Mary the Mother of Jesus
  Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас! Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!
RDeo grátias. R.  Thanks be to God.
October is the month of the Rosary since 1868;

Mary Mother of GOD

Pray that God will continue to bless the efforts that have gone into the 40 Days for Life campaign, as we trust Him for the results. 

  15 Promises of the Virgin Mary
to those who recite the Rosary

"Oh, my Lord! How true it is that whoever works for you is paid in troubles!
And what a precious price to those who love you if we understand its value."
“Is it for me to say? Will they deny me a little ground for my body here? When the Blessed Sacrament was brought in she sat up in bed, helpless though she was, and exclaimed, “0 my Lord, now is the time that we may see each other! Apparently in wonder at the things her Saviour was showing her, St Teresa-of-Jesus died in the arms of Bd Anne of St Bartholomew  at nine in the evening of October 4, 1582. The very next day the Gregorian reform of the kalendar came into force and ten days were dropped, so that it was accounted October 15, the date on which her feast was ultimately fixed. Her body was buried at Alba de Tormes, and there it remains. She was canonized in 1622.

Six Canonized on Feast of Christ the King Nov 23 2014


Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here

Acts of the Apostles

It is God's way to give much for little. Our Lord does not attend to how much we give,
but to the generosity of our will,
 and for this very reason He makes much of a little. -- St. John Chrysostom

2nd v. Sarbelus and Bebaia of Edessa were brother and sister The Holy Martyrs
 300 St. Agileus North Africa Martyr honored by St. Augustine
4th v. Martyr Lucian, presbyter of Great Antioch; During Diocletian, St. Lucian was taken by the wiles of heretics and sent to prison in Nicomidea, where over the course of 9 years, he strengthened the Christians with him in confession of Faith, convincing them to not fear torture and death.
 303 Martyrs of Germany (RM)
5th v. St. Antiochus Bishop Lyons after St. Justus
 455 St. Severus  Bishop of Treves born in Gaul missionary with St. Germanusof Auxerre and Lupus of Troyes and went to England with them in 429 to combat Pelagianism there. He also worked along the lower Moselle river area in Germany and was named Bishop of Treves in Gaul in 446, a position he held until his death.
5th v. St. Cannatus bishop of Marseilles; France, and successor of St. Honoratus.
 537 St. Fortunatus Roman martyr; At Rome, on the Aurelian Way
 570 St. Leonard of Vandoeuvre, Abbot (AC); ; introduced monastic life into the valley of the Sarthe; founder-abbot of Vandoeuvre, now Saint-Leonard-aux-Bois, near Le Mans
 760 St. Sabinus Bishop of Catania Sicily; received from the Lord gifts of wonderworking and discernment.
 790 St. Thecla {Heilga}of Kitzingen Benedictine abbess
 898 St. Euthymius the Younger, Abbot miraculous powers and the gift of prophecy (AC)
 954 Blessed Odilo of Stavelot, OSB
Abbot  of Stavelot-Malmédy; raised standard of abbey studies and discipline
1003 St. Callistus Spanish martyr and companion of St. Mercurialis against Saracens
1027 St. Aurelia princess became a hermitess in a Benedictine abbey
1050 Blessed Willa of Nonnberg, OSB Hermit died a recluse (AC)
1101 St. Bruno, bishop of the Ruthenians and martyr; 18 years of lecturing at Rheims, he & 6 others established La Chatreuse house, based on early desert hermit style of living in individual cells. Hence founder of Carthusian Order
1243 St. Hedwig Duchess widow Cistercain patroness of Silesia Miracles;  Her feast is celebrated on the following day
1582 St. Teresa of Avila Doctor of the Church miracles levitate
1597 Saint John, Bishop of Suzdal, entered one of the monasteries of Suzdal while a youth. For his virtuous and humble life, the saint was made the first Bishop of Suzdal and Nizhegorod in 1350. Bishop John merited a great mercy of God: Prince Boris of Suzdal saw how an angel of God attended the saint during the Divine Liturgy; Numerous miracles were took place at his grave.
1617  Blessed Victoria Strata Blue Nuns Religious vision of Our Lady

October 15 - Our Lady of France  Mary Comes to Her People (II)
The final preparations took all night, but by morning they were ready to go.
It is September 8, the date traditionally recognized as Mary’s birthday.  The town is decorated in Mary’s colors; the Pilgrim Virgins take place in the processions,  and the atmosphere is electric. Singing hymns and prayers the people accompany images of Mary to the Cathedral. Astonishing photos of different Marys, and crowds of admirers, adorn the steep hill leading to the Cathedral.  The event is covered on TV, radio and print media all over France. During Holy Mass at the Cathedral, the 108 statues and icons are blessed.  More than 4000 people crowd into the Cathedral for the final farewell.  From that day on, the pilgrimage was launched. Late in the night, the responsible for each of these 108 "Maman Mobiles" left town with a Pilgrim Virgin, going off in different directions. For the next two years, these Pilgrim Virgins went to and fro, from town to town, all over France where prayer vigils were held in parish churches and private homes. Parish priests or families would organize prayer vigils and welcome Mary into their churches or homes for a few days of intense prayer. Then, the "Maman Mobile" would take her on to the next town or village. Many people discovered or rediscovered their love for Mary during these gatherings and began to pray the rosary.  Adapted

October 15 - Our Lady of Terouenne (1133)    Make visits often to Our Lady
The divine mother has shown by prodigies how pleasing to her are visits paid to her images.  But if we are unable to visit her miraculous images which are far from home,  we should visit her shrines which are readily available.  If we also desire the happiness of receiving the visits of this Queen of Heaven,  we should often visit her by going before her image, or praying to her in churches dedicated to her honor.  -- St Alphonsus de Liguori

October 15 - Our Lady of Terouenne (1133)
Benediction of Notre-Dame of France at Baillet-en-France (1988) and Cardinal Verdier's Wish (II)
Upon the demolition of the Pontifical-Pavilion-turned-Marian-Pavilion in early November 1938, Cardinal Vernier, Archbishop of Paris, expressed the wish that the luminous statue “Notre-Dame of France not fall into oblivion but be erected on a hill in the Paris vicinity--as the counterpart of the Sacre Coeur Basilica in Montmartre.  The Cardinal launched a subscription campaign, but the breakout of the war in 1939 followed by his own death in 1940, cut this project short. Fifty years later, at the term of an amazing and providential adventure, Edmond Fricoteaux (French lawyer and founder of the Confraternity Notre-Dame of France, +2007) managed to have the statue installed at Baillet-en-France, 11 miles north of Paris on a main highway. 52,000 people, 25,000 subscribers, 7 bishops, the Nuncio and Cardinal Jean Marie Lustiger, Archbishop of Paris, gathered there for the blessing of the statue on October 15, 1988. This event took place almost 50 years to the day after Cardinal Verdier's wish.
{Born Marianella, near Naples, 27 September, 1696; died Nocera de' Pagani, 1 August, 1787.
The eighteenth century was not an age remarkable for depth of spiritual life,
yet it produced three of the greatest missionaries of the Church,
St. Leonard of Port Maurice, St. Paul of the Cross, and St. Alphonsus Liguori
October 15 - BLESSING OF OUR LADY OF FRANCE (Baillet-en-France, 1988)

In the Rosary Christ Stands Out (I)
If the Rosary had only been about reciting a myriad of Hail Mary's, spoken in a sufficiently diversified manner so as to keep one's attention and renew the taste for prayer, the sovereign pontiffs would certainly not have attached so much importance to it. If, as Leo XIII put it, they have judged it particularly apt to revive the spirit of piety, it is that one can excellently verify what St Louis Mary de Montfort expressed in his charming way: « Mary is God's echo; just shout ' Mary' at her and she answers back 'God.'» Indeed, one can't criticize the Rosary for hiding Jesus Christ. The Rosary is eminently a Christocentric prayer. As Leo XIII wrote: In the Rosary, Christ stands out very clearly.
The Theology of the Rosary
By Benoit T. d'Argenlieu, in Maria, Etudes sur la Vierge Marie, Vol. V

The Icon of the Mother of God, the “Multiplier of Wheatwas painted at the blessing of the Elder Ambrose (October 10) of the Visitation Optina wilderness monastery. St Ambrose, a great Russian ascetic of the nineteenth century, was ardent with a childlike faith towards the Mother of God. In particular, he revered all the Feastdays of the Mother of God, and on these days he redoubled his prayer. With the icon,Multiplier of Wheat,St Ambrose blessed the Shamordino women's monastery established in honor of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, which he had founded not far from the Optina monastery.

On this icon, the Mother of God is depicted sitting upon the clouds, and Her hands are extended in blessing. Beneath her is a compressed field, and on it amidst the grass and flowers stand and lay sheaves of rye. Elder Ambrose himself decreed the day of celebration, October 15, and called the icon Multiplier of Wheat, indicating by this, that the Most Holy Theotokos is a Helper for people in their labors for the acquiring of their daily bread.
Before his blessed repose, St Ambrose ordered many copies of this icon and sent them to his spiritual children. For the Akathist to this icon, the Elder composed a particular response, Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with You! Grant unto us unworthy ones the dew of Your grace and the showing forth of Your mercy!

St Ambrose's burial took place on October 15, the Feastday of the icon. The first miracle from the holy icon was witnessed in 1891, when throughout Russia there was a famine because of crop failure. In the Kaluga district and on the fields of the Shamordino monastery, however, grain was produced. In 1892, already after the death of St Ambrose, his attendant John Cherepanov sent a copy of the icon to the Pyatnitsa women's monastery in Voronezh district. In this locale there was a threat of drought and famine, but soon after a Molieben was celebrated before the icon The Multiplier of Wheat, rain fell and ended the drought.

“The saints must be honored as friends of Christ and children and heirs of God, as John the theologian and evangelist says: ‘But as many as received him, he gave them the power to be made the sons of God....’ Let us carefully observe the manner of life of all the apostles, martyrs, ascetics and just men who announced the coming of the Lord. And let us emulate their faith, charity, hope, zeal, life, patience under suffering, and perseverance unto death, so that we may also share their crowns of glory” Exposition of the Orthodox Faith

2nd v. Sarbelus and Bebaia of Edessa were brother and sister The Holy Martyrs
suffering in the second century under the emperor Trajan for confessing Christianity. St Sarbelus was a priest of the idols at Edessa, but was converted to Christ by a certain bishop, then he and his sister were baptized. Pagans tortured the saints for a long while, and then beheaded them.
These saints are also commemorated on January 29. St Sarbelus may be the same one who is commemorated on September 5.

300 St. Agileus North Africa Martyr honored by St. Augustine
Carthágine sancti Agiléi Mártyris, in cujus die natáli sanctus Augustínus tractátum de ipso ad pópulum hábuit.
    At Carthage, St. Agileus, martyr, on whose birthday St. Augustine delivered a discourse to the people concerning  him.
Agileus was a Christian and lived in North Africa. He is listed as being martyred in the city of Carthage during the local persecutions. St. Augustine memorialized him on his birthday with a sermon.
Agileus of Carthage M (RM). The relics of the African Saint Agileus, who suffered martyrdom at Carthage, were translated to Rome. He was held in great veneration in the Latin Church, especially in Africa.
Saint Augustine preached a homily in honor of Agileus that is still extant (Benedictines).
4th v. Martyr Lucian, presbyter of Great Antioch; During Diocletian, St. Lucian was taken by the wiles of heretics and sent to prison in Nicomidea, where over the course of 9 years, he strengthened the Christians with him in confession of Faith, convincing them to not fear torture and death.
15/28 October
Martyr Lucian, presbyter of Great Antioch, was born in the Syrian city of Samosat. He was left an orphan at the age of 12. Distributing his possessions to the poor, Lucian went to the city of Edessa, to the confessor Macarius, under whose instruction he read Holy Scripture and from whom he learned the ascetic life. For his pious and zealous dissemination of Christianity among the Jews and pagans, Lucian was ordained a presbyter. St. Lucian opened a school in Antioch, where he gathered together and instructed many disciples. St Lucian undertook intellectual pursuits, and corrected the texts of the Holy Scriptures, which had been distorted by scribes and heretics. (His corrected Greek text of the entire Holy Bible was hidden behind a wall during his martyric struggle and was discovered during the reign of Constantine the Great.) During the persecution under Diocletian, St. Lucian was taken by the wiles of the heretics and sent to prison in Nicomidea, where over the course of 9 years, he strengthened the Christians with him in confession of Faith, convincing them to not fear torture and death.

In prison, St. Lucian reposed, after suffering many terrible tortures and starvation. Chained to his bed, and wanting to commune of the Mysteries of Christ on the Feast of Theophany before his death, the martyr-presbyter served the Bloodless Sacrifice upon his own breast, and all the Christians in the prison communed. The body of the holy martyr was thrown into the sea, but 30 days later, dolphins returned it to the shore. The faithful buried the much-suffering body of St Lucian with honor.

The Hieromartyr Lucian, Presbyter of Antioch, was born in the Syrian city of Samosata. At twelve years of age he was left orphaned. Lucian distributed his possessions to the poor, and went to the city of Edessa to the confessor Macarius, under the guidance of whom he diligently read Holy Scripture and learned the ascetic life. For his pious and zealous spreading of Christianity among the Jews and pagans, Lucian was made a presbyter.

In Antioch St Lucian opened a school where many students gathered. He taught them how to understand the Holy Scriptures, and how to live a virtuous life. St Lucian occupied himself with teaching, and he corrected the Greek text of the Septuagint, which had been corrupted in many places by copyists and by heretics who deliberately distorted it in order to support their false teachings. The entire Greek text of the Bible which he corrected was hidden in a wall at the time of his confession of Christ, and it was found during the lifetime of St Constantine the Great.

During the persecution of Diocletian, St Lucian was arrested and was sent to prison in Nicomedia, where for nine years he encouraged other Christians with him to remain steadfast in their confession of Christ, urging them not to fear tortures or death.

St Lucian died in prison from many terrible tortures and from hunger. Before his death, he wished to partake of the Holy Mysteries of Christ on the Feast of Theophany. Certain Christians who visited him brought bread and wine for the Eucharist. The hieromartyr, bound by chains and lying on a bed of sharp potsherds, was compelled to offer the Bloodless Sacrifice upon his chest, and all the Christians there in prison received Communion. The next day the emperor sent people to see if the saint was still alive. St Lucian said three times, "I am a Christian," then surrendered his soul to God. The body of the holy martyr was thrown into the sea, but after thirty days dolphins brought it to shore. Believers reverently buried the body of the much-suffering St Lucian.

St Lucian was originally commemorated on January 7, the day of his death. Later, when the celebration of the Synaxis of St John the Baptist was appointed for this day, the feast of St Lucian was transferred to October 15. The October date may be associated with the dedication of a church which was built in Antioch by St Helen (May 21) over St Lucian's holy relics.

Although he was only a priest, sometimes St Lucian is depicted in the vestments of a bishop. The Stroganov Guide for Iconographers was published in Russia in 1869, based on a 1606 manuscript. There St Lucian is depicted wearing a phelonion and holding a Gospel. He does not wear the omophorion of a bishop, however. Another handbook, the Litsevoy Podlinnik, states that St Lucian is to be depicted with the omophorion.

It may be that the Russians thought of St Lucian as a bishop because of his importance to the Church, and so that is how they depicted him. Similarly, St Charalampus (February 10) is depicted as a priest in Greek icons, and as a bishop in Russian icons.
303 Martyrs of Germany (RM)
Apud Colóniam Agrippínam natális sanctórum trecentórum Mártyrum, qui, in Maximiáni persecutióne, cursum sui agónis complevérunt.
    At Cologne, the birthday of three hundred holy martyrs, who met their trials in the persecution of Maximian.
This is the same group of 300 martyrs that is commemorated with Saint Gereon as 318 martyrs (Benedictines).
455 St. Severus Bishop of Treves born in Gaul missionary with St. Germanusof Auxerre and Lupus of Troyes and went to England with them in 429 to combat Pelagianism there. He also worked along the lower Moselle river area in Germany and was named Bishop of Treves in Gaul in 446, a position he held until his death.
Tréviris sancti Sevéri, Epíscopi et Confessóris.    At Treves, St. Severus, bishop and confessor.
Severus of Trèves B (RM) Born in Gaul; died c. 455. Saint Severus, a disciple of Saints Germanus of Auxerre and Lupus of Troyes, accompanied the former to Britain to oppose the Pelagian heresy. He preached the Gospel to the Germans on the lower Mosel and became bishop of Trèves 446 (Benedictines) .
5th v. St. Antiochus Bishop Lyons after St. Justus
Lugdúni, in Gállia, sancti Antíochi Epíscopi, qui, strénue administráto Pontifícii cúlmine ad quod assúmptus fúerat, regnum cæléste adéptus est.
    At Lyons in France, St. Antiochus, bishop, who entered the heavenly kingdom after having courageously fulfilled the duties of the high station to which he had been called.
St. Antiochus tried to persuade St. Justus to resume his see of Lyons, in France. Antiochus, also called Andeol, was a priest in Lyons when St. Justus resigned as bishop and went to Egypt to become a hermit. Antiochus was sent to Egypt to persuade St. Justus to return to Lyons. When Antiochus went back to Lyons without Justus, he was elected bishop to replace the saint.
Antiochus (Andeol) of Lyons B (RM). When Saint Justus, bishop of Lyons, was discovered by a pilgrim from his see living with the solitaries in Egypt, the priest Antiochus was sent to seek him out and induce him to return to his see. The priest's efforts were futile. In fact, he stayed in Egypt for a time.
After Saint Justus died in his arms, Antiochus returned to Lyons and was himself chosen bishop (Benedictines).
5th v. St. Cannatus bishop of Marseilles; France, and successor of St. Honoratus.
Cannatus of Marseilles B (AC). Bishop of Marseilles after Saint Honoratus (Benedictines, Encyclopedia)
537 St. Fortunatus Roman martyr; At Rome, on the Aurelian Way
Romæ, via Aurélia, sancti Fortunáti Mártyris.
    At Rome, on the Aurelian Way, St. Fortunatus, martyr

570 Leonard of Vandoeuvre, Abbot (AC); introduced monastic life into the valley of the Sarthe; the founder-abbot of Vandoeuvre, now Saint-Leonard-aux-Bois, near Le Mans
 IN a footnote to his account of St Leonard of Noblac, Alban Butler refers to his contemporary and namesake of Vandœuvre, who introduced monastic life into the valley of the Sarthe.
   Wandering into Maine in search of solitude, he came to Vandœuvre on the banks of the river and settled at where is now Saint-Leonard ­des-Bois. He was befriended by St Innocent, Bishop of Le Mans and a great encourager of monks, and soon Leonard had a number of followers under his direction. There were some who were ill-disposed towards the new monastery, and these reported to King Clotaire I that Leonard was persuading the king’s subjects to alienate their goods and withdraw themselves from their service, claiming plenary authority over them himself. Clotaire sent commissioners to inquire into the matter, and at the very moment of their arrival they witnessed a young nobleman abandon his estate and receive the monastic habit. The com­missioners pointed out that in this way the king was being deprived of valuable men-at-arms. St Leonard answered them by saying that he only taught people to put into practice the words of our Lord Himself, that all things and all earthly ties should be given up to follow Him. The envoys had nothing to say to this and went back to report to Clotaire, who in time withdrew his opposition and even became a patron of St Leonard and his abbey. Among the friends of this saint was Innocent’s successor at Le Mans, St Domnolus, in whose arms Leonard died at a great age about the year 570.

In the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. vii, a short life is printed with the usual commentary. See also DCH., vol. iii, pp. 686—687.

The hermit Leonard became the founder-abbot of Vandœuvre, now Saint-Leonard-aux-Bois, near Le Mans (Benedictines).
760 St. Sabinus Bishop of Catania Sicily; received from the Lord gifts of wonderworking and discernment.
He eventually left his see to spend his remaining days as a hermit.
Sabinus of Catania B (AC) bishop of Catania, Sicily, for only a few years before he resigned to become a hermit (Benedictines)
Saint Sabinus, Bishop of Catania in Sicily, fervently desiring to serve the Lord, withdrew into the wilderness.
Here he led a strict ascetic life and received from the Lord gifts of wonderworking and discernment.
790 St. Thecla {Heilga=“the Saint”}of Kitzingen Benedictine abbess; helped in the mission of St Boniface;
In Germánia sanctæ Theclæ, Abbatíssæ et Vírginis, quæ, monastériis Kitzíngæ et Ochsenfúrti præpósita, multis cumuláta méritis in cælum migrávit.
    In Germany, St. Thecla, abbess and virgin.  She governed the convents of Kitzingen and Ochsenfurt, and departed to heaven filled with merits.

ST THECLA, whom the Roman Martyrology names today, was one of the nuns sent by St Tetta, abbess of Wimborne, into Germany to help in the mission of St Boniface. She probably went at the same time as her kinswoman St Lioba, under whom she certainly was for a time at the abbey of Bischofsheim, until St Boniface made her abbess of Ochsenfurt. At the death of St Hadeloga, foundress and first abbess of the nunnery of Kitzingen on the Main, St Thecla was called to preside over that house as well, which she did for many years with conspicuous devotion and holiness. The name Thecla does not appear in the extant list of abbesses of Kitzingen, but it would seem that she is referred to under the name of Heilga, that is, “the Saint. Both to her spiritual children and to the rough German women among whom they lived the holy abbess ever gave an example of humility, gentle­ness and charity. During the Peasants’ War of the sixteenth century the relics of St Thecla and her predecessors in the abbey church were shamefully abused and scattered from their shrines.

The Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. vii, have brought together a few scattered references to this abbess.

Originally a nun at Wimborne Abbey, England, under St. Tetta. She was sent to Germany with other nuns under St. Lioba to give aid to the missionary cause then being undertaken by St. Boniface. Named first abbess of Ochsenfurt by Boniface, she later took up the abbacy of Kitzingen, on the Main, Germany, ruling over the nuns there for many years. In some lists she is called Heilga.
Thecla of Kitzingen (Tecla of England), OSB Abbess (RM) Born in England; died c. 790; feast day recorded also as September 27 and 28. Saint Thecla, a Benedictine nun of Wimborne Abbey (Dorsetshire) under Saint Tetta, joined the mission to Germany under her relative, Saint Lioba. For a time, Saint Thecla was a nun at Tauberbischofsheim. Saint Boniface named her the first abbess of Ochsenfürt, and then of the convent of Kitzingen, three miles from Würzburg on the Main, over which she ruled for many years. Her relics remained at Kitzingen until they were scattered during the Peasants' War of the 16th century (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).
898 Euthymius the Younger, Abbot miraculous powers and the gift of prophecy (AC)

THIS holy monk was a Galatian, born at Opso, near Ancyra. He is called “the Thessalonian” because he was eventually buried at Salonika, or “the New” or “Younger”, apparently to distinguish him from St Euthymius the Great who lived four hundred years earlier. Euthymius at his baptism received the name of Nicetas. At an early age he married, and had a daughter Anastasia, but when he was still only eighteen, in the year 842, he left his wife and child (in circumstances that, as reported, look curiously like desertion) and entered a laura on Mount Olympus in Bithynia. For a time he put himself under the direction of St Joan­nicius, who was then a monk there, and afterwards of one John, who gave him the name of Euthymius. When he had trained him for a time, John sent him to lead the common life in the monastery of the Pissidion, where Euthymius advanced rapidly in the ways of holiness.

When the patriarch of Constantinople, St Ignatius, was removed from his see and Photius succeeded in 858, the abbot Nicholas was loyal to Ignatius and was deposed from his office; Euthymius took the opportunity to seek a less troubled life in the solitudes of Mount Athos. Before leaving Olympus he asked for and received the “great habit, the outward sign of the highest degree to which the Eastern monk can aspire, from an ascetic named Theodore. Euthymius was accompanied by one companion, but he was frightened away by the rigors of Athos, and Euthymius sought the company of a hermit already established there, one Joseph. He was a good and straightforward soul, in spite of the fact that he was an Armenian (says the biographer of St Euthymius), and soon the two hermits were engaged in a sort of competitive trial of asceticism. First they fasted for forty days on nothing but vegetables. Then Euthymius suggested that they should stop in their cells for three years, going outside only to gather their nuts and herbs, never speaking to the other hermits and only rarely to one another. At the end of the first year Joseph gave it up, but Euthymius persevered to the end of the period, and when he came out of his seclusion was warmly congratulated by the other brethreh. In 863 he was at Salonika, visiting the tomb of Theodore, who before his death had made a vain attempt to join his disciple on Athos. While in Salonika St Euthymius lived for a time on a hollow tower, from whence he could preach to the crowds who came to him and use his power of exorcism over those who were possessed, while keeping something of the solitude which he loved. Before leaving the city he was ordained deacon. So many visitors came to him on Mount Athos that he fled with two other monks to the small island of Saint Eustratius; when they were driven out of here by sea-rovers Euthymius rejoined his old friend Joseph and remained with him.

Some time after the death of Joseph St Euthymius was told in a vision that he had contended as a solitary long enough; he was to move once more, this time to a mountain called Peristera on the east of Salonika. There he would find the ruins of a monastery dedicated in honour of St Andrew, now used for folding sheep: he was to restore and re-people it. Taking with him two monks, Ignatius and Ephrem, he went straight to the place and found as it had been said. At once he set about rebuilding the church and dwellings were also made for the monks, who rapidly increased in number and fervour, and St Euthymius was their abbot for fourteen years. Then he paid a visit to his home at Opso and gained there a number of recruits, male and female, including some of his own family. Another monastery was built for the women; and when both houses were thoroughly established St Euthymius handed them over to the metropolitan of Salonika and went to pass the rest of his days in the solitude of Athos once more. When he knew that death was approaching he summoned his fellow-hermits to celebrate with him the feast of the translation of his patron St Euthymius the Great; then, having said farewell to them, he departed with the monk George to Holy Island, where five months later he died peacefully on October 15 in the year 898.

The life of St Euthymius was written by one of his monks at Peristera, Basil by name, who became metropolitan of Salonika. He narrates several miracles of his master, of some of which he was himself a witness and even a beneficiary, and as an example of the saint’s gift of prophecy he tells how, while he was in retreat after having been shorn a monk, Euthymius came to him and said, “Though I am utterly unworthy to receive enlightenment from on high, nevertheless, as I am responsible for your direction, God has shown me that love of learning will draw you from the monastery and you will be made an archbishop.”— And later , says Basil, “the call of ambition made me choose the noisy and troubled life of a town before the peace of solitude.”

The name of this St Euthymius does not seem to occur in the synaxaries and, except for a reference under October 15 in Martynov’s Annus ecciesiasticus graeco-slavicur, his existence was hardly known in the West until Louis Petit published the Greek text of the life in the Revue de l’Orient chrétien, vol. vi (1903), pp. 155—205 and 503—536. The life, with the Greek office for the feast, was also published separately in 1904. The reference to the “hollow tower which he occupied at Salonika shows, as Delehaye points out (Les Saints Stylites, pp. cxxix—cxxx), that Euthymius was at one time a “stylite. See also E. von Dobschutz in the Byzantinische Zeitschrift, vol. xviii (1909), pp. 715—716.

(also known as Euthymius the Thessalonian; Euthymius the New)
Born at Opso near Ankara, Turkey (then Ancrya, Galatia), c. 824; died on Hiera, 886-898
Baptized Nicetas, he married early and sired one daughter whom he named Anastasia (means 'Resurrection'). In 842, after being married only a year, he left his wife and baby in order to become a monk on Mt. Olympus in Bithynia by entering a laura, where he took the name Euthymius.
Shortly, he entered the monastery of Pissidion. The community was very disturbed by the troubles between the patriarch Ignatius at Constantinople and his rival Saint Photius. Abbot Nicholas was removed as abbot for supporting Patriarch Ignatius, who was deposed in 858. So, in 859 Euthymius sought a quieter life on Mt. Athos, where he became a hermit with an in situ hermit, Joseph. Here he lived alone in a cave for three years.
In 863, Euthymius visited the tomb of a fellow ascetic from Olympus, Theodore, at Salonika and lived for a time in solitude on a tower (as a Stylite), preaching to the crowds. He was ordained a deacon there, returned to Mount Athos, but left to escape the crowds seeking him.
After a time on a small island with two companions, he returned to Mount Athos and lived there with Joseph until Joseph's death. In response to a dream he had of Joseph, he took two disciples, Ignatius and Ephrem, to Mount Peristera, where in 870 he re-founded the abbey of Saint Andrew at Peristera, east of Salonika, attracted numerous disciples, and served as their abbot for fourteen years.
He built another double monastery (men and women), which he turned over to the metropolitan of Salonika. When these houses were firmly established he put them in charge of his grandson and granddaughter respectively, and returned to Athos. He remained in Athos until a few months before his death, when he went to Hiera (Holy) Island with George, a fellow monk, and died there.
Saint Euthymius was credited with miraculous powers and the gift of prophecy, as related by his biographer Saint Basil, who was one of his monks at Saint Andrew's. He is called the Younger to distinguish him from Euthymius the Great (c. 378-473, Armenian) (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).

Saint Euthymius the New of Thessalonica and Mt Athos, in the world was named Nicetas, and he was a native of the city of Ancyra in Galatia. His parents, Epiphanius and Anna, led virtuous Christian lives, and from childhood their son was meek, pious and obedient. At age seven he was left fatherless and he soon became the sole support of his mother in all matters. Having entered military service, Nicetas married, on the insistence of his mother. After the birth of a daughter, he secretly left home in order to enter a monastery. For fifteen years the venerable Euthymius lived the ascetic life on Mount Olympus, where he learned monastic deeds from the Elders.
The monk went to resettle on Mount Athos. On the way he learned that his mother and wife were in good health. He informed them that he had become a monk, and he sent them a cross, calling on them to follow his example. On Mt Athos he was tonsured into the Great Schema and lived for three years in a cave in total silence, struggling with temptations. St Euthymius also lived for a long time as a stylite, not far from Thessalonica, instructing those coming to him for advice and healing the sick.
The monk cleansed his mind and heart to such an extent that he was granted divine visions and revelations. At the command of the Lord, St Euthymius founded two monasteries in 863 on Mount Peristeros, not far from Thessalonica, which he guided for 14 years, with the rank of deacon. In one of these his wife and mother received monastic tonsure. Before his death he settled on Hiera, an island of Mt Athos, where he reposed in 898. His relics were transferred to Thessalonica. St Euthymius is called "the New" to distinguish him from St Euthymius the Great (January 20).

954 Blessed Odilo of Stavelot, OSB Abbot  of Stavelot-Malmédy; raised the standard of studies and discipline in the abbey (AC)
Died after 954. In 945, Blessed Odilo, a Benedictine monk of Gorze in Lorraine, was elected abbot of Stavelot-Malmédy. He raised the standard of studies and discipline in the abbey (Benedictines)
1003 St. Callistus Spanish martyr and companion of St. Mercurialis against Saracens
Callistus was born in Huesca, in Aragon, Spain. lie went to France with St. Mercurialis to fight against the Saracens, dying in battle. Callistus and Mercurialis are venerated in the diocese of Tarbes, France
1027 St. Aurelia princess became a hermitess in a Benedictine abbey
Argentoráti sanctæ Auréliæ Vírginis.    At Strasbourg, St. Aurelia, virgin.
A friend of St. Wolfgang, Aurelia spent more than half a century as a recluse in a Benedictine abbey in Salzburg, Austria.
Aurelia of Strasburg, OSB V (RM). Reputed to have been a French princess and relative of Hugh Capet, Aurelia lived for fifty-five years as a recluse near Strasburg, France, under the obedience of a Benedictine abbey. Aurelia is also often associated with Saint Wolfgang (Encyclopedia, Benedictines)
1050 Blessed Willa of Nonnberg, OSB Hermit (AC)
A Benedictine nun at Nonnberg (near Salzburg), who died a recluse (Benedictines)
1101 In Borússia sancti Brunónis, Epíscopi Ruthenórum et Mártyris; qui, Evangélium in ea regióne prædicans, ab ímpiis tentus est, ac, mánibus pedibúsque præcísis, cápite truncátus.
    In Prussia, St. Bruno, bishop of the Ruthenians and martyr.  While preaching the Gospel in that region he was arrested by impious men, his hands and feet were cut off, and he was then beheaded.
Bruno, Teacher & Monk, 1101. After 18 years of lecturing at Rheims, he & 6 others established a house at La Chatreuse, based on the early desert hermit style of living in individual cells. Hence the founder of the Carthusian Order .
1243 St. Hedwig Duchess widow Cistercain patroness of Silesia Miracles
Cracóviæ, in Polónia, natális sanctæ Hedwígis Víduæ, Polonórum Ducíssæ, quæ, páuperum obséquio dédita, étiam miráculis cláruit; et a Cleménte Quarto, Pontífice Máximo, Sanctórum número adscrípta est.  Ipsíus autem festívitas sequénti die celebrátur.
    At Cracow in Poland, St. Hedwig, duchess of Poland, who devoted herself to the service of the poor, and was renowned for miracles.  She was inscribed among the saints by Pope Clement IV.  Her feast is celebrated on the following day
1582  Teresa of Ávila, OCD Doctor V (RM)
Albæ, in Hispánia, sanctæ Terésiæ Vírginis, quæ Fratrum ac Sorórum Ordinis Carmelitárum arctióris observántiæ mater éxstitit et magístra.
    At Avila in Spain, the virgin St. Teresa, mother and mistress of the Brothers and Sisters of the Carmelite Order of the Strict Observance.
(also known as Teresa of Jesus)


   ST TERESA, one of the greatest, most attractive and widely appreciated women whom the world has ever known, and the only one to whom the title doctor of the Church is popularly, though not officially, applied, {circa 1956} speaks with loving appreciation of her parents. The one was Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda, the other Beatrice Davila y Ahumada, his second wife, who bore him nine children there were three children by his first marriage, and of this large family St Teresa says, “all, through the goodness of God, were like our parents in being virtuous, except myself. She was born at or near Avila in Castile on March 28, 1515, and when only seven took great pleasure in the lives of the saints, in which she spent much time with a brother called Rodrigo, who was near the same age. They were much impressed by the thought of eternity, and they used to repeat often together, For ever, for ever, for ever, admiring the victories of the saints and the ever­lasting glory which they possess For ever they shall see God.” The martyrs seemed to them to have bought Heaven very cheaply by their torments, and they resolved to go into the country of the Moors, in hopes of dying for their faith. They set out secretly, praying as they went that they might lay down their lives for Christ. But when they had got as far as Adaja they were met by an uncle, and brought back to their frightened mother, who reprimanded them; whereupon Rodrigo laid all the blame on his sister.
Teresa and the same little brother then wanted to become hermits at home, and built themselves hermitages with piles of stones in the garden, but could never finish them. Teresa sought to be much alone, and had in her room a picture of our Saviour discoursing with the Samaritan woman at the well, before which she often repeated the words, “Lord, give me of that water that I may not thirst”.

Her mother died when she was fourteen, and “as soon as I began to understand how great a loss I had sustained I was very much afflicted and so I went before an image of our Blessed Lady and besought her with tears that she would be my mother. Teresa and Rodrigo began to spend hours reading romances and trying to write them themselves. These tales, she says in the Autobiography, “did not fail to cool my good desires, and were the cause of my falling insensibly into other defects. I was so enchanted that I could not be content if I had not some new tale in my hands. I began to imitate the fashions, to take delight in being well dressed, to have great care of my hands, to make use of perfumes, and to affect all the vain trimmings which my position in the world allowed.” The change in Teresa was sufficiently noticeable to disturb the mind of her father, and he placed his daughter, who was then fifteen, with a convent of Augustinian nuns in Avila where many young women of her rank were educated.

After a year and a half spent in this convent Teresa fell sick, and her father took her home, where she began to deliberate seriously about undertaking the religious life, in regard to which she was moved both by emotional attraction and repulsion. It was by the reading of a book that she was enabled to make up her mind and to fix her will, and this book was, very characteristically, the Letters of St Jerome, whose realism and fire found an answering echo in her Castilian spirit. She told her father that she wished to become a nun, but he would by no means give his consent: after his death she might dispose of herself as she pleased. Fearing she might relapse, though she felt a severe interior conflict in leaving her father, she went secretly to the convent of the Incarnation of the Carmelite nuns outside Avila, where her great friend, Sister Jane Suarez, lived.
“I remember that whilst I was going out of my father’s house, I believe the sharpness of sense will not be greater in the very instant or agony of my death than it was then.”
“There was no such love of God in me at that time as was able to quench that love which I bore to my father and my friends.”

She was then twenty years old and, the step being taken, Don Alonzo ceased to oppose it. A year later she was professed. An illness, which seized her before her profession, increased very much after it, and her father got her removed out of her convent. Sister Jane Suarez bore her company, and she remained in the hands of physicians. Their treatment only made her worse (she seems to have been suffering from malignant malaria), and she could take no rest day or night. The doctors gave her up, and she got worse and worse. Under these afflictions she was helped by the prayer which she had then begun to use. Her devout uncle Peter had put into her hands a little book of Father Francis de Osuna, called the Third Spiritual Alphabet. Taking this book for her guide she applied herself to mental prayer, but for want of an experienced instructor she made little solid progress. But after three years’ suffering Teresa was restored to bodily health.

Her prudence and charity and, not least, her personal charm, gained her the esteem of all that knew her, and an affectionate and grateful disposition inclined her to return the civilities which others showed her. By an irregular custom of her convent quite common in Spain in those days, visitors of all kinds were freely received and mixed with, and Teresa spent much time in conversing with seculars in the parlour of the monastery

She began to neglect mental prayer, and persuaded herself that this was a part of humility, as her unrecollected life rendered her unworthy to converse so much or so familiarly with God. She also said to herself that there could be no danger of sin in what so many others, more virtuous than she, did and for her neglect of meditation she alleged the infirmities to which she was subject. But she adds,

“This reason of bodily weakness was not a sufficient cause to make me give up so good a thing, which requires not corporal strength, had only love and custom. In the midst of sickness the best of prayer may be made and it is a mistake to think that it can only be made in solitude.”

   When her father died his confessor, a Dominican friar, pointed out to Teresa the dangerous state she was in. At his instance she returned to the practice of private prayer and never again abandoned it. But she had not yet the courage to follow God perfectly, or entirely to renounce dissipating her time and gifts. During all these years of wavering and yet of gradually increasing strength and growing purpose, St Teresa tells us she never tired of listening to sermons, however bad they were; but in prayer her thoughts were more busied about desiring that the hour resolved to be spent in prayer might come quickly to an end, still listening when the clock would strike, than upon better things.
Becoming more and more convinced of her own unworthiness, she had recourse to the two great penitents, St Mary Magdalen and St Augustine, and with them were associated two events decisive in fixing her will upon the pursuit of religious perfection. One was the reading of St Augustine’s Confessions the other was a movement to penitence before a picture of our suffering Lord, in which

“I felt St Mary Magdalen come to my assistance...from that day I have gone on improving much ever since in my spiritual life.”

After she had finally withdrawn herself from the pleasures of social intercourse and other occasions of dissipation and faults (which she exceedingly exaggerated), St Teresa was favoured by God very frequently with the prayer of quiet, and also with that of union, which latter sometimes continued a long time with great increase of joy and love, and God began to visit her with intellectual visions and interior communications. The warning of certain women who had been miserably duped by imagination and the Devil much impressed her and, though she was persuaded her graces were from God, she was perplexed, and consulted so many persons that, though binding them to secrecy, the affair was divulged abroad, to her mortification and confusion. One to whom she spoke was Francis de Salsedo, a married man who was an example of virtue to the whole town. He introduced to her Dr Daza, a learned and virtuous priest, who judged her to be deluded by the Devil, saying that such divine favours were not consistent with a life so full of imperfections as she claimed hers to be. Teresa was alarmed and not satisfied, and Don Francis (to whom the saint says she owed her salvation and her comfort) bade her not to be discouraged. He recommended that she should consult one of the fathers of the newly-formed Society of Jesus, to whom she made a general confession in which, with her sins, she gave him an account of her manner of prayer and her extra-ordinary favours. The father assured her these were divine graces, but told her she had neglected to lay the true foundation of an interior life. On his advice, though he judged her experiences in prayer to be from God, she endeavoured for two months to resist and reject them. But her resistance was in vain.

Another Jesuit, Father Balthasar Alvarez, told her she would do well to beg of God that He would direct her to do what was most pleasing to Him, and for that purpose to recite every day the Veni Creator Spiritus. She did so, and one day whilst she was saying that hymn she was seized with a rapture, in which she heard these words spoken to her within her soul,
 I will not have you hold conversation with men, but with angels.
  The saint afterwards had frequent experience of such interior speeches and explains how they are even more distinct and clear than those which men hear with their bodily ears, and how they are also operative, producing in the soul the strongest impressions and sentiments of virtue, and filling her with an assurance of their truth, with joy and with peace.
   Whilst Father Alvarez was her director she suffered grievous persecutions for three years and, during two of them, extreme desolation of soul intermixed with gleams of spiritual comfort and enlightenment. It was her desire that all her heavenly communica­tions should be kept secret, but they became a common subject in conversation and she was censured and ridiculed as deluded or an hypocrite. Father Alvarez, who was a good man but timorous, durst not oppose the tide of disapproval, though he continued to hear her confessions.

   In 1557 St Peter of Alcantara came to Avila, and of course visited the now famous, or notorious, Carmelite. He declared that nothing appeared to him more evident than that her soul was conducted by the Spirit of God; but he foretold that she was not come to an end of her persecutions and sufferings. If the various proofs by which it pleased God to try Teresa served to purify her virtue, the heavenly communications with which she was favoured served to humble and fortify her soul, to give her a strong disrelish of the things of this life, and to fire her with the desire of possessing God.
   In raptures she was some­times lifted in the air, of which she gives careful description, and adds that
 seems not content with drawing the soul to Himself, but He must needs draw up the very body too, even whilst it is mortal and compounded of so unclean a clay as we have made it by our sins.
During these raptures or ecstasies the greatness and goodness of God, the excess of His love, the sweetness of His service, are placed in a great light and made sensibly manifest to the soul; all which she understands with a clearness which can be in no way expressed. The desire of Heaven with which these visions inspired St Teresa could not be declared.
 Hence also, she says, I lost the fear of death, of which I had formerly a great apprehension.
During this time took place such extraordinary manifestations as spiritual es­pousals, mystical marriage, and the piercing (transverberatio) of the saint's heart.
    Of this last she gives the following account:
 I saw an angel close by me, on my left side, in bodily form. This I am not accustomed to see, unless very rarely. Though I have visions of angels frequently, yet I see them only by an intellectual vision, such as I have spoken of before ... He was not large, but small of stature, and most beautiful-his face burning, as if he were one of the highest angels, who seem to be all of fire: they must be those whom we call cherubim [sic] .... I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron's 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 saint's desire to die that she might be speedily united to God was tempered by her desire to suffer for His love, and she writes,
“It seems to me there is no reason why I should live but only to suffer, and accordingly this is the thing which I beg with most affection of God. Some­times I say to Him 'with my whole heart, Lord, either to die or to suffer; I beg no other thing for myself.’”

 After the death of St Teresa her heart was found to bear a long and deep mark, as it were a scar; and her response to this remarkable happening was in the following year (1560) to make a vow that she would in everything do always that which seemed to be the most perfect and best pleasing to God. To bind oneself by vow to such an undertaking is an action so humanly rash that it can only be justified by the successful keeping of it. St Teresa kept her vow.

  The account which this saint has given in her Autobiography of these visions, revelations and raptures carries with it the intrinsic marks of evidence. It is not possible attentively to peruse it and not be convinced of the sincerity of the author, by the genuine simplicity of the style, scrupulous care, and fear of exaggerating, characteristics which appear in all her writings. Her doctrine is called by the Church, in the prayer of her festival, caelestis, heavenly. In it secret places of the soul are laid open. The most elusive matters, which experience alone can teach but no words utter, are explained with greater perspicuity than the subject seems capable of bearing; and this was done by a relatively uneducated woman, in the straightforward vernacular of Castile, which she had learnt in her mother's womb, the rough tongue of the folk of Avila; a woman who wrote alone, without the assistance of books, without study or acquired abilities, who entered upon the recital of divine things with reluctance, submitting everything without reserve to the judgement of her confessor, and much more to that of the Church, and com­plaining that by this task she was hindered from spinning.
    She undertook to write about herself only out of obedience to her confessor:
Obedience is put to the test in different commands, she said. And nothing seems a clearer proof how perfectly St Teresa was imbued with sincere humility than the artless manner in which she constantly, and not on certain occasions only, speaks of herself with depreciation. When she was attacked at Seville and someone asked her how she could hold her peace, she answered with a smile,
 No music is so pleasing to my ears. They have reason for what they say, and speak the truth.
 Her patience under sickness, provocation and disappointment; her firm confidence in God and in her crucified Redeemer under all storms and difficulties; and her undaunted courage in bearing incredible hardship and persecution and dangers are a practical commentary on the words. The necessity of the spirit of prayer, the way it is practised, and the nature of its fruits are set out incomparably in her writings. These works were written during the years in which she was actively engaged in the most difficult business of founding convents of reformed Carmelite nuns and thus, quite apart from their nature and contents, are significant of St Teresa's vigour, industry and power of recollection. She wrote the Way of Perfection for the direction of her nuns, and the book of Foundations for their edification and encouragement, but the Interior Castle may be said to have been written for the instruction of the Church. In it she is a doctor of the spiritual life.


The proper of the Mass on August 27 in which the Carmelites commemorate this happening admirably illustrates the Church's attitude to mystical eperiences of this sort, in striking contrast with the naturalism of Bernini's statue of the same subject in the church of Santa Maria delia Vittoria at Rome.
Jesuis d'accord ... que sainte Thérèse est bien morte d'un transport d'amour. Quant à la blessure indiquée à l'emplacement de l'artère coronaire ... il est permis de penser que, tout en ayant été causée par l'élan d'amour surnaturel décrit par st Jean de la Croix, des symptômes réels de fatigue ... ainsi qu'il est attesté, témoignent d'une dis­position favorableàa la dilatation du myocarde et à sa rupture. -Dr Jean Lhermitte, in Études Carmélitaines, 1936, vol. ii, p. 242.

The Carmelite nuns, and indeed those of other orders as well, were very much relaxed from their early austerity and enthusiasm in sixteenth-century Spain. We have seen how the parlour at Avila was a sort of social centre for the ladies and gentlemen of the town, and that the nuns went out of their enclosure on the slightest pretext those who wanted an easy and sheltered life without responsibilities could find it in a convent. The size of the communities was both a cause and an effect of this mitigation there were 140 nuns in the convent at Avila, and the result afterwards wrung from St Teresa the cry,

 “Experience has taught me what a house full of women is like. God preserve us from such a state!”

  This state of things was taken for granted, there was no rebuking consciousness among religious at large that the nature of their daily life fell far short of what was required by their pro­fession according to the mind of their founders, so that when a Carmelite of the Incarnation house at Avila, her niece, began to talk of the possibility of the founda­tion of a small community bound to a more perfect way of life the idea struck St Teresa not as a very natural one but as an inspiration from Heaven.
   She had been a nun for 25 years: she now determined to undertake the establishment of such a reformed convent, and received a promise of immediate help from a wealthy widow, Doña Guiomar de Ulloa. The project was approved by St Peter of Alcantara, St Louis Bertrand, and the Bishop of Avila, and Teresa procured the licence and approbation of Father Gregory Fernandez, prior provincial of the Carmelites but no sooner had the project taken shape than he was obliged by the objections which were raised to recall his licence. A storm fell upon Teresa through the violent opposition which was made by her fellow nuns, the nobility, the magistrates and the people. Father Ibañez, a Dominican, secretly encouraged her, and assisted Doña Guiomar to pursue the enterprise, together with Doña Juana de Ahumada, a married sister of the saint, who began with her husband to build a new convent at Avila in 1561, but in such a manner that the world took it for a house intended for herself and her family. Their son Gonzalez, a little child, was crushed by a wall which fell upon him while playing around this building, and he was carried without giving any signs of life to Teresa, who, taking him in her arms, prayed to God and after some minutes restored him perfectly sound to his mother, as was proved in the process of the saint’s canonization. The child used afterwards often to tell his aunt that it was her duty to forward his salvation by her prayers, seeing it was owing to her that he was not long ago in Heaven.

Eventually a brief arrived from Rome authorizing the establishment of the new convent.

   St Peter of Alcantara, Don Francis de Salsedo and Dr Daza had per­suaded the bishop to concur, the new monastery of St Joseph was set up by his authority, and on St Bartholomew’s day in 1562 was made subject to him, Mass being celebrated in the chapel and the saint’s niece and three other novices taking the habit. Hereupon great excitement broke out in the town. That very afternoon the prioress of the Incarnation sent for Teresa from St Joseph’s, and she went in some trepidation, “thinking they would certainly put me in prison.
She had to give an explanation of her conduct before the prioress and Father Angel de Salazar, the prior provincial, in which, she admits, they had a certain case against her. However, Father Angel promised she should return to St Joseph’s when the popular excitement had died down. The people of Avila looked on the new foundation as uncalled for, were nervous of suspicious novelties, and feared that an unendowed convent would be too heavy a burden on the town. The mayor and magistrates would have had the new monastery demolished, had not Father Bañez,
a Dominican, dissuaded them from so hasty a resolution. Amidst slanders and persecution the saint remained calm, recommending to God His own work, and was comforted by our Lord in a vision. In the meantime Francis de Salsedo and other friends of the new establishment deputed a priest to go before the royal council to plead for the convent, the two Dominicans, Ibañez and Bañez, reasoned with the bishop and the provincial, the public clamour abated, and at the end of four months Father Angel sent Teresa to the new convent, whither she was followed by four other nuns from the old house.

Strict enclosure was established with almost perpetual silence, and the most austere poverty, at first without any settled revenues; the nuns wore habits of coarse serge, sandals instead of shoes (whence they are called “discalced”), and were bound to perpetual abstinence. At first St Teresa would not admit more than thirteen nuns to a community, but in those which should be founded with revenues, and not to subsist solely on alms, she afterwards allowed twenty-one. The prior general of the Carmelites, John Baptist Rubeo (Rossi), came to Avila in 1567, and was charmed with the foundress and the wise regulations of the house. He gave St Teresa full authority to found other convents upon the same plan, in spite of the fact that St Joseph’s had been established without his knowledge or leave, and she even received from him a licence for the foundation of two houses of reformed friars (“Contemplative Carmelites) in Castile.
St Teresa passed five years in her convent of St Joseph with thirteen nuns, being herself the first and most diligent, not only at prayer but also in spinning, sweeping the house or any other work.
 “I think that they were the most quiet years of my life
, she writes. “I there enjoyed the tranquility and calmness which my soul has often since longed for. . .His divine Majesty sent us what was necessary without asking, and if at any time we were in want (which was very seldom) the joy of these holy souls was so much the greater.”
She is not content with vague generalities, but records such enticing details as of the nun who obediently planted the cucumber horizontally and of the water, which was piped into the house from a source, that the plumbers said was too low.

In August 1567 Teresa went to Medina del Campo and, having conquered many difficulties, founded there a second convent. The Countess de la Cerda earnestly desired to found a convent of this order at her town of Malagon, and Teresa went to see her about it, incidentally paying a visit to Madrid which she describes as “boring”.
When this convent was safely launched she went to Valladolid and there founded another.
St Teresa made her next foundation at Toledo. She met great obstacles, and had no more than four or five ducats when she began. But she said,
 “Teresa and this money are indeed nothing: but God, Teresa and these ducats suffice.
Here a young woman who had gained a reputation of virtue petitioned to be admitted to the habit, and added, “I will bring my Bible with me.”—What! said the saint, “your Bible ? Do not come to us. We are poor women who know nothing but how to spin and to do as we are told.”
At Medina del Campo she had met with two Carmelite friars who were desirous to embrace her reform, Antony-of-Jesus (de Heredia), then prior there, and John Yepes (afterwards John-of-the-Cross). As soon, therefore, as an opportunity offered itself she founded a convent for men at a village called Duruelo in 1568, and in 1569 a second at Pastrana, both in extreme poverty and austerity. After these two foundations St Teresa left to St John-of-the-Cross the care of all other foundations that should be made for men.
At Pastrana she also established a
nunnery. When Don Ruy Gomez de Buys, who had founded these houses at Pastrana, died, his widow wished to make her religious profession there, but claimed many exemptions and would still maintain the dignity of princess. Teresa, finding she could not be brought to the humility of her profession, ordered the nuns, lest relaxations should be introduced, to leave that house to her and retire to a new one in Segovia.
In 1570 St Teresa founded a convent at Salamanca where with another nun she took possession of a house which had been occupied by some students, who had had “little or no regard for cleanliness
It was a large, rambling and eerie place, and when night fell the other nun became very nervous. As they lay down on their piles of straw (“the first furniture I provided when I founded monasteries, for having this I reckoned I had beds
), St Teresa asked her what she was looking about at. “I was wondering, was the reply, “were I to die here now what would you do alone with a corpse? St Teresa admits the remark startled her, for, though she did not fear dead bodies, they always caused her a pain at her heart. But she only replied, “I will think about that when it happens, sister. For the present, let us go to sleep.”

In July of this year she had a revelation while at prayer of the martyrdom at sea of Bd Ignatius Azevedo and his companions of the Society of Jesus, among whom was her own relative, Francis Perez Godoy. She had a clear vision as it were both to her eyes and ears of what took place and she at once told it in detail to Father Balthasar Alvarez. When the news of the massacre reached Spain a month later, he recognized the minute accuracy of the account already given to him by St Teresa.

At this time Pope St Pius V appointed visitors apostolic to inquire into relaxa­tions in religious orders with a view to reform, and he named a well-known Domin­ican, Peter Fernandez, to be visitor to the Carmelites of Castile. At Avila he not surprisingly found great fault with the convent of the Incarnation, and to remedy its abuses he sent for St Teresa and told her she was to take charge of it as prioress. It was doubly distasteful to her to be separated from her own daughters and to be put from outside at the head of a house which opposed her activities with jealousy and warmth. The nuns’ at first refused to obey her; some of them went into hysterics at the very idea. She told them that she came not to coerce or instruct but to serve, and to learn from the least among them.

 “My mothers and sisters, our Lord has sent me to this house by the voice of obedience, to fill an office of which I was far from thinking and for which I am quite unfitted...I come solely to serve you...Do not fear my rule. Though I have lived among and exercised authority over those Carmelites who are discalced, by God’s mercy I know how to rule those who are not of their number.”

Having won the sympathy and affection of the community, she had less difficulty in establishing discipline according to its rules. Too frequent callers were forbidden (to the annoyance of certain gentlemen of Avila), the finances of the house were put in order, and a more truly claustral spirit reigned—a characteristically Teresian performance. When making a foundation at Yeas St Teresa met for the first time Father Jerome Gracián, and was easily persuaded by him to extend her activities to Seville; he had just preached the Lent there, and was himself a friar of the reform. With the exception of the first, no one of her convents was so hard to establish as this. Among the difficulties was a disappointed novice who delated the new nuns to the Inquisition as Illuminati, and worse.

The Carmelite friars in Italy had, in the meantime, become afraid of the progress of the Spanish reform lest, as one of their number said, they should one day be compelled to set about reforming themselves, a fear which was shared by their mitigated brethren in Spain. The prior general, Father Rubeo, who had hitherto favoured St Teresa, now sided with the objectors and upheld a general chapter at Plasencia which passed several decrees gravely restricting the reform.  The new nuncio apostolic, Philip de Sega, dismissed Father Gracián from his office of visitor to the Discalced Carmelites, and St John-of-the-Cross was im­prisoned in a monastery; St Teresa herself was told to choose one of her convents to which to retire and to abstain from further foundations. While recommending her undertaking to God, she did not disdain to avail herself of the help of her friends in the world. These interested the king, Philip II, on her behalf, and he warmly espoused her cause. The nuncio was called before him and sternly rebuked for his activities against the discalced friars and nuns, and in 1580 an order was obtained at Rome to exempt the Reformed from the jurisdiction of the mitigated Carmelites, so that each should have their own provincial. Father Gracian was elected for the Reformed.

“The separation has given me one of the greatest pleasures and consolations I could receive in this life, for the order has had to endure more troubles, persecutions and trials in twenty-five years than I have space to tell. Now we are all at peace, Calced and Discalced, having no one to disturb us in the service of our Lord.”
   St Teresa was certainly endowed with great natural talents. The sweetness of her temperament, the affectionate tenderness of her heart, and the liveliness of her wit and imagination, poised by an uncommon maturity of judgement and what we should now call psychological insight, gained the respect of all and the love of most. It was no mere flight of fancy which caused the poet Crashaw to refer both to “the eagle” and to “the dove” in St Teresa. She stood up when need be to high authorities, ecclesiastical and civil, and would not bow her head under the blows of the world. It was no hysterical defiance when she bade the prior pro­vincial, Father Angel, “ Beware of fighting against the Holy Ghost”; it was no authoritarian conceit that made her merciless to a prioress who had made herself unfit for her duties by her austerities. It is as the dove that she writes to her erring nephew, “God’s mercy is great in that you have been enabled to make so good a choice and to marry so soon, for you began to be dissipated when you were so young that we might have had much sorrow on your account. From that you see how much I love you.”
She took charge of this young man’s illegitimate daughter, and of his sister, who was seven years old:
“We ought always to have a child of this age among us.” Her wit and “forthrightness were sublimely good-tempered, even when she used them, as sword or hammer, to drive in a rebuke. When an indiscreet man praised the beauty of her bare feet she laughed and told him to have a good look at them for he would never see them again. “You know what a number of women are when they get together, or “My children, these are just women’s fads, she would say when her subjects were fussy and tiresome. In criticizing an essay by her good friend Francis de Salsedo she was quick to point out that “Señor de Salsedo keeps on repeating throughout his paper: ‘As St Paul says’, ‘As the Holy Ghost says’, and ends up by declaring he has written nothing but nonsense. I shall denounce him to the Inquisition.”
The quality of St Teresa is seen very clearly in her selection of novices for the new foundations. Her first requirement, even before any promise of a considerable degree of piety, was intelligence. A person can train herself to piety, but more hardly to intelligence, by which quality she meant neither cleverness nor imagination, but a power of good judgement. “An intelligent mind is simple and submissive; it sees its faults and allows itself to be guided. A mind that is deficient and narrow never sees its faults, even when shown them. It is always pleased with itself and never learns to do right.” “Even though our Lord should give this young girl devotion and teach her contemplation, if she has no sense she never will come to have any, and instead of being of use to the community she will be a burden.” “ May God preserve us from stupid nuns! Nobody was ever less sentimental.

By the time of the separation between the two observances of the Carmelite Order in 1580 St Teresa was sixty-five years old and quite broken in health. During her last two years she saw her final foundations, making them seventeen in all: foundations that had been made not only to provide homes of contemplation for individuals but as a work of reparation for the destruction of so many monas­teries by Protestantism, notably in the British Isles and Germany. A cruel trial was reserved for her last days. The will of her brother Don Lorenzo, whose daughter was prioress at Valladolid, was in dispute and St Teresa was drawn unwillingly into the proceedings. A lawyer was rude to her, and to him she said, “Sir, may God return to you the courtesy you have shown to me. But before the conduct of her niece she was speechless and impotent: for the prioress of Valladolid, hitherto an irreproachable religious, showed her aunt the door of the convent of which she was foundress and told her never more to return to it. St Teresa wrote to Mother Mary-of-St-Joseph, “I beseech you and your daughters not to wish or pray for me to live longer. Ask on the contrary that I may go to my eternal rest, for I can be of no more use to you.”

The last foundation, at Burgos, was made under difficulties, and when it was achieved in July 1582 St Teresa wished to return to Avila, but was induced to set out for Alba de Tormes, where the Duchess Maria Henriquez was expecting her. Bd Anne-of-St-Barthol­omew describes the journey, not properly prepared for and the foundress so ill that she fainted on the road one night they could get no food but a few figs, and when they arrived at Alba St Teresa went straight to bed. Three days later she said to Bd Anne, “At last, my daughter, the hour of death has come. She received the last sacraments from Father Antony de Heredia, who asked her where she wished to be buried. She only answered, “Is it for me to say? Will they deny me a little ground for my body here? When the Blessed Sacrament was brought in she sat up in bed, helpless though she was, and exclaimed, “0 my Lord, now is the time that we may see each other! Apparently in wonder at the things her Saviour was showing her, St Teresa-of-Jesus died in the arms of Bd Anne at nine in the evening of October 4, 1582. The very next day the Gregorian reform of the kalendar came into force and ten days were dropped, so that it was accounted October 15, the date on which her feast was ultimately fixed. Her body was buried at Alba de Tormes, and there it remains. She was canonized in 1622.

Although the history of St Teresa in the Acta Sanctorum occupies almost the whole of a very stout folio volume (October, vol. vii), and although it was compiled by Father Van der Moere less than a century ago, its contents have to a considerable extent been superseded by better edited texts and by fresh material which has since come to light. Amongst the most important sources of all must always be reckoned the Autobiography and the Book of Foundations. Both these have been printed in a photographic facsimile from St Teresa’s own autograph (1873 and 1880). For scholarly use all her work and correspondence have now been critically edited in Spanish by Father Silverio, and occupy nine volumes; six of Works (1915—1919) and three of Letters (1922—24). Nearly all this material, though often translated from less accurate texts, had previously been accessible both in French and in English, David Lewis) Father Benedict Zimmerman, and the Benedictine nuns of Stanbrook having in this matter rendered great service to English readers. From Fr Silverio’s edition Prof. E. Allison Peers made a new English translation of the Works (3 vols., 1946) and the Letters (a vols., 1951). Lewis’s version of the Autobiography was reissued in U.S.A. in 1943. For our knowledge of the character and activities of St Teresa we are also much indebted to her early biographers, notably to three who knew her intimately in her later years. The first was Father Francis de Ribera. The life he wrote was printed in 1590 the best edition is that of Father Jaime Pons (1908). Another biography was published (1599) by Diego de Yepes, who was also keenly interested in the sufferings of the English Catholics and became bishop of Tarragona. The third was written by St Teresa’s chaplain, Julian of Avila, but the manuscript having been lost sight of, it was only discovered and printed in 1881. Besides these, much information is obtainable from the writings and letters of such friends of the saint as Father Jerome Gracián, Bd Anne-of-St-Bartholomew, and many others. An English translation of the Autobiography by “W. M,” was printed at Antwerp as early as 1611; but better from a literary point of view is Sir Tobie Mathews version, which appeared in 1623 under the title of The Flaming Heart or, The Life of the Glorious St Teresa. A fuller account, which included some of the saint’s writings, began to appear (1669) in more than one volume and was due to Abraham Woodhead. In more modern times we have the Life and Letters of St Theresa (3 vols.), by H. J. Coleridge; G. Cunning­hame Graham, Santa Teresa (1907) J. J. Burke, St Teresa of Jesus (1911; noteworthy for its illustrations of the saint’s foundations); W. T. Walsh, St Teresa of Avila (1942); V. Sackville West, The Eagle and the Dove (1943); E. A. Peers, Mother of Carmel (1945); a short life by Fr Silverio (Eng. trans., 1947), and others by Kate O’Brien (1951) and M. Auclair (Eng. trans., 1952). Fr Gabriel’s St Teresa of Jesus (Eng. trans., 1950) provides an introduction to her writings. To give a catalogue of the shorter biographies, or of those published in French, Spanish and Italian, would be endless. Reference, however, must be made to R. Hoornaert, Ste Thérèse ècrivian (Eng. trans., 1931) and his Ste Thérèse d’Avila (1951), and to G. Etchegoyen, L’amour divin...(1953). See also the Studies of the Spanish Mystics and St Teresa of Jesus and Other Essays (1923) of Professor Peers.

Born in Ávila, Castile, Spain, March 28, 1515; died at Alba de Tormes, Spain, October 4, 1582 (October 14 according to the Gregorian calendar, which went into effect the next day and advanced the calendar 10 days); canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV; declared the first female Doctor of the Church in 1970 by Pope Paul VI.
"From silly devotions, and from sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us!" --Saint Teresa.
Known for her practicality and good humor, Saint Teresa combined intelligence and obedience with mysticism. One of her favorite maxims was that "to give our Lord a perfect service Martha and Mary must combine." Of the 33 doctors of the Church (saints whose writing or preaching is outstanding for guiding the faithful in all ages), she, Saint Catherine of Siena, and Saint Thérèse of Lisieux are the only females.

Teresa's Interior Castles, one of the Western classics on mysticism, describes the journey of a soul towards God--likening it to God walking deeper into concatenated rooms cleaning out the cobwebs along the way.

She was born as Teresa de Cepeda Ahumada to an aristocratic family. Her father was believed to be a Jewish convert named don Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda. Her mother doña Beatriz Davila de Ahumada was his second wife. By all accounts, it was a huge, happy, devout family of 12 children, but Teresa was her father's favorite.

From childhood she was fascinated by the lives of the saints. Once she set out with her older brother Rodrigo for Moorish lands in the hopes of dying for the faith. They were met by an uncle at Adaja and returned to their parents. That missionary plan was followed by the decision of the two to become hermits. They would build hermitages in their orchard by piling up heaps of small stones. Teresa also played at building convents with her girl friends.

She was a gay, beautiful, and spoiled child, whose mother died when she was 14. She developed an interest in romances and fashions, which worried her father. Unable to cope with a teenager, her father sent her to a convent school of the Augustinian nuns in Ávila. She became ill after a year and a half and returned home in 1532, but by this time she was reading Saint Jerome's letters and had decided to become a nun. Fearing that she might lapse in her devotion, at 20 ran away to the Incarnation Convent of Carmelite nuns outside Ávila. Her father gave in, and she was professed a year later (1537).

When she was 24 (1538), Teresa became ill, and her father removed her from the convent. Her friend, Sister Jane Suarez, accompanied her home. Her illness, perhaps malaria, caused an attack of catalepsy so severe that she was given up for dead--they had even dug her grave. Left an invalid for three years, she long endured the effects of paralysis, which recurred for about a dozen years.

This was the worst of many ailments which included a fractured arm, numerous attacks of high fever, digestive ills, a quartan ague, neuralgia, quinsy--a generally disordered bodily constitution. All of which makes her accomplishments even more amazing.

Becoming a nun during the period was not a great sacrifice--vows of poverty were not enforced; lax monasteries were the best habitat for unmarriageable daughters of the wealthy Her convent, in keeping with the relaxed observances of the day, allowed visitors, and Teresa spent much of her time talking with them, to the point where she began to neglect prayer--she excused herself on the basis that she was not well--just as many of us rationalize our failings.

When Teresa was about age 42, after her father died, his confessor brought her to recognize the danger of her lapse, and she returned to a regular practice of private prayer. Father Domingo Banez first taught her that God can be loved in and through all things. During this period she read the Confessions of Saint Augustine and experienced a real conversion. From that time her vocation was strong. She withdrew from her gregarious pursuits and began to experience visions, particularly one in which women warned her about being tricked by imagination and the devil.

As the years passed, Teresa was frequently rapt in ecstasy in prayer. Among her spiritual experiences was the remarkable mystical piercing of her heart by a spear of divine love. She wrote a good deal about such things, but she did not give them undue importance, clearly discerning their dangers. She told people about her visions, vowing them to secrecy, but the word got out, making her an object of ridicule and persecution.

A contemporary and compatriot of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, through his spiritual sons, provided Teresa with her first real helpers and advisers in the mystical life. Their military sobriety appealed to her practical side, while her fervor for God was fed by the enthusiasm and unbridled penance of the Franciscan Saint Peter of Alcántara, who became her spiritual director in 1557.

When her visions became public knowledge, she was first introduced to a priest, who told her that she was being deluded by the devil-- that divine visions were not granted to people who lived a life as flawed as hers. Alarmed, she was encouraged to consult a Jesuit. She did so, and the Jesuit assured her that her visions were divine, but that she must strengthen her mental life. He advised her to resist the visions, and she did so, but in vain.

Another Jesuit, Father Balthasar Alvarez, recommended that she recite the Veni Creator Spiritus each day in the hopes of finding what God wished her to do. While doing so one day, she heard the words "I will not have you hold conversation with men, but with angels." She would frequently experience interior dialogues of great intensity, but under Father Alvarez she was persecuted.

She nearly fell under the Inquisition because she sought to teach men, such as Saint John of the Cross (Juan Yepes), whom she met later and for whom she served as spiritual director. They might have thought of her as an Illuminati, a movement based on the authority of private revelation and detachment from the sacraments (similar to the Beguines in northern Europe, whose false mysticism was condemned by the Council of Vienne, 1311-12). Her loyalty to the Church and love of the sacraments saved her from further scrutiny, however.

The Inquisitors had withdrawn vernacular versions of the Scripture and devotional books from women, and prohibited them from using interior prayer. Teresa wrote her account of her life and way of prayer to clear her name.

In 1557, she was visited by Saint Peter Alcántara, who told her that her visions were authentic but that she would never cease to suffer. She was said to levitate upon occasion. She experienced mystical marriages, and her heart was pierced. She made a vow that she would always do everything that seemed to be the most perfect and most pleasing to God.

Again, the Carmelites at that time were very relaxed in their observance. They socialized with citizens and were free to come and go from the convent. When her niece began to talk of establishing a small community with a stricter life, Teresa took this to be a sign from God. She proposed to open such a house and was supported in her goal by her confessor Saint Peter and others, such as Saint Luis Beltran, but at the last minute, the provincial prior withdrew his permission due to opposition. She was secretly encouraged by a Dominican, however, and Teresa's married sister, Doña Juana de Ahumada, began to build a convent in 1561, pretending that it was to be a house for herself.

Approval for the establishment finally came from Rome and the house of Saint Joseph opened in 1562, with Teresa's niece among the 13 nuns who joined. The townspeople were upset, suspicious of innovation, and apprehensive that the convent would be a financial burden. A Dominican persuaded them not to tear it down. Supporters sent a priest to speak for the monastery to the royal council, and eventually opposition died down.

The prior general of the Carmelites, Father Rubeo, visited Teresa in 1567 and was so impressed with her that he gave her permission to found other convents. In addition, he gave her a license to found two houses of reformed friars--'Contemplative Carmelites.'

She lived at Saint Joseph's for five years, then opened a second convent in Medina del Campo, and a third in the town of Malagon. She then travelled to Madrid. She founded convents at Valladolid and Toledo, and a monastery for men in the village of Duruelo in 1568, and another, and a nunnery, at Pastrana in 1569. She then passed over the responsibility for further houses for men to Saint John of the Cross. In 1570, she opened another foundation in Salamanca.

In addition to being an able administrator, she was very witty and kind. She thought it was of great importance to choose novices prudently. Intelligence was one of her top criteria. She always acted as a model to her nuns, doing household tasks along with the others, and never eating red meat. She could be warm and affectionate. "For the love of God get well," she wrote to a sick prioress, "eat enough and do not be alone or think too much." She had a wonderful sense of humor; because she was short, she described herself as "half a friar."

The convent was strictly enclosed and followed a regimen of austerity, including almost constant silence. The nuns wore coarse habits and sandals instead of shoes, and thus were called 'Discalced' ('without shoes').

The 17 Carmels established by Saint Teresa throughout Spain and France were distinct from most convents of the period. The Carmelites were provided a room of their own, books, lectures, and time for study or contemplative prayer. There was a great deal of stress on growing in knowledge and love of God, similar to that in the Beguine communities. The prioress was the spiritual and administrative director of the Carmel. The nuns were self- governing, unlike most convents of the time.

Teresa is the classical example of one who combined the life of religious contemplation with an intense activity and common-sense efficiency in 'practical' affairs. She recorded the results of both in literary form. She wrote the Way of Perfection and the book of Foundations for the direction of her religious sisters. Teresa writes with authority on prayer as being loving rather than thinking. Real vocal prayer, according to today's saint in The Way of Perfection, requires the attention of the mind and the heart. Her mystical writing, the Interior Castle, was revolutionary, for it was the first work to point to the existence of states between prayer and contemplation.

For three years her active work in Carmelite reform was delayed by her appointment by Pope Saint Pius V, which she had obediently to accept, as prioress of the "calced" Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation in Ávila, which she had left about 10 years earlier to start her convent of the discalced nuns in Ávila. She needed both piety and statesmanship in meeting the initial resistance of the nuns whom she had to direct: "My ladies, have no misgivings as to how I shall govern you; for, though I have thus far lived among and governed nuns who are discalced, I know well, through the Lord's goodness, the way to govern those who are not."

Authorities who resisted her reforming efforts referred to her as 'the roving nun.' The prior general, who had supported Teresa, now turned against the reforms and held a general chapter at Piacenza, Italy, in 1575, to restrict it. Saint John of the Cross was imprisoned in a monastery, and Teresa was told to retire to one of her convents during the struggle. She appealed to contacts she had made in the world, and King Philip II came to her rescue. In 1580 an order from Pope Gregory XIII, at the instigation of King Philip, exempted the Reformed Carmelites from the jurisdiction of the Mitigated Carmelites; each division was to have its own provincial.

By this time, Teresa's health had broken down. She open her final house, her seventeenth, at Burgos, and wished to return to Ávila, but was persuaded to visit Alba de Tormes at the request of the duchess. When she arrived, Teresa had to take to her bed. She died three days later.

It is likely that Teresa was of Jewish blood--which made the Inquisition that much more terrifying because it was established to destroy the remnants of Judaism after the ousting of the Moors in 1492, just years before her birth. The Carmelites had many 'conversos' or Jewish and Islamic converts, but Teresa forbade any discussion of ancestry within the Carmel.

One of my favorite stories occurs as Teresa journeys to France to found a Carmel there. It was raining and miserable outside and the wheel of her carriage broke in a rut, tossing her outside. She complains to God, "If this is how you treat Your friends, no wonder You have so few."

She was successful in spreading her science of prayer. French mysticism, "witnesses to the life-giving character of her career. The appearance in France of her writings, and the establishment in Paris of Carmelite nuns who the saint herself had trained . . . were decisive factors in its development. Directly or indirectly, all the great personalities of this epoch came into touch with Carmel and were salted by its salt..." (Underhill, p. 188).

Madame Acarie (Marie of the Incarnation), who was destined to introduce Teresian ideals into France, had two dream-like visions of Saint Teresa, "who announced that it was God's will that she should bring the reformed Carmelites to Paris" (Underhill, p. 193). Acarie, encouraged by Saint Francis de Sales, took into her house and trained postulants who became the first French Carmelite nuns (Bentley, Delaney, Markus, Tsanoff, Underhill, White).

Some other sayings:
"God treats his friends terribly, though he does them no wrong in this, since he treated his Son in the same way."
"Though we do not have our Lord with us in bodily presence, we have our neighbor,
who, for the ends of love and loving service, is as good as our Lord himself."

Catholic Dispatch posted a series of maxims of Saint Teresa that are well worth considering in relation to our own spiritual lives:

       1. Untilled ground, however rich, will bring forth thistles and thorns; so also, the mind of man.
       2. Speak well of all that is spiritual, such as religious, priests, and hermits.
       3. Let your words be few when in the midst of many.
       4. Be modest in all your words and works.
       5. Never be obstinate, especially in things of no moment.
       6. In speaking to others be always calm and cheerful.
       7. Never make a jest of anything.
       8. Never rebuke any one but with discretion, and humility, and self-abasement.
       9. Bend yourself to the temper of whomever is speaking to you: be merry with the mirthful, sorrowful with the sad: in a word, make yourself all things to all, to gain all.
      10. Never say anything you have not well considered and earnestly commended to our Lord, that nothing may be spoken which shall be displeasing to Him.
      11. Never defend yourself unless there be very good reasons for it.
      12. Never mention anything concerning yourself which men may think is praiseworthy, such as learning, goodness, birth, unless it's done with a hope of going good thereby, and then let it be done with humility, remembering that these are gifts of God.
      13. Never exaggerate, but speak your mind in simplicity.
      14. In all talking and conversation let something be always said of spiritual things, and so shall all idle words and evil-speaking be avoided.
      15. Never assert anything without being first assured of it.
      16. Never come forward to give your own opinion about anything unless asked to do so, or charity requires it.
      17. When any one is speaking of spiritual things do you listen humbly and like a learner, and take to yourself the good that is spoken.
      18. Make known to your superior and confessor all your temptations, imperfections, and dislikes, that he may give you counsel and help you to overcome them.

      19. Do not stay out of your cell, nor go forth from it without cause, and when you do go out beg God for the grace not to offend him.
      20. Never eat or drink except at the usual times, and then give earnest thanks to God.
      21. Do all you do as if you really did it for His Majesty: a soul makes great gains thereby.
      22. Never listen to, or say, evil of any one except of yourself, and when that gives you pleasure you are making great progress.
      23. Whatever you do, offer it up to God, and pray it may be for His honor and glory.
      24. In your mirth refrain from immoderate laughter, and let it be humble, modest, kindly, and edifying.
      25. Imagine yourself always to be the servant of all, and look upon all as if they were Christ our Lord in person; and so shall you do Him honor and reverence.
      26. Be ever ready to perform the duties of obedience, as if Jesus, in the person of the prior or superior, had laid His commands on you.
      27. In all your actions, and at every hour, examine your conscience; and, having discerned your faults, strive, by the help of God, to amend them, and by this way you shall attain to perfection.
      28. Do not think of the faults of others, but of what is good in them and faulty in yourself.
      29. Desire earnestly always to suffer for God in every thing and on every occasion.
      30. Offer yourself unto God fifty times a day, and that with great fervor and longing after God.
      31. Call to mind continually throughout the day the matter of the morning meditation: be very careful herein, for it will do you much good.
      32. Lay up carefully what our Lord may say to you, and act upon the desires He may have filled you with in prayer.
      33. Always avoid singularity to the utmost of your power, for it does great harm in a community.
      34. Read often the rules and constitutions of the order, and observe in sincerity.
      35. In all created things discern the providence and wisdom of God, and in all things give Him thanks.
      36. Withhold your heart from all things: seek God, and you will find Him.
      37. Do not show signs of devotion outwardly when you have none within, but you may lawfully hide the want thereof.
      38. Don't let not your inward devotion be visible unless in great necessity: St.
          Francis and St. Bernard used to say, "My secret is mine."
      39. Never complain of the food, whether it be well or ill dressed; remembering the gall and vinegar of Jesus Christ.
      40. Speak to no one at table, and lift not your eyes to another.
      41. Think of the table of heaven, and of the food thereon-- God Himself: think of the guests, the angels: lift up your eyes to that table, longing for it.
      42. In the presence of your superior--you should see Jesus Christ in him--utter not a word that is not necessary, and that with great reverence.
      43. Never do anything that you can not do in the presence of all.
      44. Do not compare one person with another: it is a hateful thing to do.
      45. When rebuked for anything receive the rebuke with inward and outward humility, and pray to God for the person who gives the rebuke.
      46. When one superior bids you do a certain thing, do not say that another superior has given a contrary order; but obey in what you are commanded, and consider that the intentions of all are good.

      47. Be not curious about matters that do not concern you; never speak of them, and do not ask about them.
      48. Keep in mind your past life and present lukewarmness, to bewail them, and what is still wanting to you for your going into heaven, that you might live in fear, which is a source of great blessings.
      49. What those in the house bid you do, do always, unless it be against obedience; and answer them humbly and gently.
      50. Ask for nothing particular in the way of food or raiment, unless there be great need.
      51. Never cease to humble and mortify yourself in all things, even unto death.
      52. Habitually make many acts of love, for they set the soul on fire and make it gentle.
      53. Make acts of all the other virtues.
      54. Offer every thing to the Father Everlasting, in union with the merits of His Son Jesus Christ.
      55. Be kind to all and severe to yourself.
      56. On the days kept in honor of the saints consider their virtues, and beg the like of God.
      57. Be very exact every night in your examination of conscience.
      58. The morning of communion remember in your prayer that you are about to receive God, notwithstanding your wretchedness; and in your prayer at night that you have received Him.
      59. Never when in authority rebuke any one in anger, but only when anger has passed away; and so shall the rebuke bring forth good fruit.
      60. Strive earnestly after perfection and devotion, and by the help thereof you will do all things.
      61. Exercise yourself much in the fear of our Lord, for that will make the soul contrite and humble.
      62. Consider seriously how quickly people change, and how little trust is to be had in them; and cleave fast unto God, who doesn't change.
      63. As to the affairs of your soul, labor to have a confessor who is spiritual and learned, make them known unto him, and abide by his judgment throughout.

      64. Each time of communion beg some gift of God, by the compassion wherewith He has entered your poor soul.
      65. Though you have recourse to many saints as your intercessors, go specially to St. Joseph, for he has great power with God.
      66. In times of sorrow and trouble don't stop doing the good works of prayer and penance which you are in the habit of doing, for Satan is striving to make you uneasy, and then to abandon them; on the contrary, apply yourself thereunto more earnestly than before, and you will see quickly our Lord will come to your succor.
      67. Never make your temptations and imperfections known to those in the community whose progress is the least, for that will hurt yourself and the others, but only to those most advanced in perfection.
      68. Remember that you have but one soul; that you can die but once; that you have but one life, which is short, and peculiar to yourself; that there is but one blessedness, and that for ever; and you will despise many things.
      69. Let your desire be the vision of God, your fear the loss of Him, your sorrow His absence, and your joy in that which may take you to Him; and your life shall be in great peace.

In art, Saint Teresa is shown as a Carmelite with her heart inscribed with IHS pierced by an angel with an arrow (Appleton, Roeder). These are possible variations: (1) Christ himself shoots the arrow; (2) Christ appears to her carrying the Cross; (3) receiving from Jesus a cross, from the Virgin a crown, and from Saint Joseph a lily; (4) the Crucifix may have diamonds for wounds; (5) interceding for souls in Purgatory (normally these souls are represented by mice); (6) crowned with thorns; (7) IHS on her heart; or (8) with a pen and book (Roeder).

Saint Teresa is the patroness of lace-makers, Spanish Catholic writers, the Spanish army and commissariat, and headache sufferers (perhaps due to her own chronic ill health). She is invoked by those in need of grace (Roeder, White).

Writings of St. Teresa:
Life (her autobiography)
The Book of the Foundations
The Way of Perfection
The Interior Castle
Letters, 4 vols., tr. by the Benedictines of Stanbrook, London, 1919-1924
Minor Works, tr. by the Benedictines of Stanbrook, London, 1913
Teresa of Ávila. The Collected Works, 3 vols. Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD and Otilio Rodriguez, OCD (tr.). Washington, DC: Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1980.
----. (1902). The letters of St. Teresa. John Dalton (tr.) London: Thos. Baker .
1582 St. Teresa of Avila Doctor of the Church levitate
Albæ, in Hispánia, sanctæ Terésiæ Vírginis, quæ Fratrum ac Sorórum Ordinis Carmelitárum arctióris observántiæ mater éxstitit et magístra.
    At Avila in Spain, the virgin St. Teresa, mother and mistress of the Brothers and Sisters of the Carmelite Order of the Strict Observance.
Less than twenty years before Teresa was born in 1515, Columbus opened up the Western Hemisphere to European colonization. Two years after she was born, Luther started the Protestant Reformation. Out of all of this change came Teresa pointing the way from outer turmoil to inner peace.

Teresa's father was rigidly honest and pious, but he may have carried his strictness to extremes. Teresa's mother loved romance novels but because her husband objected to these fanciful books, she hid the books from him. This put Teresa in the middle -- especially since she liked the romances too. Her father told her never to lie but her mother told her not to tell her father. Later she said she was always afraid that no matter what she did she was going to do everything wrong.

When she was five years old she convinced her older brother that they should, as she says in her Life, "go off to the land of the Moors and beg them, out of love of God, to cut off our heads there." They got as far as the road from the city before an uncle found them and brought them back. Some people have used this story as an early example of sanctity, but this author think it's better used as an early example of her ability to stir up trouble.

After this incident she led a fairly ordinary life, though she was convinced that she was a horrible sinner. As a teenager, she cared only about boys and clothes and flirting and rebelling -- like other teenagers throughout the ages. When she was 16, her father decided she was out of control and sent her to a convent. At first she hated it but eventually she began to enjoy it -- partly because of her growing love for God, and partly because the convent was a lot less strict than her father.

Still, when the time came for her to choose between marriage and religious life, she had a tough time making the decision. She'd watched a difficult marriage ruin her mother. On the other hand being a nun didn't seem like much fun. When she finally chose religious life, she did so because she though that it was the only safe place for someone as prone to sin as she was.

Once installed at the Carmelite convent permanently, she started to learn and practice mental prayer, in which she "tried as hard as I could to keep Jesus Christ present within me....My imagination is so dull that I had no talent for imagining or coming up with great theological thoughts." Teresa prayed this way off and on for eighteen years without feeling that she was getting results. Part of the reason for her trouble was that the convent was not the safe place she assumed it would be.

Many women who had no place else to go wound up at the convent, whether they had vocations or not. They were encouraged to stay away from the convents for long period of time to cut down on expenses. Nuns would arrange their veils attractively and wear jewelry. Prestige depended not on piety but on money. There was a steady stream of visitors in the parlor and parties that included young men. What spiritual life there was involved hysteria, weeping, exaggerated penance, nosebleeds, and self- induced visions.

Teresa suffered the same problem that Francis of Assisi did -- she was too charming. Everyone liked her and she liked to be liked. She found it too easy to slip into a worldly life and ignore God. The convent encouraged her to have visitors to whom she would teach mental prayer because their gifts helped the community economy. But Teresa got more involved in flattery, vanity and gossip than spiritual guidance. These weren't great sins perhaps but they kept her from God.

Then Teresa fell ill with malaria. When she had a seizure, people were so sure she was dead that after she woke up four days later she learned they had dug a grave for her. Afterwards she was paralyzed for three years and was never completely well. Yet instead of helping her spiritually, her sickness became an excuse to stop her prayer completely: she couldn't be alone enough, she wasn't healthy enough, and so forth. Later she would say, "Prayer is an act of love, words are not needed. Even if sickness distracts from thoughts, all that is needed is the will to love."

For years she hardly prayed at all "under the guise of humility." She thought as a wicked sinner she didn't deserve to get favors from God. But turning away from prayer was like "a baby turning from its mother's breasts, what can be expected but death?"

When she was 41, a priest convinced her to go back to her prayer, but she still found it difficult. "I was more anxious for the hour of prayer to be over than I was to remain there. I don't know what heavy penance I would not have gladly undertaken rather than practice prayer." She was distracted often: "This intellect is so wild that it doesn't seem to be anything else than a frantic madman no one can tie down." Teresa sympathizes with those who have a difficult time in prayer: "All the trials we endure cannot be compared to these interior battles."

Yet her experience gives us wonderful descriptions of mental prayer: "For mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us. The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love. Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything."

As she started to pray again, God gave her spiritual delights: the prayer of quiet where God's presence overwhelmed her senses, raptures where God overcame her with glorious foolishness, prayer of union where she felt the sun of God melt her soul away. Sometimes her whole body was raised form the ground. If she felt God was going to levitate her body, she stretched out on the floor and called the nuns to sit on her and hold her down. Far from being excited about these events, she "begged God very much not to give me any more favors in public."

In her books, she analyzed and dissects mystical experiences the way a scientist would. She never saw these gifts as rewards from God but the way he "chastised" her. The more love she felt the harder it was to offend God. She says, "The memory of the favor God has granted does more to bring such a person back to God than all the infernal punishments imaginable."

Her biggest fault was her friendships. Though she wasn't sinning, she was very attached to her friends until God told her "No longer do I want you to converse with human beings but with angels." In an instant he gave her the freedom that she had been unable to achieve through years of effort. After that God always came first in her life.

Some friends, however, did not like what was happening to her and got together to discuss some "remedy" for her. Concluding that she had been deluded by the devil, they sent a Jesuit to analyze her. The Jesuit reassured her that her experiences were from God but soon everyone knew about her and was making fun of her.

One confessor was so sure that the visions were from the devil that her told her to make an obscene gesture called the fig every time she had a vision of Jesus. She cringed but did as she was ordered, all the time apologizing to Jesus. Fortunately, Jesus didn't seem upset but told her that she was right to obey her confessor. In her autobiography she would say, "I am more afraid of those who are terrified of the devil than I am of the devil himself." The devil was not to be feared but fought by talking more about God.

Teresa felt that the best evidence that her delights came from God was that the experiences gave her peace, inspiration, and encouragement. "If these effects are not present I would greatly doubt that the raptures come from God; on the contrary I would fear lest they be caused by rabies."

Sometimes, however, she couldn't avoid complaining to her closest Friend about the hostility and gossip that surrounded her. When Jesus told her, "Teresa, that's how I treat my friends" Teresa responded, "No wonder you have so few friends." But since Christ has so few friends, she felt they should be good ones. And that's why she decided to reform her Carmelite order.

At the age of 43, she became determined to found a new convent that went back to the basics of a contemplative order: a simple life of poverty devoted to prayer. This doesn't sound like a big deal, right? Wrong.

When plans leaked out about her first convent, St. Joseph's, she was denounced from the pulpit, told by her sisters she should raise money for the convent she was already in, and threatened with the Inquisition. The town started legal proceedings against her. All because she wanted to try a simple life of prayer. In the face of this open war, she went ahead calmly, as if nothing was wrong, trusting in God.

"May God protect me from gloomy saints," Teresa said, and that's how she ran her convent. To her, spiritual life was an attitude of love, not a rule. Although she proclaimed poverty, she believed in work, not in begging. She believed in obedience to God more than penance. If you do something wrong, don't punish yourself -- change. When someone felt depressed, her advice was that she go some place where she could see the sky and take a walk. When someone was shocked that she was going to eat well, she answered, "There's a time for partridge and a time for penance." To her brother's wish to meditate on hell, she answered, "Don't."

Once she had her own convent, she could lead a life of peace, right? Wrong again. Teresa believed that the most powerful and acceptable prayer was that prayer that leads to action. Good effects were better than pious sensations that only make the person praying feel good.

At St. Joseph's, she spent much of her time writing her Life. She wrote this book not for fun but because she was ordered to. Many people questioned her experiences and this book would clear her or condemn her. Because of this, she used a lot of camouflage in the book, following a profound thought with the statement, "But what do I know. I'm just a wretched woman." The Inquisition liked what they read and cleared her.

At 51, she felt it was time to spread her reform movement. She braved burning sun, ice and snow, thieves, and rat-infested inns to found more convents. But those obstacles were easy compared to what she face from her brothers and sisters in religious life. She was called "a restless disobedient gadabout who has gone about teaching as though she were a professor" by the papal nuncio. When her former convent voted her in as prioress, the leader of the Carmelite order excommunicated the nuns. A vicar general stationed an officer of the law outside the door to keep her out. The other religious orders opposed her wherever she went. She often had to enter a town secretly in the middle of the night to avoid causing a riot.

And the help they received was sometimes worse than the hostility. A princess ordered Teresa to found a convent and then showed up at the door with luggage and maids. When Teresa refused to order her nuns to wait on the princess on their knees, the princess denounced Teresa to the Inquisition.

In another town, they arrived at their new house in the middle of the night, only to wake up the next morning to find that one wall of the building was missing.

Why was everyone so upset? Teresa said, "Truly it seems that now there are no more of those considered mad for being true lovers of Christ." No one in religious orders or in the world wanted Teresa reminding them of the way God said they should live.

Teresa looked on these difficulties as good publicity. Soon she had postulants clamoring to get into her reform convents. Many people thought about what she said and wanted to learn about prayer from her. Soon her ideas about prayer swept not only through Spain but all of Europe.

In 1582, she was invited to found a convent by an Archbishop but when she arrived in the middle of the pouring rain, he ordered her to leave. "And the weather so delightful too" was Teresa's comment. Though very ill, she was commanded to attend a noblewoman giving birth. By the time they got there, the baby had already arrived so, as Teresa said, "The saint won't be needed after all." Too ill to leave, she died on October 4 at the age of 67.

She is the founder of the Discalced Carmelites. In 1970 she was declared a Doctor of the Church for her writing and teaching on prayer, one of two women to be honored in this way.

St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)  Teresa lived in an age of exploration as well as political, social and religious upheaval. It was the 16th century, a time of turmoil and reform. Her life began with the culmination of the Protestant Reformation, and ended shortly after the Council of Trent.

The gift of God to Teresa in and through which she became holy and left her mark on the Church and the world is threefold: She was a woman; she was a contemplative; she was an active reformer.

As a woman, Teresa stood on her own two feet, even in the man's world of her time. She was "her own woman," entering the Carmelites despite strong opposition from her father. She is a person wrapped not so much in silence as in mystery. Beautiful, talented, outgoing, adaptable, affectionate, courageous, enthusiastic, she was totally human. Like Jesus, she was a mystery of paradoxes: wise, yet practical; intelligent, yet much in tune with her experience; a mystic, yet an energetic reformer. A holy woman, a womanly woman.

Teresa was a woman "for God," a woman of prayer, discipline and compassion. Her heart belonged to God. Her own conversion was no overnight affair; it was an arduous lifelong struggle, involving ongoing purification and suffering. She was misunderstood, misjudged, opposed in her efforts at reform. Yet she struggled on, courageous and faithful; she struggled with her own mediocrity, her illness, her opposition. And in the midst of all this she clung to God in life and in prayer. Her writings on prayer and contemplation are drawn from her experience: powerful, practical and graceful. A woman of prayer; a woman for God.

Teresa was a woman "for others." Though a contemplative, she spent much of her time and energy seeking to reform herself and the Carmelites, to lead them back to the full observance of the primitive Rule. She founded over a half-dozen new monasteries. She traveled, wrote, fought—always to renew, to reform. In her self, in her prayer, in her life, in her efforts to reform, in all the people she touched, she was a woman for others, a woman who inspired and gave life.

In 1970 the Church gave her the title she had long held in the popular mind: Doctor of the Church. She and St. Catherine of Siena were the first women so honored.

St. Teresa is the patron saint of Headache sufferers. Her symbol is a heart, an arrow, and a book. She was canonized in 1622.
October 15, 2006  St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)  
Teresa lived in an age of exploration as well as political, social and religious upheaval. It was the 16th century, a time of turmoil and reform. Her life began with the culmination of the Protestant Reformation, and ended shortly after the Council of Trent.
The gift of God to Teresa in and through which she became holy and left her mark on the Church and the world is threefold: She was a woman; she was a contemplative; she was an active reformer.

As a woman, Teresa stood on her own two feet, even in the man's world of her time. She was "her own woman," entering the Carmelites despite strong opposition from her father. She is a person wrapped not so much in silence as in mystery. Beautiful, talented, outgoing, adaptable, affectionate, courageous, enthusiastic, she was totally human. Like Jesus, she was a mystery of paradoxes: wise, yet practical; intelligent, yet much in tune with her experience; a mystic, yet an energetic reformer. A holy woman, a womanly woman.

Teresa was a woman "for God," a woman of prayer, discipline and compassion. Her heart belonged to God. Her own conversion was no overnight affair; it was an arduous lifelong struggle, involving ongoing purification and suffering. She was misunderstood, misjudged, opposed in her efforts at reform. Yet she struggled on, courageous and faithful; she struggled with her own mediocrity, her illness, her opposition. And in the midst of all this she clung to God in life and in prayer. Her writings on prayer and contemplation are drawn from her experience: powerful, practical and graceful. A woman of prayer; a woman for God.

Teresa was a woman "for others." Though a contemplative, she spent much of her time and energy seeking to reform herself and the Carmelites, to lead them back to the full observance of the primitive Rule. She founded over a half-dozen new monasteries. She traveled, wrote, fought—always to renew, to reform. In her self, in her prayer, in her life, in her efforts to reform, in all the people she touched, she was a woman for others, a woman who inspired and gave life.

In 1970 the Church gave her the title she had long held in the popular mind: Doctor of the Church. She and St. Catherine of Siena were the first women so honored.

Comment:  Today we live in a time of turmoil, a time of reform and a time of liberation. Modern women have in Teresa a challenging example. Promoters of renewal, promoters of prayer, all have in Teresa a woman to reckon with, one whom they can admire and imitate. 
Quote:  Teresa knew well the continued presence and value of suffering (physical illness, opposition to reform, difficulties in prayer), but she grew to be able to embrace suffering, even desire it: "Lord, either to suffer or to die." Toward the end of her life she exclaimed: "Oh, my Lord! How true it is that whoever works for you is paid in troubles! And what a precious price to those who love you if we understand its value."  
1597 Saint John, Bishop of Suzdal, entered one of the monasteries of Suzdal while a youth. For his virtuous and humble life, the saint was made the first Bishop of Suzdal and Nizhegorod in 1350. Bishop John merited a great mercy of God: Prince Boris of Suzdal saw how an angel of God attended the saint during the Divine Liturgy; Numerous miracles were took place at his grave.

St John was known for his love towards the destitute and the sick; he interceded for the poor before the princes to lower their taxes. He also built poor houses and hospices for the sick. The saint was very concerned about enlightening the pagan Mordvians with the Christian Faith. After the annexation of Suzdal to the Moscow Diocese, St John took the monastic schema and withdrew to the Bogoliub monastery. He lived there in seclusion and died in peace. Numerous miracles were took place at his grave.
St. John, Bishop of Suzdal. Рall  1578 
Canvas, damask silk, silver and golden threads, embroidery
203 x 92 cm

John, the Bishop of Suzdal, is represented holding a book of Gospel in his left hand, his right hand is raised in blessing.

The embroidery is made in colored silks, some details are embroidered in silver and gold. The face is done in flesh-colored silks with stitches arranged according to the muscles of the face; eyebrows, contours of the nose and beard are outlined in brown silk.The piece of earth on which the bishop is standing is light green. The background is pinkish. In places where the embroidery is lost one can see the original background - crimson damask. The inscription Bishop John, miracle-worker of Suzdal on both sides of the face originally was embroided in pearls. Earlier the ornament of pearls also decorated the nimbus, the ends of the headdress, the collar of the vestment and the cover of the book. The nimbus preserves the traces of the precious stones. The pearls, stones and metal tablets were removed when the pall was restored in the 18th cent.

The central part is surrounded by the inscription telling us when and by whom the pall was donated.
The pall was donated to the Nativity Cathedral of Suzdal and was put on the tomb of Bishop John. According to legend, John was a Greek from Constantinople. In 1352 he was ordained bishop of Suzdal, was canonized in the 16th cent. The pall gives the earliest known representation of Bishop John, which determines his iconography.

The pall was made by Princess Eudoxia Staritskaya, a nun of the Intercession Convent of Suzdal. Eudoxia Staritskaya (nee Nagaya) the first wife (from 1550) of Prince Vladimir Staritsky . In 1555 took the veil at the Convent of the Intercession of Suzdal. Died ca. 1597. Buried in the burial vault of the cathedral of the convent.
1617  Blessed Victoria Strata Blue Nuns Religious vision of Our Lady
Victoria was born at Genoa, Italy in 1562. At the age of seventeen she married Angelo Strata, with whom she had six children. When Angelo died in 1587, Victoria wanted to marry again because of the children. However, a vision of Our Lady convinced her to retire to a life of prayer, helping the poor and raising her children. After her maternal obligations were fulfilled, Victoria and ten other women took vows of religion in 1605, and this became the nucleus of the Blue Nuns. Victoria was elected Superior. A second convent was opened in 1612, and many houses were later established in France. Victoria died on December 15, 1617, and was beatified in 1828.

1617 Mary Victoria Fornari  a vision of Mary established "Le Turchine", i.e. the "Turquoise Annunziate", or "Blue Nuns"  sky-blue scapulars and cloaks
Mary Victoria Fornari was a native of Genoa Italy.  When seventeen she desired to enter the convent, but out of respect for her father's wishes she married Angelo Strata.
It was a happy marriage.  Angelo encouraged his wife in her charitable works and defended her against those who said she should take more part in social events.  Mary Victoria bore him six children, four boys and two girls.  Unfortunately, Signor Strata died after only nine years of married life.
His death was traumatic to Victoria.  She worried that she could not raise so large a family alone.  When a local nobleman asked her to marry him, she thought at first that it might be wise to accept, for the sake of her own boys and girls.  But then she had a vision of Mary (which she wrote up at the request of her confessor) in which Our Lady told her, “My child Victoria, be brave and confident, for it is my wish to take both the mother and the children under my protection.  I will care for your household.  Live quietly and without worrying.  All I ask is that you trust yourself to me and henceforth devote yourself to the love of God above all things.
Mary's words settled Victoria's mind completely.  She took a vow of chastity, and lived in retirement, giving all her time to prayer, the care of her family, and the needs of the poor.
When eventually her children were raised (five of the six entered religious orders), Signora Strata revealed to the archbishop of Genoa a proposal that she had long been considering.  It was to found a strict new religious order of contemplative nuns.  Dedicated to Mary's Annunciation, the sisters would imitate her hidden life at Nazareth, devoting themselves to prayer and making vestments and altar linens for poor churches.  Each member would add the names Maria Annunziata to her baptismal name. The archbishop first had doubts, since the money necessary to make the foundation was not fully available.  However, when a benefactor named Vincent Lomellini offered to purchase a convent for the widow, the prelate gave his permission.  Pope Clement VIII approved the order's constitutions in 1604 and Maria Victoria and ten companions made their solemn vows in the late summer of 1605.
Early difficulties threatened the project, but Our Lady kept the movement going.  A second house was established in Italy in 1612.  Others followed in Burgundy, France and Germany.  Each house was independent.  Today there are only three houses and 44 nuns.  To distinguish them from the order of the Annunciation established by St. Joan of Valois, the Strata Annunziate are called Le Turchine, i.e. the Turquoise Annunziate, or Blue Nuns because of their sky-blue scapulars and cloaks.

Many widows like Bl.  Maria Victoria have had second vocations of this sort, entering religious orders after the death of their husbands. St. Elizabeth Seton, foundress of the American Sisters of Charity, was, of course, a memorable example.  Cloistered, contemplative orders are perhaps even more attractive to widows who are on in years.
Take for instance, Mrs. Rizer, of Richmond, Virginia.  Around 1930, after the death of her husband and the maturing of her children (one of whom became a priest), she entered the cloistered convent of the Visitation in Richmond.  On important holidays, the family would come to visit her.  According to the existing rules of cloister the mother would sit in the screened-off part of the parlor to chat with her children who sat on the other side of the grill that bisected the room.
Our readers who are widowed might well ask themselves whether they, too, perhaps have a second vocation of this sort.
--Father Robert F. McNamara

 Saturday  Saints of this Day October  15  Idibus Octóbris  
40 days for Life Day 17
Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  October 2016
Universal:   Universal: Journalists
That journalists, in carrying out their work, may always be motivated by respect for truth and a strong sense of ethics.
Evangelization:  Evangelization: World Mission Day
That World Mission Day may renew within all Christian communities the joy of the Gospel and the responsibility to announce it.

God Bless Mother Angelica 1923-2016

On Death and Life
"Man Needs Eternity -- and Every Other Hope, for Him, Is All Too Brief"
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас!    (Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)

       40 days for Life Day 17
40 Days for Life  11,000+ saved lives in 2015
We are the defenders of true freedom.
  May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.
40 days for Life Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director
Please help save the unborn they are the future for the world

It is a great poverty that a child must die so that you may live as you wish -- Mother Teresa
 Saving babies, healing moms and dads, 'The Gospel of Life'

"Man Needs Eternity -- and Every Other Hope, for Him, Is All Too Brief"
It Makes No Sense Not To Believe In GOD 
Every Christian must be a living book
wherein one can read the teaching of the gospel

Jesus brings us many Blessings
The more we pray, the more we wish to pray. Like a fish which at first swims on the surface of the water, and afterwards plunges down, and is always going deeper; the soul plunges, dives, and loses itself in the sweetness of conversing with God. -- St. John Vianney

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications

The Rosary html Mary Mother of GOD -- Her Rosary Here
Mary Mother of GOD Mary's Divine Motherhood: FEASTS OF OUR LADY
     of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary

May 9 – Our Lady of the Wood (Italy, 1607) 
Months of Dedication
January is the month of the Holy Name of Jesus since 1902;
March is the month of Saint Joseph since 1855;
May, the month of Mary, is the oldest and most well-known Marian month, officially since 1724;
June is the month of the Sacred Heart since 1873;
July is the month of the Precious Blood since 1850;
August is the month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary;
September is the month of Our Lady of Sorrows since 1857;
October is the month of the Rosary since 1868;
November is the month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory since 1888;
December is the month of the Immaculate Conception.

In all, five months of the year are dedicated to Mary.
The idea of dedicating months came from Rome and promotion of the month of Mary owes much to the Jesuits.

Pray that the witness of 40 Days for Life bears abundant fruit, and that we begin again each day to storm the gates of hell until God welcomes us into the gates of heaven.

If you seek patience, you will find no better example than the cross. Great patience occurs in two ways:
either when one patiently suffers much, or when one suffers things which one is able to avoid and yet does not avoid.
Christ endured much on the cross, and did so patiently, because when he suffered he did not threaten;
he was led like a sheep to the slaughter and he did not open his mouth.-- St. Thomas Aquinas

We begin our day by seeing Christ in the consecrated bread, and throughout the day we continue to see Him in the torn bodies of our poor. We pray, that is, through our work, performing it with Jesus, for Jesus and upon Jesus.
The poor are our prayer. They carry God in them. Prayer means praying everything, praying the work.
We meet the Lord who hungers and thirsts, in the poor.....and the poor could be you or I or any person kind enough to show us his or her love and to come to our place.
Because we cannot see Christ, we cannot express our love to Him in person.
But our neighbor we can see, and we can do for him or her what we would love to do for Jesus if He were visible.
-- Mother Teresa
My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love Thee.  I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not love Thee.  O most Holy trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly.
 I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the Tabernacles of the world,  in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He is offended,
and by the infite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

I beg the conversion of poor sinners,  Amen Fatima Prayer, Angel of Peace
Mary's Divine Motherhood
Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI { 2013 } Catholic Church In China { article here}
1648 to1930 St. Augustine Zhao Rong and 120 Companions Christianity arrived in China by way of Syria -- 600s.
        Depending on China's relations with outside world,
Christianity for centuries was free to grow or forced to operate secretly.

How do I start the Five First Saturdays? 
Called in the Gospel “the Mother of Jesus,” Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as “the Mother of my Lord” (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly Mother of God (Theotokos). 
Catechism of the Catholic Church 495, quoting the Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.
“The Blessed Virgin was eternally predestined, in conjunction with the incarnation of the divine Word, to be the Mother of God. By decree of divine Providence, she served on earth as the loving mother of the divine Redeemer, an associate of unique nobility, and the Lord's humble handmaid. She conceived, brought forth, and nourished Christ.”
The voice of the Father is heard, the Son enters the water, and the Holy Spirit appears in the form of a dove.
   THE spirit and example of the world imperceptibly instil the error into the minds of many that there is a kind of middle way of going to Heaven; and so, because the world does not live up to the gospel, they bring the gospel down to the level of the world. It is not by this example that we are to measure the Christian rule, but words and life of Christ. All His followers are commanded to labour to become perfect even as our heavenly Father is perfect, and to bear His image in our hearts that we may be His children. We are obliged by the gospel to die to ourselves by fighting self-love in our hearts, by the mastery of our passions, by taking on the spirit of our Lord.
   These are the conditions under which Christ makes His promises and numbers us among His children, as is manifest from His words which the apostles have left us in their inspired writings. Here is no distinction made or foreseen between the apostles or clergy or religious and secular persons. The former, indeed, take upon themselves certain stricter obligations, as a means of accomplishing these ends more perfectly; but the law of holiness and of disengagement of the heart from the world is geeral and binds all the followers of Christ.

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There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
 and Roman Martyology Orthodox sources

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We are called upon with the whole Church militant on earth to join in praising and thanking God for the grace and glory he has bestowed on his saints. At the same time we earnestly implore Him to exert His almighty power and mercy in raising us from our miseries and sins, healing the disorders of our souls and leading us by the path of repentance to the company of His saints, to which He has called us.
   They were once what we are now, travellers on earth they had the same weaknesses, which we have. We have difficulties to encounter so had the saints, and many of them far greater than we can meet with; obstacles from kings and whole nations, sometimes from the prisons, racks and swords of persecutors. Yet they surmounted these difficulties, which they made the very means of their virtue and victories. It was by the strength they received from above, not by their own, that they triumphed. But the blood of Christ was shed for us as it was for them and the grace of our Redeemer is not wanting to us; if we fail, the failure is in ourselves.
   THE saints and just, from the beginning of time and throughout the world, who have been made perfect, everlasting monuments of God’s infinite power and clemency, praise His goodness without ceasing; casting their crowns before His throne they give to Him all the glory of their triumphs: “His gifts alone in us He crowns.”
“The saints must be honored as friends of Christ and children and heirs of God, as John the theologian and evangelist says: ‘But as many as received him, he gave them the power to be made the sons of God....’ Let us carefully observe the manner of life of all the apostles, martyrs, ascetics and just men who announced the coming of the Lord. And let us emulate their faith, charity, hope, zeal, life, patience under suffering, and perseverance unto death, so that we may also share their crowns of glory” Exposition of the Orthodox Faith

Called in the Gospel the Mother of Jesus, Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as the Mother of my Lord (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son,  the second person of the Holy Trinity.
Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly Mother of God (Theotokos).
Catechism of the Catholic Church 495, quoting the Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.
Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart ... From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
On Friday during Holy Communion, He said these words to me, His unworthy slave, if I mistake not:
I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they will not die under my displeasure or without receiving their sacraments, my divine Heart making itself their assured refuge at the last moment.
Margaret Mary was inspired by Christ to establish the Holy Hour and to pray lying prostrate with her face to the ground from eleven till midnight on the eve of the first Friday of each month, to share in the mortal sadness.
He endured when abandoned by His Apostles in His Agony, and to receive holy Communion on the first Friday of every month. In the first great revelation, He made known to her His ardent desire to be loved by men and His design of manifesting His Heart with all Its treasures of love and mercy, of sanctification and salvation.
He appointed the Friday after the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi as the feast of the Sacred Heart; He called her the Beloved Disciple of the Sacred Heart, and the heiress of all Its treasures. The love of the Sacred Heart was the fire which consumed her, and devotion to the Sacred Heart is the refrain of all her writings. In her last illness she refused all alleviation, repeating frequently: What have I in heaven and what do I desire on earth, but Thee alone, O my God, and died pronouncing the Holy Name of Jesus.
With regard to this promise it may be remarked: (1) that our Lord required Communion to be received on a particular day chosen by Him; (2) that the nine Fridays must be consecutive; (3) that they must be made in honor of His Sacred Heart, which means that those who make the nine Fridays must practice the devotion and must have a great love for our Lord; (4) that our Lord does not say that those who make the nine Fridays will be dispensed from any of their obligations or from exercising the vigilance necessary to lead a good life and overcome temptation; rather He implicitly promises abundant graces to those who make the nine Fridays to help them to carry out these obligations and persevere to the end; (5) that perseverance in receiving Holy Communion for nine consecutive First Firdays helps the faithful to acquire the habit of frequent Communion, which our Lord eagerly desires; and (6) that the practice of the nine Fridays is very pleasing to our Lord He promises such great reward, and all Catholics should endeavor to make nine Fridays.
How do I start the Five First Saturdays? by Fr. Tom O'Mahony.
On July 13,1917, Our Lady appeared for the third time to the three children of Fatima an showed them the vision of hell and made the now - famous thirteen prophecies. In this vision Our Lady said that 'GOD WISHES TO ESTABLISH IN THE WORLD DEVOTION to Her Immaculate Heart and that She would come TO ASK FOR THE COMMUNION OF REPARATION ON THE FIRST SATURDAYS...'  Eight years later, on December 10, 1925, Our Lady did indeed come back. She appeared (with the Child Jesus) to Lucia in the convent of the Dorothean Sisters in Pontevedra.
The Child Jesus spoke first:


The Five Reasons
From the above, it is easy to see that each of the Five Saturdays can correspond to a specific offence. By offering the graces received during each First Saturday as reparation for the offence being prayed for, the participant can hope to help remove the thorns from Our Lady's Heart.
What Do I Have To Do?
The devotion of First Saturdays, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima, carries with it the assurance of salvation. However, to derive profit from such a great promise of Our Lady, the devotion must be properly understood and duly performed.
The requirements as stipulated by Our Lady are as follows:
(1) CONFESSION: A reparative confession means that the confession should not only be good (valid and licit), but also be offered in the spirit of reparation, in this case, to Mary's Immaculate Heart. This confession may be made on the First Saturday itself or some days before or after the First Saturday within the preceding octave would suffice.
(2) COMMUNION: The communion of reparation must be sacramental duly received with the intention of making reparation. This offering, like the confession, is an interior act and so no external action to express the intention is needed.
(3) THE ROSARY: The Rosary mentioned here was indicated by the Portuguese word 'terco' which is commonly employed to denote a Rosary of five decades, since it forms a fourth of the full Rosary of 20 decades. This too must recited in a spirit of reparation.
(4) MEDITATION FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES: Here the meditation on one mystery or more is to be made without simultaneous recitation of the Rosary decade. As indicated, the meditation may be either on one mystery alone for 15 minutes, or on all 20 mysteries, spending about one minute