THE convent of St. Joseph at Avila having been inaugurated on August 24, 1562, and the storms occasioned by its foundation having somewhat subsided, St. Teresa received permission from the Provincial, Fray Angel de Salazar, to leave the monastery of the Incarnation and join her new community; she crossed the threshold of that ‘Paradise’, as our Lord vouchsafed to call it, about Mid-Lent, 1563, never to leave the enclosure again—as she fervently hoped. She did not know then that God had destined her to more arduous work which would compel her to sally forth and establish convent after convent in distant parts of Spain. Her sojourn at St. Joseph’s only lasted four and a half years, but, as she says, it was the happiest time of her life. The convent was small and poor, the observance as strict as human nature, strengthened by grace, can bear, but she enjoyed to the full the peace which, after the many struggles graphically described in the Life, had at length been granted her. Aeterna Press
ST. TERESA was born at Avila on Wednesday, March 28, 1515, and baptized on April 4, in the parish church of San Juan, the very day on which the first Mass was celebrated in the new church of the convent of the Incarnation. Her god-father was Vela Nuñez, and the god-mother Doña Maria del Aguila. The name she received in baptism, Teresa, of frequent occurrence in Spain in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, was common to the families of both her father and mother; for her great-grandmother on the father’s side was Teresa Sanchez, and her grandmother on her mother’s side was Teresa de las Cuevas.
This 16th-century Spanish mystic is considered one of the most profound spiritual teachers in the history of Christianity. Father Kieran Kavanaugh, the editor of this volume, says in his introduction, 'The Interior Castle has come to be regarded as Teresa's best synthesis...'
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