Oh, mi padre, I almost forgot! The woman came to cure my arm, for the prioress in Medina did very well in sending her.
The cure involved a real struggle both for the woman and for me. I had lost the use of my wrist, for it has been a long time since I fell. So the pain and toil were terrible. Nonetheless, I rejoiced to feel some little part of what our Lord suffered.
I think the effort was successful, although the tormenting pain is such that it is difficult to know if the cure is complete. I can move the hand well and lift the arm as far as my head, but it will still take time before everything is all right.
Believe me, if this had been delayed just a bit more, I would have ended up crippled. In truth, I would not have been terribly distressed, if God so willed.
There were so many people who came to see the woman in my brother’s house that one didn’t know how to manage them all.
I assure you, mi padre, that since your departure from here, sufferings of every kind have had their day. Sometimes it seems, when they come one upon the other, that the body grows tired and the soul fainthearted, although the will, in my opinion, fares well.
God be with you always. Pray for these daughters of yours. Today is the vigil of the Ascension.
Saint Teresa of Avila
Letter 244 to Padre Jerónimo Gracián (excerpt)
7 May 1578
Note: Translator and editor Father Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. explains the comments concerning the woman from Medina who St. Teresa said, “came to cure my arm.” Madre Inés de Jesús (Tapia), the prioress in Medina, sent a woman who was reputed to be a bonesetter to reset St. Teresa’s left arm, which she broke in a fall on Christmas Eve 1577. The woman from Medina, big and strong, with the help of another woman of similar size, pulled forcefully on Teresa’s arm in an effort to reset it. The pain was agonizing. Teresa’s brother Lorenzo offered to let the woman stay in his home while she was in Avila for the procedure. Apparently, many local residents wanted to avail themselves of her services while she was in town.
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.