Double Feast of Saint Teresa of Avila, Virgin and Religious Foundress

White Vestments

Missa "Dilexísti justítiam"

        Saint Teresa, the foundress of the Discalced Carmelites, was born at Avila in Old Castile in what is today part of Spain on March 28, 1515. She was called to reform her Order, favored with distinct commands from Our Lord, and her heart was pierced with divine love; but dreading delusion she acted only under obedience to her confessors, which made her strong and safe. Her heavenly Spouse called her to Himself, October 4, 1582. By the alteration of the calendar, then taking place, the next day was reckoned the fifteenth of the month, and in due course was assigned for the keeping of the feast. In the Collect we have the only example in the whole of Liturgy of a reference to a woman entrusted with the office of teaching and feeding the faithful.

        She was born Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada and was the third child of Don Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda by his second wife, Doña Beatriz Davila y Ahumada, who died when the saint was in her fourteenth year, Teresa was brought up by her saintly father, a lover of serious books, and a tender and pious mother. After her death and the marriage of her eldest sister, Teresa was sent for her education to the Augustinian nuns at Avila, but owing to illness she left at the end of eighteen months, and for some years remained with her father and occasionally with other relatives, notably an uncle who made her acquainted with the Letters of St. Jerome, which determined her to adopt the religious life, not so much through any attraction towards it, as through a desire of choosing the safest course. Unable to obtain her father'sconsent she left his house unknown to him on Nov., 1535, to enter the Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation at Avila, which then counted 140 nuns. The wrench from her family caused her a pain which she ever afterwards compared to that of death. However, her father at once yielded and Teresa took the habit.

        After her profession in the following year she became very seriously ill, and underwent a prolonged cure and such unskillful medical treatment that she was reduced to a most pitiful state, and even after partial recovery through the intercession of St. Joseph, her health remained permanently impaired. During these years of suffering she began the practice of mental prayer, but fearing that her conversations with some world-minded relatives, frequent visitors at the convent, rendered her unworthy of the graces God bestowed on her in prayer, discontinued it, until she came under the influence, first of the Dominicans, and afterwards of the Jesuits.

        Meanwhile God had begun to visit her with "intellectual visions and locutions", that is manifestations in which the exterior senses were in no way affected, the things seen and the words heard being directly impressed upon hermind , and giving her wonderful strength in trials, reprimanding her for unfaithfulness, and consoling her in trouble. Unable to reconcile such graces with her shortcomings, which her delicate conscience represented as grievous faults, she had recourse not only to the most spiritual confessors she could find, but also to some saintly laymen, who, never suspecting that the account she gave them of her sins was greatly exaggerated, believed these manifestations to be the work of the evil spirit. The more she endeavoured to resist them the more powerfully did God work in her soul. The whole city of Avila was troubled by the reports of the visions of this nun. It was reserved to St. Francis Borgia and St. Peter of Alcantara, and afterwards to a number of Dominicans (particularly Pedro Ibañez and Domingo Bañez), Jesuits, and other religious and secular priests, to discern the work of God and to guide her on a safe road.

        The account of her spiritual life contained in the "Life written by Herself" (completed in 1565, an earlier version being lost), in the "Relations", and in the "Interior Castle", forms one of the most remarkable spiritual biographies with which only the "Confessions of St. Augustine" can compare. To this period belong also such extraordinary manifestations as the piercing or transverberation of her heart, the spiritual espousals, and the mystical marriage. A vision of the place destined for her in hell in case she should have been unfaithful to grace, determined her to seek a more perfect life.

        After many troubles and much opposition St. Teresa founded the convent of Discalced Carmelite Nuns of the Primitive Rule of St. Joseph at Avila (24 Aug., 1562), and after six months obtained permission to take up her residence there. Four years later she received the visit of the General of the Carmelites, John-Baptist Rubeo (Rossi), who not only approved of what she had done but granted leave for the foundation of other convents of friars as well as nuns. In rapid succession she established her nuns at Medina del Campo (1567), Malagon and Valladolid (1568), Toledo and Pastrana (1569), Salamanca (1570), Alba de Tormes (1571), Segovia (1574), Veas and Seville (1575), and Caravaca (1576). In the "Book of Foundations" she tells the story of these convents, nearly all of which were established in spite of violent opposition but with manifest assistance from above. Everywhere she found souls generous enough to embrace the austerities of the primitive rule of Carmel. Having made the acquaintance of Antonio de Heredia, prior of Medina, and St. John of the Cross, she established her reform among the friars (28 Nov., 1568), the first convents being those of Duruelo (1568), Pastrana (1569), Mancera, and Alcalá de Henares (1570).

        A new epoch began with the entrance into religion of Jerome Gratian, inasmuch as this remarkable man was almost immediately entrusted by the nuncio with the authority of visitor Apostolic of the Carmelite friars and nuns of the old observance in Andalusia, and as such considered himself entitled to overrule the various restrictions insisted upon by the general and the general chapter. On the death of the nuncio and the arrival of his successor a fearful storm burst over St. Teresa and her work, lasting four years and threatening to annihilate the nascent reform. The incidents of this persecution are best described in her letters. The storm at length passed, and the province of Discalced Carmelites, with the support of King Philip II, was approved and canonically established on 22 June, 1580. St. Teresa, old and broken in health, made further foundations at Villanuava de la Jara and Palencia (1580), Soria (1581), Granada (through her assistant the Venerable Anne of Jesus), and at Burgos (1582). She left this latter place at the end of July, and, stopping at Palencia, Valladolid, and Medina del Campo, reached Alba de Torres in September, suffering intensely. Soon she took to her bed and passed away on the fourth day of October in 1582, the following day, owing to the reform of the calendar, being reckoned as 15 October. After some years her body was transferred to Avila, but later on reconveyed to Alba, where it is still preserved incorrupt. Her heart, too, showing the marks of the Transverberation, is exposed there to the veneration of the faithful. She was beatified in 1614, and canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV, the feast being fixed on 15 October.

        St. Teresa's position among writers on mystical theology is unique. In all her writings on this subject she deals with her personal experiences. Such a deep insight and analytical gifts enabled her to explain clearly her thoughts. The Thomistic substratum may be traced to the influence of her confessors and directors, many of whom belonged to the Dominican Order. She herself had no pretension to found a school in the accepted sense of the term, and there is no vestige in her writings of any influence of the Areopagite, the Patristic, or the Scholastic Mystical schools, as represented among others, by the German Dominican Mystics. She is intensely personal, her system going exactly as far as her experiences, but not a step further.

        A word must be added on the orthography of her name. It has of late become the fashion to write her name Teresa or Teresia, without "h", not only in Spanish and Italian, where the "h" could have no place, but also in French, German, and Latin, which ought to preserve the etymological spelling. As it is derived from a Greek name, Tharasia, the saintly wife of St. Paulinus of Nola, it should be written Theresia in German and Latin, and Thérèse in French. Though to many the latter is reserved for the young nun from Lisieux of the same name.

        We want to thank the Friends of Our Lady of Fatima for expediting these resources of the Propers. Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945 Bio: Catholic Encyclopedia 1913 edition


    Missa "Dilexísti justítiam"
    Go to the ORDINARY OF THE HOLY MASS THE MASS OF THE CATECHUMENS
    INTROIT: Psalm 44: 8
    Dilexísti justítiam, et odísti iniquitátem: proptérea unxit te Deus, Deus tuus, óleo lætítiæ præ consórtibus tuis. (Ps. 44: 2) Eructávit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego ópera mea Regi. v. Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancti sicut erat in principio et nunc, et semper, et saecula saeculorum. Amen.
    Repeat Dilexísti justítiam...
    Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (Ps. 44: 2) My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat Thou hast loved justice...
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    COLLECT
    Dominus vobiscum. R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

    Oremus. Exáudi nos, Deus salutáris noster: ut, sicut de, beátæ Terésiæ Vírginís festivitáte gaudémus; ita coeléstis ejus doctrínæ pabulo nutriámur, te pia: devotiónis erudiámur afféctu. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus,
    Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
    R. Amen.

    The Lord be with you. R. And with thy spirit.

    Let us pray. Harken unto us, O God, our Saviour that as we rejoice in the festival of blessed Teresa, Thy virgin, so we may find food for the nourishment of our souls in her heavenly doctrine, and be instructed by the affection of pious devotion. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God,
    Forever and ever.
    R.Amen.


    EPISTLE: 2 Corinthians 10,17-18 ; 11,1-2
    Léctio Epístolæ beáti Pauli Apóstoli ad Corínthios. Fratres: Qui gloriátur, in Dómino gloriétur. Non enim qui seipsum comméndat, ille probátus est; sed quem Deus comméndat. Utinam sustinerétis módicum quid insipiéntiæ meæ, sed et supportáte me: æmulor enim vos Deo æmulatióne. Despóndi enim vos uni viro vírginem castam exhibére Christo. Deo Gratias.
    Lesson from the Epistle of Bl. Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Brethren, he that glory, let him glory in the Lord. For not that he that commendeth himself is approved, but he whom God commendeth. Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly, but do bear with me. For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. Thanks be to God.

    GRADUAL: Psalm 44: 5
    Spécie tua, et pulchritúdine tua inténde, próspere procéde, et regna. V. Propter veritátem, et mansuetúdinem, et justítiam: et dedúcet te mirabíliter déxtera tua. Allelúja, allelúja. V. Adducéntur regi vírgines post eam: próxime ejus afferéntur tibi in lætítia. Allelúja.
    With thy comeliness and thy beauty set out, proceed prosperously, and reign. V. Because of truth, and meekness and justice: and thy right hand shall conduct thee wonderfully. Alleluia, alleluia. V. After her shall virgins be brought to the King: her neighbors shall be brought to thee with gladness. Alleluia.

    GOSPEL:   Matthew 25: 1-13
    Dominus vobiscum.
    R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
    Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum
    R.Gloria tibi, Domine

    In illo témpore: Dixit Jesus discípulis suis parabolam hanc:"Símile erit regnum coelórum decem virgínibus quæ accipiéntes lámpades suas exiérunt óbviam sponso et sponsæ. Quinque autem ex eis erant fátuæ, et quinque prudéntes: sed quinque fátuæ, accéptis lampádibus, non sumpsérunt óleum secum: prudéntes vero accepérunt óleum in vasis suis cum lampádibus. Moram autem nocte clamor factujs est: Ecce sponsus venit, exite óbviam ei. Tunc surrexérunt omnes vírgines illæ, et ornavérunt lampádes suas. Fátuæ autem sapiéntibus dixérunt: Date nobis de óleo vestro: quia lampádes nostræ exstinguúntur. Respondérunt prudéntes, dicentes: Ne forte non suffíciat nobis, et vobis, ite pótius ad vendéntes, et émite vobis. Dum autem irent émere, venit sponsus: et quæ paráte erant, intravérunt cum eo ad núptias, et clausa est jánua. Novíssime vero véniunt et réliquæ vírgines, dicéntes: Dómine, Dómine, áperi nobis. At ille respóndens ait: Amen, dico vobis, néscio vos. Vigiláte ítaque, quia nescítis diem, neque horam."
    Laus tibi Christe.

    The Lord be with you.
    R. And with thy spirit.
    The continuation of the holy Gospel according to Matthew. R. Glory to Thee, O Lord

    At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: "The kingdom of heaven shall be like to ten virgins, who taking their lamps went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride. And five of them were foolish, and five wise. But the five foolish, having taken their lamps, did not take oil with them; but the wise took oil in their vessels with the lamps.. And the bridegroom tarrying, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was cry made, Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps; and the foolish said to the wise, Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out. The wise answered, saying, Lest perhaps there be not enough for us and for you, go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. Now whilst they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. But at last came also the other virgins, saying Lord, Lord, open to us; but he answering said, Amen I say to you, I know ye not. Watch ye, therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour."
    Praise be to Christ


    OFFERTORY:    Psalm 44: 10
    Dominus vobiscum.
    R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

    Fíliæ regum in honóre tuo: ádstitit regina a dextris tuia in vestítu deauráto, circúmdata varietáte.
    The Lord be with you.
    R. And with thy spirit.

    The daughters of kings in thy glory: the queen stood on thy right hand in gilded clothing, surrounded with variety.
    Return to the ORDINARY OF THE HOLY MASS THE OFFERTORY
    SECRET
    Accépta tibi sit, Dómine, sacráte plebis oblátio pro tuórum honóre sanctórum: quorum se méritis, de tribulatióne percepísse cognóscit auxílium. Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus,
    Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
    R. Amen.
    May the offering of Thy consecrated people be accepted by Thee, O Lord, in honor of Thy saints, by whose merits it knoweth that it hath received aid in time of trouble. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God,
    Forever and ever.
    R.Amen.

    PREFACE   Common Preface
    Dominus vobiscum.
    R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
    Sursum corda.
    R.Habemus ad Dominum.
    Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro.
    R. Dignum et justum est.

    Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos Tibi simper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus: per Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem majestatem Tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates, Coeli, Coelorumque Virtutes, ac beata Seraphim socia exultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces, ut admitti, jubeas, supplici confessione dicentes:
    SANCTUS, SANCTUS, SANCTUS...
    The Lord be with you.
    R. And with thy spirit.
    Lift up your hearts.
    R.We have lifted them up to the Lord.
    Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
    R. It is meet and just.

    It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
    HOLY, HOLY, HOLY...

    Return to the ORDINARY OF THE HOLY MASS THE CANON OF THE MASS
    COMMUNION:   Matthew 25: 4, 6
    Quinque prudéntes vírgines accepérunt óleum in vasis suis cum lampádibus: média autem nocte calmor factus set: Ecce sponsus evnit: exite óbviam Christo Dómino.
    The five wise virgins took oil in their vessels with the lamps: and at midnight there was a cry made, Behold the bridegroom cometh: go ye forth to meet Christ our Lord.

    POSTCOMMUNION
    Dominus vobiscum.
    R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
    Oremus.
    Satiásti, Dómine, famíliam tuam munéribus sacris: ejus, quæsumus, semper interventióne nos réfove, cujus solémnia celebrámus. Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus,
    Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
    R. Amen.
    The Lord be with you.
    R. And with thy spirit.
    Let us pray.
    Thou hast filled Thy household, O Lord, with sacred gifts; ever comfort us, we beseech Thee, through her intercession whose festival we celebrate. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God,
    For ever and ever.
    R. Amen.
    Return to the ORDINARY OF THE HOLY MASS CONCLUSION OF THE HOLY MASS



    Feast of St. Teresa of Avila