Teresa of Avila
A new exhibit to celebrate Women’s History Month is up in Special Collections’ lobby. It focuses on women’s spirituality throughout history and includes works by Saint Teresa of Avila, who was born 500 years ago this month. Teresa was a Spanish Carmelite nun who is remembered for her reform efforts within the order and the mystical visions she experienced for most of her adult life. As her renown grew, Teresa wrote a number of spiritual works which elaborate Catholic doctrine and the ability of the soul to unite with God through prayer.
Special Collections owns copies of Teresa’s writings, including an early French translation which is on display in the Women’s Spirituality exhibit. Special Collections also owns a facsimile of the original manuscript of Teresa’s mystical work El Castillo Interior, which was published in Spain at the close of the 19th century. After Teresa’s death, King Philip II of Spain collected many of her manuscripts; the original manuscript of El Castillo Interior was preserved at the royal monastery Philip built, El Escorial.