St. Theresa (1515-1582). Born in Avila, Spain, she joined the Carmelite Order, an “enclosed” Order in which the sisters never leave their convent. The Order had become very lax, and visitors were allowed to come at all times of the day and evening. She set about its reform during which she had to endure great trials, which she overcame by her indomitable spirit. She wrote many works which are renowned for the depth of their doctrine, and which also showed her own spiritual experiences. She declared that for more than fifteen years she could see no point in her prayers, experiencing a spiritual “dryness” all through that period. She was helped in her reform of the Order by St. John of the Cross, a Carmelite friar who carried out similar reforms within the male branch of the Order.
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James. Known as James the Greater, he was born at Bethsaida, the son of Zebedee and the brother of the apostle, John. He left his fisherman’s trade to follow the Master, and was killed by King Herod about 42 A.D. He is especially venerated in Compostella, where there is a basilica dedicated in his honour, […]
Martha. Sister of Mary and Lazarus, Jesus’ friends. She complained bitterly that Mary was leaving her to do all the serving and running about, and Jesus quietly reminded her that Mary had chosen the better part – to just sit and listen to what he had to say –“Martha, Martha, you worry and fret about […]