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Brief Biographies: Teresa De Ávila

Teresa of Ávila (1515 – 1582) was a nun and spiritual leader who lived a life of discipline through poverty, social equality, and enclosure. According to Theodore Rabb in Renaissance Lives she traveled extensively, practiced personalized prayer, and conveyed a “sense of a direct relationship with the deity, and of faith as a nurturing force, made her a legendary and redoubtable presence during her last years” (108). Her own writing comments on the materialism of her days, as she says in Way to Perfection “I wish that some of these people would entreat God to enable them to trample all such things [material gains] under their feet. … . are we to waste our time upon things which, if God were to grant them, would perhaps bring one soul less to Heaven?”

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