Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Theresa of Avila, a Spanish mystic and the first female declared a doctor of the Church. The Church is also celebrating the 500th anniversary of her life as St. Theresa of Avila has left a great legacy through her witness, reform and writings.
The 500th anniversary is important because it commemorates the great gift that St. Theresa of Avila has been to the Church. Mother Mary John of the Cross, prioress of Monastery of Mary, Mother of Grace in Lafayette, Louisiana, said, “It is proof of the popularity of St. Teresa of Avila and her namesake, St. Theresa of Lisieux. Both have been named doctors of the church, recognition of their extraordinary influence through their doctrine which embraces all times and places.”
The legacy of St. Theresa of Avila lives on through her reform of the Carmelites. Mother Mary John of the Cross is a member of the reformed Discalced Carmelites and said, “Her obedience to God’s inspiration, the depth of her love for the Church and all in the service of the Church, have convinced all who love her that she is close to the heart of God,” The nuns at the Monastery of Mary, Mother of Grace dedicate their life and mission to prayer leading contemplative lives that combine both silence and solitude with the familial spirit of Community life.
500 years after her life, St. Theresa of Avila is still admired by the faithful as a shinning example of responding courageously to the Lord. She faced great trials but was never discouraged because she knew, “those who walk closest to Christ were those who had to bear the greatest trials.”