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Born today in 1515, Saint Teresa of Ávila, (Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada) after whom our own Teresa is named.
Died, amid the smell of roses, in 1582, canonized in 1622, named a Doctor of the Church in 1970, St. Teresa is patron saint of bodily ills, headaches, chess, lace-makers, the loss of parents, people in need of Grace, people in religious orders, people ridiculed for their piety, the city of Pozega in Croatia, sick people, sickness in general, and Spain. Her feast day is October 15.
Considered (along with St. John of the Cross) founder of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of the Primitive Rule of St. Joseph. On the day St. John of the Cross knocked at her door, St. Teresa (who was exceedingly tall, and known to her friends as “Long Teresa”) remarked to St. John of the Cross (who was exceedingly short), “God be praised! He has sent me half a monk!” St. Teresa also remarked to God, in her prayers one day, “If this is the way You treat Your friends it’s no wonder You have so few.”
St. Teresa’s books, The Interior Castle, The Way of Perfection, and autobiography Life Written by Herself, are still in print. Her collected letters are also available.
St. Teresa is famous for her religious ecstasies, during which she was embarrassed to levitate. She was also an avid gardener.