Quote of the day: 25 April

Jesus. The grace of the Holy Spirit be with your reverence, amen, amen. Yesterday I received a letter from you which, although there were only a few lines, brought me the greatest delight, for I was very afflicted over what they told me about so many people dying. I am praying urgently to God for you, as they are doing in all these houses, for I sent to ask them for their prayers. I feel anxious at every moment to think of you amid so many trials.

Saint Teresa of Avila

Letter 455 to Madre María de San José, Seville (excerpt)
Written from Burgos, 6 July 1582


Dr. Kristy Wilson Bowers from the University of Missouri History Department has shared with us some of the fruit of her research into the 1582 outbreak of the bubonic plague in Seville. In a 2007 article for the Bulletin of the History of Medicine Dr. Bowers writes, “in late January 1582, Seville’s city council sent out word of newly imposed plague restrictions, and public criers in the neighboring towns duly informed residents of the recent legislation. Due to an outbreak of plague in the [nearby] towns of Constantina, La Puebla de los Infantes, and Cazalla de la Sierra, residents and goods from those towns were forbidden entry into the city.”

In a separate blog post, we will share more from Saint Teresa’s Letter 455 to Madre María de San José in Seville and an excerpt from Dr. Bowers’ article that specifically addresses the public health restrictions—the gate closures in the city walls—that affected two other monasteries that were located just outside the walls.

Runaways fleeing from the plague, a woodcut from A Looking-glasse for City and Countrey, printed by H. Gosson in 1630 and sold by E. Wright
Credit: Wellcome Library, London (CC BY 4.0)

Bowers, K 2007, “Balancing Individual and Communal Needs: Plague and Public Health in Sixteenth Century Seville” Bulletin of the History of Medicine Vol. 81 No. 2 pp. 335–358.

Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

10 thoughts on “Quote of the day: 25 April

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  1. It is very uplifting to hear the St Teresa felt anxious and afflicted a very human and caring dear Sister in Carmel, she would be now praying for us too, and it is ok too be anxious and afflicted for us now here and there, we offer all to God but still we have those human feelings, we receive consolation so that we can give that consolation, God is with us, Mary and all Carmelite Saints , plus all our brothers and sisters here in earth praying and interceding! We are blessed. Thank you for the posting, praying for everyone here blessings!🌹🙏💕

    1. Teresa was such a compassionate woman, deeply concerned for her nuns, the friars, and the well being of the reform. Yes, we can well imagine that she joins us in our concern for those who suffer, those who serve them, and those who have died from this terrible disease. St. Teresa, pray for us! God reward you, Beatriz.

  2. I have some idea how she felt, I have a close friend in northern Italy, right in its centre. And my Dad is on chemo and immunosuppressants, it would kill him in days if he got it.

      1. Thank you carmelitequotes and Beatriz. He just had unfortunate scan results, very much value your continued prayers. You have mine for you in thanks.

      2. Wasn’t clear evidently, not my curate, my father. And duty doc just quarantined me a week at least with chesty cough they assume is coronavirus, given previous diagnosiswhich has never really gone away.

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