The Carmelite Saints

  • Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
  • When she was 20 she entered the Carmelite Monastery in Avila (Spain), where she gradually deepened the relationship with God that enveloped her whole of life. Parallel to her inner development, the Saint began in practice to realize her ideal of the reform of the Carmelite Order, founding together with St John of the Cross new Carmelite convents. Teresa proposes an intense programme of contemplative life at the service of the Church. Her deep spiritual experience made her a teacher of inner prayer. The Servant of God Paul VI proclaimed her a “Doctor of the Church” in 1970. General Audience of Pope Benedict XVI about Saint Teresa of Avila
  • Saint John of the Cross (1542 – 1591)
  • A spiritual friend of St Teresa, the reformer, with her, of the Carmelite religious family: St John of the Cross, who is also considered one of the most important lyric poets of Spanish literature. Promoting adherence to the Carmelite reform cost John acute suffering and the Saint was imprisoned in Toledo. He was a wise spiritual guide for St. Teresa and for many contemplative souls. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI in 1926 and he is traditionally known as “Mystical Doctor”. General Audience of Pope Benedict XVI about Saint John of the Cross