“I am Thine, and born for Thee” — The birth of St. Teresa

Take, O Lord, my loving heart:
See, I yield it to Thee whole,
With my body, life, and soul
And my nature’s every part.
Sweetest Spouse, my Life Thou art;
I have given myself to Thee:
What wilt Thou have done with me?

I am Thine, and born for Thee:
What wilt Thou have done with me?

Vuestra soy, para Vos nací (excerpt)
Translated by E. Allison Peers

On Wednesday, on the twenty-eighth day of March, of the year 1515, was born my daughter Teresa, at five o’clock in the morning, half an hour before or after (it was just about to dawn on that said Wednesday).

Don Alonso Sánchez de Cepeda
Santa Teresa y su hermano don Rodrigo, intentando construir ermitas
Juan García de Miranda (Spanish, 1677–1749)
Oil on canvas, 1735
Copyright de la imagen ©Museo Nacional del Prado (Used by permission)

My brothers and sisters did not in any way hold me back from the service of God. I had one brother about my age. [Rodrigo Cepeda Dávila Ahumada, 1511–1577] We used to get together to read the lives of the saints. (He was the one I liked most, although I had great love for them all and they for me). […] we made plans to be hermits. And in a garden that we had in our house, we tried as we could to make hermitages piling up some little stones which afterwards would quickly fall down again.

The Book of Her Life, ch. 1, nos. 4–5

Teresa of Avila, St. 1963, The Complete Works of St. Teresa of Jesus, Vol. II, translated from the Spanish by Peers, E, Sheed and Ward, New York.

Walsh, W T 1987, Saint Teresa of Avila: a biography, Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford, IL.

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