Quote of the day, 3 October: St. Teresa of Avila

“Oh my Lord and my Spouse, now the desired hour is come. Now it is time for us to go.” The dying words of #StTeresaOfAvila

Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew and other biographers of Saint Teresa have recorded her final words uttered when she received Viaticum on the Eve of St. Francis, 3 October:

Oh my Lord and my Spouse, now the desired hour is come. Now it is time for us to go. Señor mío, now is the time to set forth, may it be very soon, and may Your most holy will be accomplished! Now the hour has come for me to leave this exile, and my soul rejoices at one with you for what I have so desired!

Blessed Anne did not leave her side. 

Saint Teresa of Avila

St. Teresa’s great admirer and confessor, Father Francisco de Ribera, S.J., recorded these words in his 1590 biography, The Life of Mother Teresa of Jesus, Foundress of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns and Friars, which was the first of its kind.

Teresian scholar Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. has this to say about Ribera’s biography:

Containing 563 pages of text, it spread Teresa’s fame throughout Europe and was translated into all the major European languages. Ribera was less fortunate in his second proposal [to publish her writings] because Fray Luis de León, O.C.D. published her writings before him.

Nevertheless, through his critical work with the autographs, he is counted among the first Teresian editors. In his biography of Teresa, he asserts more than once that he is quoting from the original and not from a printed edition.

Ribera’s quote seen above—Oh my Lord and my Spouse […] now it is time for us to go, etc.—comes to us in the scholarly biography of William Thomas Walsh, who frequently cites Francisco de Ribera concerning the events of Teresa’s death.

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.

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

Featured image: This detailed view of the Death of Saint Teresa by an unnamed Quito artist is one of several mural paintings that date to the 1653 inauguration of the Discalced Carmelite nuns Monastery of St. Joseph in Quito, Ecuador. This particular mural is found in the upper cloister. The Carmel is nicknamed Carmen Alto to distinguish it from a newer Carmel (1698) located in the San Juan neighborhood of Quito, Ecuador. Photo credit: PESSCA Project for the Engraved Sources of Spanish Colonial Art  (Some rights reserved)

2 thoughts on “Quote of the day, 3 October: St. Teresa of Avila

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  1. I feel like this anyway. Because this world’s famously my ship and not my home. St Teresa seems to resemble St Paul in her attitude. Far better to be with The Lord than in this exile.

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