St. Teresa of Avila

Feast Days: October 15
Time Period: 1515-1582
Place: Spain
Patronage: unknown

Teresa was vibrant; she had fire and passion. She was a ravishing young woman, stunning to look at, outgoing, cheerful, charming and a great conversationalist. She described herself as being, “strikingly shrewd when it came to mischief.” She loved to laugh and have everyone around her laughing. Teresa brought her humor into the convent with statements such as “We do not want gloomy saints in Carmel.” She liked parties and music and played the tambourine, castanets and drum. She liked perfume and fine clothes, chivalry, romance and the color orange. Teresa was a person of great natural gifts. Her enthusiasm and lively wit was balanced by her sound judgment and psychological insight. Teresa was a woman of substance as well as charm. After falling in love with Jesus, Teresa used all these traits to bring about the reform of Carmel and the start of the Discalced Carmelites. She is the author of “Interior Castle”, “The Way of Perfection” and an autobiography.