When the time came for the cure to begin, for I had been waiting at my sister’s house, I was brought there with much solicitude for my comfort by my father and sister, and my friend, the nun, who had come with me, for she loved me very dearly.
At this point, the devil began to upset my soul, although God drew out very much good from this. There was a cleric of excellent intelligence and social status who lived in that place where I went to be cured…
In our Quote of the Day blog post for August 13, Saint Teresa begins to tell the story of her great illness, which lasted for three years. She was sent to Becedas to see a woman who was not a physician by current standards of practice but rather was more of a folk healer, a curandera.
It was in Becedas that Saint Teresa became involved with a priest who was having an affair with a woman. As she went to confess to the priest, he became enamored of her. She writes:
When I began then to confess with this cleric I mentioned, it happened that he became extremely fond of me… His affection for me was not bad; but since it was too great, it came to no good…
…for about seven years he had been living in a dangerous state on account of his affection and dealings with a woman in that same place; and, despite this, he was saying Mass. The association was so public that he had lost his honor and reputation, and no one dared to admonish him about this. To me it was a great pity for I loved him deeply. I was so frivolous and blind that it seemed to me a virtue to be grateful and loyal to anyone who loved me.
Damned be such loyalty that goes against the law of God!
Saint Teresa’s experiences in Becedas impart gems of wisdom for our crises of sexual sin in our Church today. We invite you to explore more of Teresa’s story and more wisdom from our Carmelite saints in our exclusive blog post
Read about Saint Teresa’s near-death experience here
Kieran Kavanaugh, K, Rodriguez, O, and Teresa, 1976, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, ICS Publications, Washington DC.