Holy Images. Essays of Popular Theology and Religion & Art (Wolverhampton, Twin Books, 2019), pp. 12–16.
- John Thomas, "Architectural image and via mystica. St. Teresa's Las Moradas", in John Thomas, Happiness, Truth & Holy Images. Essays of Popular Theology and Religion & Art (Wolverhampton, Twin Books, 2019), pp. 39–48.
- Teresa 500: Videos of a conference held at Roehampton University in 2015 on the 500th anniversary of Teresa's birth
- "St. Teresa, Virgin", Butler's Lives of the Saints
- Founder Statue in St Peter's Basilica
- Biography Online: Saint Teresa of Avila
- Patron Saints: Saint Teresa of Avila
- Books written by Saint Teresa of Avila, including Saint John of the Cross
- Works by Teresa of Ávila at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Teresa of Ávila at Internet Archive
- Works by Teresa of Ávila at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Basilica of Saint Teresa in Alba de Tormes (in Spanish)
- on YouTube (in Spanish)
- Life of St. Teresa of Jesus, of The Order of Our Lady of Carmel
- Way of Perfection
- Interior Castle or The Mansions
- Convent of St Teresa in Avila
- Poems of Saint Teresa
- Santa Teresa: an Appreciation, 1900, by Alexander Whyte, from Project Gutenberg
- Colonnade Statue St Peter's Square