Saint Teresa of Avila Saint Teresa of Avila is one of the most well-known and beloved figures in the Catholic Church. She was one of the greatest reformers of the Church during the middle ages. Teresa was a figure of love and unity within Catholicism during the turbulence of the days of the Protestant Reformation. Saint Teresa of Avila was born as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada on March 28, 1515 in the region of Avila, Spain (ewtn.com). Teresa was devout in her faith from a young age. When she was seven she attempted to run away with her brother Rodrigo to Africa so they could be executed by Moors and die a martyr’s death and go to heaven. Despite her strong faith in God, Teresa and her father believed she was a horrible sinner…show more content… In 1557 Teresa met the friar Peter of Alcantara who showed compassion, and helped Teresa in her struggle with her faith (ewtn.com). Peter encouraged Teresa to continue prayer and to accept and believer her spiritual visions. Peter claimed he found “unmistakable evidence of the Holy Spirit” in Teresa. In the coming years Teresa’s spiritual experiences would grow stronger as she fell in love with God and prayer once again. Teresa’s body would reportedly levitate at random times, which annoyed Teresa so much so that she would ask fellow nuns to sit on her when she felt she was about to…show more content… At the time many convents in Spain were not strict and allowed nuns to live secular, social lives outside of the convent. There were rumors among many that some nuns were not even virgins. Peter of Alcantara helped set up the convent and lobbied other Spanish clergymen to approve of the new convent. Teresa only allowed 13 nuns to live in the convent at a time because she disliked the chatter from her old convent she felt distracted sisters from their prayers. Teresa’s convent was poor but well respected in the community for their seriousness and love for God. General of the Carmelites John-Baptist Rubeo approved Teresa’s plans to open more convents for both nuns and friars. In the late 1560’s Teresa established to houses for friars in Durelo and Pastrana. Teresa left the houses in the care of a young, spirited reformer, John of the Cross. Teresa would set up many more convents for nuns and friars in her life time.
Most convents Teresa helped establish were very poor, but that was how Teresa wanted it, Teresa herself was happy she didn’t live in wealth, “Thank God for the things that I do not own.” (Teresa of Avila). “Our body has this defect that, the more it is provided care and comforts, the more needs and desires it finds.” (Teresa of