Letter to the Reverend Father Louis of Granada, of the Order of Saint Dominic, by Saint Teresa of Avila

[Saint Teresa of Avila]

The Saint expresses an ardent desire to see this great man, and recommends herself to his prayers. Date, 1577.

The grace of the Holy Spirit be ever with your Reverence. Amen.

I consider myself as one among that great number of persons who love your Reverence in the Lord, for having written such holy and useful works, and who give thanks to His Majesty for having made you instrumental in the good of so many souls. I think no difficulty would prevent me from going to hear the words of one who consoles me so much by his writings, did not my sex and state of life put an obstacle in the way.

But independent of this consideration, I am obliged to seek for persons like you to calm the fears in which I have now lived for some years. And though I have not deserved this favour, I have been consoled by the command I have received from His Grace Don Teutonio,1 to address this letter to you; this I should not have presumed to do of myself. But the confidence which I placed in obedience, induces me to hope in our Lord, that your Reverence will sometimes remember me in your prayers. I stand in great need of them, both because I have little merit of myself, and because I am exposed to the eyes of the world, without being in any way able to justify the good opinion which people have of me.

If your Reverence knew how I was situated, you would then be induced to grant me this favour, which I ask as an alms. You who know so well the Majesty of God, can easily imagine how great must be the sufferings of one, who has led such a wicked life as I have. But though so wicked, I have often presumed to ask of our Lord to give your Reverence a long life. May His Majesty grant me this favour, and may your Reverence increase more and more in holiness and divine love.

Your Reverence’s unworthy Servant,

P.S. – Don Teutonio is one of those who are deceived in their opinion of me. He tells me that he esteems your Reverence highly. In return, your Reverence should visit his Grace, and tell him not to be so credulous without cause.

– Teresa de Jesus, Carmelite

– translated from the Spanish by the Reverend John Dalton, London, 1902