So to get to know this saint better for her feast day, here are a dozen interesting facts about the saint:
1. Teresa was an avid reader. She felt that a day when she couldn’t read a new book was a day lost.
2. With the complicity of her mother and behind the back of her strict father, she read books about the great deeds of knights, which were very popular at the time.
3. There are hypotheses that suggest that Teresa was part of a network of women who exchanged books.
4. She was independent and autonomous. When she understood that God was calling her to be a nun, and after she told her father (who rejected the idea), she decided to leave her parents’ house, and she went to the monastery of the Incarnation (in Avila).
5. The day she entered the monastery (November 2, 1535), the bells were ringing for All Souls day.
6. She overcame bureaucratic and economic obstacles—and, Dobner says, also the male chauvinism of the time—and managed to found new convents.
7. She established small convents throughout Spain. She traveled on foot, and thus became called the “walking” (“andariega”) saint.
8. She taught her nuns to think and pray on their own, and to concentrate in order to hear the Lord in their interior, in what she called the “Interior Castle.”
9. She was closely watched because she was suspected of heresy, but they couldn’t find anything that contradicted the idea that she was obeying God’s will.
10. She always abandoned herself to God’s will, and was a very determined woman who knew where she was going. She often used to say, “I am yours, Lord; I was born for You. What do you want from me?”
11. In 1970, together with Saint Catherine of Siena, she was declared a Doctor of the Church.
12. As she herself admitted, sometimes she felt like “a lion,” and other times like “an ant.”