Saint Teresa of Ávila - Orleans Cathedral

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St Teresa and John of the Cross

 

These three images of Saint Teresa of Ávila at Orleans Cathedral are by Lucien Lobin.

 

Teresa was a Spanish mystic and Carmelite nun, who along with the mystic St John of the Cross is consider the founder of the mendicant order known as the Barefoot Carmelites. The panel above shows both of them together.

 

Ecstasy of St Teresa

 

After Teresa entered the convent she suffered from an illness which has been described as a form of malaria. She had a number of visions of divine beings, and began to hear voices, which she attributed to God. Those that spoke to her concluded that she was delusional, or that the visions were demonic in nature. However, her visions continued including a marriage to Christ and a Seraphim piercing her heart with a golden arrow.

 

Death of St Teresa

 

Teresa became a reformer of the lax nunneries that were prevalent in Spain, establishing a number of convents which adhered to a stricter set of religious rules. She travelled throughout Spain, and Portugal, eventually establishing 16 convents. In 1582 on a journey from Burgos to Alva de Tormez, she became ill and on arrival at the convent went to bed exhausted. She never recovered and died on the 4th of October 1582.