A small group of nuns and visitors present for worship on the feast of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel on July 16, 1560, were discussing the obstacles to a life of prayer presented by the large number of nuns living in the monastery [of the Incarnation] and the visitors.
María de Ocampo, a young relative of the saint and a celebrated beauty, suggested that someone should establish a monastery in which the life of the ancient hermits could be revived. In all seriousness she offered her dowry for this. The next day Teresa told her trusted friend Doña Guiomar de Ulloa (a young widow who like her led a life of prayer under the strict direction of Fr. Baltasar Alvarez) of this conversation. Doña Guiomar enthusiastically took up the idea.
But what was decisive was that the Lord himself was calling for the project.
“He assured me that he would be very well-served in a monastery I might found, that this house would become a star shedding the brightest light. God added that, even thought they had lost some of their earlier enthusiasm, the orders were nevertheless of great service to him. What would the world be if there were no more monasteries?”
[Cf. The Book of Her Life, ch. 32, no. 11]
According to the the will of the Lord, the new house was to be consecrated to St. Joseph.
Saint Edith Stein
Love for Love: The life and works of St. Teresa of Jesus
12. St. Joseph’s of Avila, the First Monastery of the Reform
“I wanted to rest a little since I had hardly slept the whole night… and all the days had been truly tiring” (St Teresa, recalling the foundation of St Joseph’s monastery in Avila, 24 August 1562).Tweet
Stein, E. 2014, The Hidden Life: hagiographic essays, meditations, spiritual texts, translated from the German by Stein, W, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
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.
Leave a Reply