Saint Teresa of Avila was baptized as Teresa Sanchez de Cepeda y Ahumada was born on March 28, 1515 in what is now Spain. She was well educated at home by her parents, where she developed her love for the Holy Mother Mary and the saints.
At 17 her father resisted her entry into religious life, so she left without informing anyone and entered a Carmelite house. After taking her vows she became ill there and spent many years in prayer. She experienced visions that were pronounced true by St Francis Borgia. Though never fully recovering her health she worked tirelessly to reform and found the convents of St John of Avila.
Saint Teresa is best known for her extensive writings on the Counter Reformation and prayer life. Her books ‘Interior Castle’ and ‘Way of Perfection’ have helped many believers since their publication. The symbols related to her are a book, a heart and an arrow.
She is the patron saint against headaches, against sickness, for lace makers and the patroness of Spain. Her feast day is October 15th.