Saint Teresa of Jesus - Carmelite Monastery - Knock, Tranquilla
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Saint Teresa of Jesus

St. Teresa of Jesus was born in Avila, Spain, in 1515. At the age of 20 she entered the Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation in her native Avila. After 26 years in the Incarnation, she was inspired by God to found the convent of St. Joseph in Avila that would be devoted to a life of contemplative prayer.

Before her death in 1582 she founded 17 convents, which formed the beginnings of our Order – familiarly known as Discalced Carmelites. Today we number about 12,000 cloistered women in 98 countries, nearly four thousand Friars in 82 countries, and some 40,000 lay Carmelites throughout the world.

Teresa believed the purpose of her new foundations was to pray for the needs of the church and the world. During the course her life she wrote several books and left other writings that teach the way of contemplative prayer for those who follow in her footsteps. In 1970, Pope Paul V1 declared St. Teresa the first woman doctor of the church, primarily for her teaching on prayer.

We hope to share something of this as we journey together through the year.