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DoM JusTiNus McCann, o.s.b. censor deputatus 



18 AUGUSTi 1922 









All rights reserved 






Dec. 4. Avila 201 Philip II 


Dec. 7. 

202 Gaspar de Salazar 


Dec. 10. 

203 Juan de Ovalle 



204 Mary of St. Joseph 


After Dec. 17. , 

205 Doiia Ines Nieto 


Dec. 19. 

206 Mary of St. Joseph 


Dec. 29. 

207 Roque de Huerta 


Date uncertain , 

208 Father Gracian 


»? IT J 

209 „ 


210 To the Prioresses 


,, „ 211 Father Gracian 


Jan. 16. 

212 Teutonio de Braganza 


Feb. 10. 

213 F. Juan Suarez 


Feb. Note from Father Suarez 


,, Letter from Father Gonzalo Davila 


Feb. 12. Avila 214 F. Gonzalo Davila 


Feb. 16. 

215 Father Gracian 


March 2. 



March 9. 

, 217 Roque de Huerta 


March 11. 

218 Father Gracian 



219 To a relative 


March 26. 

220 Dona Maria de Mendoza 63 

March 28. 

221 Mary of St. Joseph 


April 15. 

222 Father Gracian 


'April 17. 



M 1> 

224 Doria Juana Dantisco 


April 26. 

225 Father Gracian 



226 „ 


April 30. 

227 Ana de San Alberto 





1578 Mav 7. Avila 

Nfav 8. 
Mav 14. 
May 22. 

About June ., 
June 4. 
July 28. 
Beg. of Aug. 
Aug. 8. 
Aug. 8 & 9. 
Aug. 10. 
Aug. 14. 
Aug. 14, 15. 
Aug. 24. 

Early in Aug. „ 
End of Aug. 
Sept. 29. 

Probably July ,, 
Oct. 4. 
Oct. 15. 
Nov. 15. 

End of Dec. 
Dec. 28. 

End of Dec. 

End of Dec. ,, 
Date uncertain „ 
End of Dec. 

1579? — — 

1 579 About Jan. Avila 
.. Jan. 31. 

'.', Feb. 4. !! 


228 Father Gracian 








232 F. Gonzalo Davila 


233 Mary of St. Joseph 


234 Fray Domingo Banez 


235 Father Gracian 


236 ,. 


237 Juana de Ahumada 


238 Father Gracian 


239 To an unknown person 




241 Father Gracian 


242 Roque de Huerta 


243 Father Gracian 


244 Roque de Huerta 


245 Father Gracian 






248 „ 




250 F. Pablo Hernandez 


251 Father Gracian 




253 Fray Mariano 


254 „ 


255 Roque de Huerta 




257 Dona Juana Dantisco 


258 Yen. Anne of Jesus 




260 Anne of St. Albert 




262 Ven. Anne of Jesus 


263 Mary of St. Joseph 


264 To some ladies 


265 Father Gracian 




267 To a Carmelite nun 


268 Father Gracian 


269 D. Fernando Pantoja 


270 To the nuns of Seville 193 

271 Dona Ines Nieto 




1579 Feb. 20. Avila 

,, March 12. ,, 

„ Bef. March 25. „ 

„ March 25. „ 

,, Beg. of April „ 

„ April 

„ April 21. 

„ May 2. 

„ May 3. 

End of May „ 

„ June 9. 

„ June 10. 

„ June 18. „ 

„ June 21. „ 

„ June 24. 

,',' July 7. Valladolid 

„ July 18. 

n July 22. 

11 )) I) )t 

„ July 25. 

,, End of July „ 

„ July 26. 

„ July 27. 

,, Oct. 4. Salamanca 

„ Nov. 19. Toledo 

,, Dec. 3. Malagon 

„ Aft. Dec. 8. 

„ Dec. 15. ,, 

„ Dec. 18. „ 

„ End of year „ 

„ Dec. 21. „ 

,, End of year „ 


Bef. Jan. 15. 
Jan. 13. 
Jan. 14. 
Jan. 15. 
Beg. of Feb. 
Feb. 1. 



272 Father Gracian 167 

273 Roque de Huerta 200 

274 Fray Mariano 202 

275 Fray Juan de Jesus 205 

276 Father Gracian 208 

277 „ „ 211 

278 „ „ 212 

279 Roque de Huerta 216 

280 Isabel de San Jeronimo 218 

281 Nuns of Valladolid 228 

282 Mary Baptist 232 

283 Father Gracian 236 

284 Ana de la Encarnacion 240 

285 Mary Baptist 

286 Mary of St. Joseph 

287 „ „ ,, 
Father Gracian 



289 „ 

290 Mary of St. Joseph 

291 Teutonio de Braganza 258 

295 Roque de Huerta 

296 Lorenzo de Cepeda 

297 Father Gracian 
Dona Isabel Osorio 

Roque de Huerta 
Father Gracian 

Father Gracian 

Father Doria 
Father Gracian 


308 Father Gracian 

309 Mary of St. Joseph 

310 Nuns of Seville 

311 Father Doria 

312 Father Gracian 

314 Ven . Maria de Jesus 

315 Mary of St. Joseph 




Prefatory note 

The position of St. John of the Cross was somewhat 
anomalous. Unfortunately we have no account of the 
transaction from his own pen and therefore rely more 
or less on fragmentary notices. When St. Teresa became 
Prioress of the Incarnation, (October 15, 1571) she 
obtained from the Visitor, Pedro Hernandez,the appoint- 
ment of St. John as confessor to that convent, with Fray 
German de San Matias as his companion. Although the 
powers of the Visitors were withdrawn, the Visitors 
themselves were renominated by Ormaneto under the 
title of Reformers, and the appointment of St. John 
appears to have remained unquestioned, being at least 
tacitly confirmed by the Nuncio and the provincial. Angel 
de Salazar. Therefore, on the publication of the acts of 
the general chapter of Piacenza, St. John, a Discalced 
Carmelite, found himself away from any of the priories 
of the Reformed, in a position which normally belonged 
to the Caked. The provincial Chapter of Moraleja, (May 
1576) which elected Gutierrez provincial and tried to 
enforce the decisions of Piacenza, seems to have taken 
cognizance of the state of things, but it was not until 
the end of that year or the beginning of the next that the 
Prior of Avila, Alonzo Valdemoro, had the two fathers 
removed from the Incarnation and conveyed to the 
Vol. III. 2 


Caked Carmcl at Medina. This caused great scandal 
and Orinaneto ordered that they should be restored to 
the Incarnation, at the same time forbidding the Caked 
to interfere with the spiritual administration of the con- 
vent. On the death of the Nuncio, (June 1 7), the position 
changed. The powers of Visitors and Reformers had 
lapsed ; the Nuncio was dead ; the former provincial had 
never given any written permission, (probably because 
it was not thought necessary) and the present provincial 
was opposed to the chaplaincy of St. John and Fray 
German. St. John and his companion were ordered by 
Tostado to leave their post and return to one of their 
own priories, as though they were intruders. They 
refused to do so, as they had been nominated by the 
highest authority and had received no proper notice of 
the termination of their office, nor does any one seem 
to have been chosen to fill their place. This refusal, 
perfectly justifiable on all grounds, was construed as 
rebellion against the decrees of the general chapter and 
the two friars were apprehended on the night of Dec. 3, 
1577, and hurried away to Caked priories, St. John to 
Toledo and Fray German to Moraleja. There, apparently 
without being heard in their own defence, they were not 
only treated as contumacious rebels, but with a refinement 
of cruelty for which probably neither the Vicar General 
Tostado, nor the provincial Gutierrez, but the prior, 
Hernando Maldonado, alone was responsible. Fray 
German escaped soon afterwards but St. John was im- 
prisoned for nine months in a tiny cell with neither light 
nor air except from a hole in the roof. He was fed 
scantily with salt fish, given little to drink, and disciplined 
so frequently and severely in the refectory after supper 
that the scars were seen on his shoulders after his death. 
Meanwhile the M itigated acted as chaplains and confessors 
to the community of the Incarnation. {Found, chap, xxviii, 
note 3.) 

Avila, December 4, 1577* 

Complaint of the seizure of St. John of the Cross and 
Fray German at the Incarnation. Maldonadoy Prior of 
Avila, and the nuns of the Incarnation. He imprisons 
Fray Antonio. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit ever be with 

your Majesty. 

AS I am convinced that our Lady has chosen 
your Majesty to defend her Order as its pro- 
ted:or, I feel bound to appeal to you about its 
affairs. For love of our Lord I beseech you, Sire, 
to forgive such audacity. 

Doubtless your Majesty is aware that the nuns 
of the Incarnation wished me to come to them, 
thinking that I might be able to deliver them from 
the Calced friars, who certainly offer a serious 
obstacle to the recollection and observance the 
community desire — the lack of which was entirely 
owing to the Mitigated fathers. The sisters are 
mistaken in thinking that I could help them, for 
while the Calced hear their confessions and make 
their visitations, my presence there could do no 
permanent good, as I always say to the Dominican 
Visitor, who knows it is true. 

Meanwhile, until God reftifies matters, I tried 
to improve the nuns' case by settling in a cottage 

' Fuente 1 74, Vol. I. Letter iv, first edition of the Letters published 
in Spanish. 


close by a Discalced friar, (who serves God so 
fervently as to edify the sisters), with another friar 
as his companion. All Avila is so astonished at the 
improvement wrought by him that they consider 
him a saint, as in my opinion he is, and has been 
all his life. 

The late Nuncio, hearing of this and of the harm 
done by those of the cloth, had the matter tho- 
roughly investigated by the citizens. He ordered 
under pain of excommunication, that the Discalced 
friars should be sent back to the Incarnation from 
which the Caked had removed them by force, 
treating them insultingly to the scandal of the city.^ 
He also decreed, under penalty of excommunica- 
tion, that no friar of the cloth should go to the 
convent on business, to say Mass, or to hear con- 
fessions, which the Discalced and secular priests 
alone were entitled to do. 

After this, all went well with the house until the 
Nuncio's death, when, without having shown by 
what authority, the Mitigated returned, and with 
them, the former disturbances. A friar ^ who came 
to absolve the nuns, has treated them so badly, 
with such injustice and lawlessness, that they are 
in deep distress and are not freed from their pen- 
alties, I have been told. 

Worst of all, he has deprived them of the two 
confessors. People say he has been made Vicar 
Provincial, which must be true as he has more 

'Sec letter to Rubeo, February 1576. Vol i. 

^ At the end of November, Philip intimated to Sega that Tostado 
must take steps to absolve the nuns of the Incarnation from all censures. 
Maldonado did this in such a way that their state was worse than ever. 


power than the others to make martyrs. He keeps 
the two fathers imprisoned in his priory, having 
forced open their cells and seized their papers. 

The neighbours are scandalized and astonished 
at his daring, for he is not a superior and shows 
no authority for his acflions; the confessors are 
subjects of the Apostolic Commmissary and your 
Majesty is very near the place. These Calced friars 
seem to fear neither justice nor God. As they have 
long desired, our confessors have fallen into their 
hands — I am^ deeply grieved, for I would rather 
have seen our fathers in the power of the Moors 
who might be more merciful. This friar, who 
serves God very fervently, is so weak from all he 
has suffered that I fear for his life. 

For love of our Lord, I implore your Majesty 
to command that the confessors should be set free 
at once and that the sufferings infiicfted on the poor 
Discalced by those of the cloth should be stopped. 
The Discalced do nothing but endure in silence, 
gaining great merit, but scandal is given, as the 
same kind of thing takes place in other towns. 
At Toledo, this spring. Fray Antonio, a holy old 
man, who was the first to embrace the Reform, 
was seized and imprisoned for no reason."* The 
Mitigated say the Discalced must be abolished, by 
order of Tostado. God have mercy on us ! Those 

"* Fray Antonio de Jesus (Heredia), on returning from escorting 
St. Teresa from Toledo to Avila, had been seized and imprisoned by 
Maldonado as an apostate friar because he would not renounce the 
Reform and return to the Mitigation. Mariano was in safety with 
influential friends at Madrid, where he remained during the troubles, 
helping the Discalced with such secrecy that neither the Nuncio nor 
the Calced ever suspected him. 


who ought to prevent offences against Him 
commit such sins, growing worse every day! 

Unless your Majesty commands that matters 
should be remedied, I do not know what will 
happen for we have no other earthly aid. May our 
Lord spare you to us for many years. I trust that 
He will shew us this mercy since so few but you 
care for His honour. I and all the nuns pray con- 
tinually for your Majesty. 

Written at St. Joseph's, Avila, December 4, 

Your Majesty's unworthy servant and subject, 
Teresa de Jesus, Carmelite. 


Avila, December 7, 1577^ 


Persecution of the Discalced. St. Teresa 's eleBion as 
Prioress of the Incarnation. The ^ Life' and the 
^Interior Castle\ 

May the Holy Spirit be with you, my Father. 

A LETTER was brought to me from your 
Reverence to-day, the Eve of the Conception. 
May our Lord reward you for the comfort it gave 
me which I really needed as you must know that, 
for more than three months, hosts of devils seem 

' Fuente 175. The name of the addressee is wanting, but no doubt 
the letter was written to Father Caspar de Salazar, S.J., Granada. The 
direction is: 'To the Very Magnificent and Most Reverend Sefior 
and Father of mine, in Granada.' 


to have leagued together against the Discalced 
friars and nuns. The persecutions and accusations 
raised against us nuns and Father Gracian have 
been so numerous and hard to bear that we could 
only seek refuge in God. I believe He heard their 
prayers (for in fa6l they are good souls) as those 
vs^ho presented the memorials to the King have 
withdrawn the scandalous tales they told about us. 
Truth is a great thing, for even before that, the 
sisters rejoiced. It was not much that I should be 
glad, for such things are so customary now that it 
costs me little to remain indifferent. 

And now, as a climax, the nuns of the Incarna- 
tion have elected me as Prioress with a majority 
of fourteen or fifteen votes. But the Calced friars 
have been clever enough to place and confirm in 
the office the nun with fewer votes. It would have 
been a great blessing for me, had it been settled 
peacefully, but as the nuns of the opposition, over 
fifty in number, refused obedience to her except 
as Vice-Prioress, he excommunicated them. Theo- 
logians say that the excommunication was invalid; 
but these religious were prevented from hearing 
Mass or seeing their confessors for two months, 
being greatly harassed meanwhile, as they are still 
though the Nuncio has ordered that they should be 
absolved. What a life to witness all this ! The case is 
being tried before the Royal Council, but though 
this is a great trouble to me, it will be a far greater 
one if they take me back there. Pray about it for 
charity's sake, for until we are a separate province 
I believe we shall never be free from disturbances. 


This the devil is doing all in his power to prevent. 
Oh ! How I should like to talk to you and tell you 
many things, for past and present events form a 
history, and I do not know how it will end. When 
anything fresh occurs, I will send you a full account, 
as you tell me letters travel safely. It would have 
helped me to know that you had such a friend in 
Madrid; perhaps even now it may be useful. 

I wrote a long letter to your Reverence from 
Toledo; you do not say whether you received it. 
It would be just my luck if you were to go there 
now I have come here. To see you would have 
afforded some relief to my soul.* Peralta was very 

' 'Peralta' is evidently the Saint herself and 'Carillo' the addressee 
of this letter. The 'jewel' is the Life which had been brought before 
the Inquisition at Toledo and had there come into the hands of Cardinal 
Quiroga, the Grand Inquisitor, nominated as Archbishop of Toledo, 
who was delighted with both the book and the writer. The second 
'jewel' was The Interior Castle which St. Teresa had finished writing 
on November 24 — a week before. The 'Jeweller's design' no doubt 
alludes to the plan of the book revealed to her by our Lord in her 
vision of the soul as a crystal. {Interior Castle Intr. p. i 7, 3rd edition.) 
The goldsmith is the Saint herself 

Father Gracian wrote as a note to chapter vi, book iv. of P. Ribera's 
Fida de Santa Teresa: 'What passed between us about the Book of the 
Mansions was this : while she was at Toledo and I was her superior, 
we were discussing several matters relating to her soul, when she ex- 
claimed: "Oh, how well I explained this in my Life, which is at the 
Inquisition!" I answered: "As we cannot get it back, note what you 
remember of this and other subjects and write another book. Let it 
be impersonal, so that people cannot tell to whom it refers." (Note, 
Jno Teresiano, vol. vii.) She replied: 'Why do they want me to write ? 
Leave it to theologians and learned men. I am silly and do not know 
what to say; I shall use the wrong terms and injure souls. Many books 
have been written about prayer. For the love of God, let me spin my 
flax, go to choir, and do the work of the house like the rest of the sisters, 
for I am not fit to write. I have neither the health nor the head for it.' 
(Dilucidario). Father Gracian insisted, and in order to persuade her, 
told the Saint to consult Doctor Velasquez, her confessor. The Doctor, 


grateful to Carillo for his kindness to her relative : 
not that she cares for her, but that it showed 
Carillo's good will. Tell him so if you meet him, 
forPeralta will never find such loyalty in any friend. 
It is easy to see under Whose auspices the friendship 
was formed. 

Tell Carillo that the business about which she 
wrote to a certain person in Toledo has never been 
settled. Undoubtedly he has the jewel in his 
possession, in facfl, he praises it highly and will 
not return it until he is tired of it. He says he has 
a reason for examining it. But if Seiior Carillo 
came here, Peralta says he would see another gem 
which, she believes is much more valuable, as 
there is nothing outside to take from its beauty. 

It is more delicately enamelled and wrought, as 
the goldsmith says he knows his work better than 
when he made the other. The gold is purer though 
the gems are not so conspicuous. It was made after 
the Jeweller's design, which people say is evident. 
I do not know why I have given you so long a 
message: I am always inclined to be prosy, even 
at my own cost; but as Carillo is your friend vou 
will not mind delivering it. Peralta says she did 
not send her letter to you by a certain person, as 
it could only have been a formal acknowledgement 
and nothing more. 

Always let me know about your health. I am 
glad to hear that on the whole you are free from 
trouble: this is not my case and yet, I know not 
how, I enjoy peace which nothing disturbs, glory 

who carried matters with a high hand as her director, unhesitatingly 
ordered her to write the book. 


be to God ! The noise in mv head troubles me as 
it is continual. Do not forget to pray for me and 
for our Order, as there is urgent need of it. May 
His Majesty preserve your Reverence and make you 
a saint as I ask of Him. Amen. These nuns beg 
for your prayers: they are very good souls. All 
of us, especially myself, consider ourselves your 

The unworthy servant of vour Reverence, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Avikj December lo, 1577^ 
Family matters. Troubles at the Incarnation. 

Jesus be v^ith your Honour. 

HAVING little time for writing, I will only say 
that I am taking great pains about your busi- 
ness. I have written twice to Doiia Luisa* and think 
I shall do so again as she seems tardy in answering. 
Icertainlvhave done and am doing all in my power. 
May God effect what is best for the salvation of 
both of you, for that is the chief thing. You need 
send nothing to that lady, for I fear the money has 
been wasted. I even grudge the expense of your 
journey to Toledo, for which I see no results. It 
would not be a bad plan to give something to her 

' Fuente 176. The original belongs to the Discalced Carmelites, 

^ Luisa de la Cerda. 


brother, who manages the affair; you would lose 
nothing by it, for they never know what to do un- 
less they see some prospect of gain for themselves. 

As gentlemen always spend the winter in the 
country, I do not know why you both dislike it so 
much. As you, (I mean, my sister) would have 
Dona Beatriz^ for a companion, I do not pity you. 
Remember me very kindly to the latter. 

My health is not worse than usual, which is a 
great boon. 

The nuns are absolved from the excommunica- 
tion but are as resolute as before. Their state is 
worse, as the Discalced fathers have been taken 

I do not know what will happen; I am deeply 
grieved, for these Calced fathers seem mad. 

My brothers are well. They do not know of 
this letter (I mean from the messenger) though 
they may have learnt of it elsewhere. 

Teresa has no fever, but a cold. May God be 
ever with you all. 

To-day is December lo. 

Your unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

^ Juana's daughter, who afterwards became a Carmelite. 


Avila, December lo, iSll-^ 



An 'Agnus Dei\ Return of the sisters from Paterna 
to Seville. The nuns of the Incarnation and the Caked 
friars, hnprisonment of St. John of the Cross and 
Fray Ger?nan. The house at Seville. 

Jesus be with you, my daughter! 

OH, what a long time it is since I read a letter 
from you, and how far away you seem! But 
even if you had been nearer I could not have writ- 
ten to you lately on account of all the disturbances, 
which will be told to you. I assure you that God 
does not leave me idle long. 

Before I forget it, I want the Anues Dey fsicj 
set with pearls. You need never ask my permission 
for anything that pleases you, for it pleases me to 
see you happy. You are very welcome to keep it. 

They say the province has revolted again, and 
I very much wish that as this struggle is going on, 
you would send at once for the nuns from Paterna; 
I am extremely anxious that you should.* Our 
Father tells me he wrote to you to that effect by 
advice of the Archbishop. Obtain the permission 
from the latter before any one else persuades him 
to the contrary. The sisters remind me to ask you 
for a little caraila gum,' as it does me great good. 

' Fuente 177. The autograph belongs to the \"alladolid collection. 
- The nuns had been recalled; they reached Seville on December 4. 
^ An aromatic gum from the palm tree. 



It must be pure; for charity's sake do not forget 
it. You could send it very carefully packed to 
Toledo, whence it would be forwarded here or give 
it to a messenger who comes here from Seville. 

Be sure to do all you can as regards Paterna, for 
setting aside the sisters' welfare, it would be for 
your own peace of mind, for I do not know how 
they endured such suffering. My companion will 
give you the history of it. 

Will your Reverence inform me whether you 
have paid for your house, whether you have any 
surplus money, and why you are in such a hurry 
to leave it. Explain it to me, for the Prior of las 
Cuevas has written on the matter. 

You must know that the nuns of the Incarnation 
have been absolved after having (as you are aware) 
been excommunicated for two months. They were 
treated very harshly. The king told the Nuncio to 
order that they should be absolved. Tostado and 
his advisers sent the Prior of Toledo there. He 
absolved them, but to tell you of all his oppressions 
would be too long a tale. He left them in a harder 
case and more disconsolate than ever, solely because 
they wished me to be their prioress instead of the 
nun chosen by the Calced. The Mitigated have 
deprived them of the two Discalced confessors 
appointed by the Apostolic Commissary and the 
late Nuncio, taking them away by force like male- 
fadors. I shall be very anxious until I see the two 
friars freed from these gentry, for I would rather 
they were among the Moors. It is said that on the 
day they were seized, the confessors were thrashed 


twice and ill treated in every possible way. Mal- 
donado, Prior of Toledo, took Fray John of the 
Cross with him to present him to Tostado. The 
Prior of Avila, having taken Fray German to San 
Pablo de la Moraleja, told the nuns of his own 
party, on his return, that he had left the traitor in 
safe hands. It is said that when Fray German left, 
blood was flowing from his mouth. 

The nuns were then, and are now, far more 
distressed by this than by all their own sufferings, 
severe as they are. Of your charity pray for them 
and for the two saintly captives who will have been 
imprisoned a week to-morrow. The nuns declare 
they are saints, and that during all the years they 
have been at the Incarnation, nothing has been seen 
in them unworthy of the Apostles themselves. 

I do not know where the frenzy of these people 
will stop. May God in His mercy remedy the evil, 
of which He sees there is need ! 

I commend myself earnestly to Fray Gregorio, 
asking him to obtain prayers for help in all these 
troubles, for what these nuns are suffering is lam- 
entable; indeed they are martyrs. 

I am not writing to him, as I did so a short time 
ago: his letter went with yours. Give my kindest 
remembrances to my Gabriela and the rest. May 
God be with you all! 

To-day is December lo, 1579- 1578. fsic.) 

I cannot understand with what money you wish 
to buy another house; I do not even remember if 
you have paid for this one. I seem to recoiled: 
your saying that you had settled the rent. But 
supposing that person does not enter as a nun, she 


will certainly keep her fortune, especially if she 
arranges a marriage for her sister. Give me all the 
details for charity's sake. Your letters will travel 
safely by Father Padilla, (provided you entrust 
them to the Archbishop), or by our Father: they 
would come sooner than via Toledo. 

Since you are so rich, do not forget to settle the 
debt you owe my brother. It would be a great 
help if you only gave him two hundred ducats, as 
nothing comes to him from the Indies and he pays 
a yearly rental of live hundred ducats for the pro- 
perty he purchased. 

Tell me about the disturbance in the province 
and who has been made Vicar. Remember me to 
Father Evangelista and say that God is giving him 
good opportunities of becoming a saint. Let me 
know all about the health of yourself and the 
sisters: if you have not time, my Gabriela will 
write. Greet Beatriz and Senor Garci-Alvarez 
from me; I am very sorry about his illness. Give 
kind messages from me to the nuns and Father 
Nicolao. May God proted: you for me. 
Your servant, 

Teresa de Jesus. 

Take great care of your health: you know its 
importance. Perhaps you are going to live where 
you will be roasted alive. Remember that your 
present home has many conveniences and is newly 
built, and that I, in spite of all objed:ions, placed 
you in it, for certainly I desire your comfort. You 
know how people praised the house.'* 

* Mary of St. Joseph was resolute ; she moved to another house 
later on. 


Avila, after December 17, 1577* 


The Saint has an interview with Philip II at the 

. . . Imagine, Dona Ines, what this insignificant 
woman must have felt in the presence of so great 
a king. I was too confused to speak, for his penetrat- 
ing gaze — one of those that probe the soul itself — 
was fixed on me and seemed to pierce me through and 
through. I cast down my eyes and stated my cause 
as briefly as possible. After explaining matters, I 
looked at him again, and his expression had changed, 
being kinder and more mild. He inquired whether 

" This letter was published for the first time with a photographic 
reproduction of the original by Don Bernardino de Melgar, Marques 
de San Juan de Piedras Albas, in the Boletin de la Real A cade mia de la 
Historia, Madrid, May, 1519. The first page is missing. The letter 
describes St. Teresa's Interview with Philip II, to which she was pro- 
bably summoned in consequence of her letter of Dec. 4. This letter 
was written to Dofla Ines Nieto, wife of Senor Albornoz, who was 
superintendent of the estates of the Duke of Alba and accompanied 
him as his secretary to the Netherlands. Albornoz seems to have re- 
turned with the Duke to Spain where he occupied a position at court. 
He helped to bring about the marriage between Don Fadrlque and 
his cousin. Dona Maria de Toledo, which the king resented severely, 
Imprisoning both the Duke and his secretary. The Duke was set free 
in order to conquer Portugal in 1580; Albornoz, who accompanied 
him, died in October of the same year as secretary to the army In Lisbon. 

On December 4, i 5 77, St. Teresa had certainly not seen Philip II and 
she must have gone to court before she broke her arm on Christmas 
eve. As she wrote letters from Avila on Dec. 10 and Dec. 19, the visit 
must have taken place between Dec. 1 1 and 18. In a letter of Aug. 1 9, 
1578, she says it was possible to go from Avila to Madrid and return 
in 5 or 6 days : the Escorial, where the king was, being half-way, there 
was ample time for her journey. 



that was all I wanted : I answered that I had asked 
a great deal. *Then', he replied; *you may be at 
peace, for all shall be done as you wish '. His words 
were a great comfort to me. I knelt to thank him 
for his extreme kindness. He bade me rise, and 
making this wretched nun, his unworthy servant, 
the most courteous bow I ever saw, he gave me his 
hand to kiss. I went away in jubilation, praising 
God in my soul for the help this Caesar* had pro- 
mised me. 

As I left the other building where the Duke was, 
your kind husband ^ to whom I owe so much, came 
up to me and told me that the King, our Seigneur, 
had ordered him to write out my petition so that 
my wishes might be carried out with no delay. 
This was done; I dictated and Seilor Albornoz 
noted down my words. 

This being over, I set out from Madrid for the 
convent of the glorious San Jose, at Avila, where 
I hope to see the settlement of the affair which 
has such able administrators. 

Trusting that you may have good health and 

" Though Philip was not emperor as his father had been, the Saint 
gives him this title here and in another letter — S.C.C.M. — Sacra 
Cesaria Catolica Majestad. The title 'Caesar' was used in Spain at 
that time in accordance with the practice that obtained very early in 
the Roman Empire of so designating the heir-presumptive to the purple. 
There is a tradition at the Escorial that she began her speech with the 
words: 'Sire, you are thinking: "I see before me this gad-about 
woman",' quoting Sega's description of her. 

^ From this we gather that the Duke of Alba and his secretary were 
probably concerned in bringing the Saint to court, even-if they did 
not instigate the visit. Dona Ines evidently knew all about it, though 
until this letter was published, none of the historians seem to have 
mentioned it. 

Vol. ni. 3 


that God will grant you His glory in return for all 
you do for us, as I ask of Him in my miserable 

Your Honour's unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus, Carmelite. 


Avila, December 19, 1577.' 


Sufferings of St. yohn of the Cross, Fray German, 
and the nuns of the Incarnation. 

Jesus be ever with your Reverence, my daughter. 

YOUR letter came together with the potatoes, 
the keg, and seven lemons. All arrived in first- 
rate condition, but the carriage was so dear that 
your Reverence really must not send me anything 
more, for I have it on my conscience. 

As I wrote to you via Madrid rather more than 
a week ago, I will not say much now for there is 
nothing fresh regarding the matters of which I 
told you, and about which we are deeply distressed, 
as it is sixteen days since our two friars were im- 
prisoned, and we do not know whether they have 
been set at liberty, though we trust that God will 
watch over them. As Christmas is near and affairs 
of justice cannot be attended to until after King- 
tide, the sufferers have a long trial before them 

' Fuente 178. Autograph in the Valladolid collection. (Fr. A.) 
The handwriting is that of a secretary down to the last paragraph; the 
rest is by St. Teresa's pen. 


unless they have been released. The case of the 
nuns of the Incarnation is also very sad for they are 
overwhelmed with troubles especially by their two 
saintly confessors' having been taken from them and 
treated so cruelly. Of your charity pray for them 
all, for their sufferings are lamentable. 

I am glad to hear that you and all the sisters are 
well, also that you have discovered the kind service 
Bernarda* was doing us. God grant the widow 
may do as you say, so that the nuns may not lose 
her fortune.* 

When I wrote to you, I sent a letter via Madrid 
to the Prior of las Cuevas, as I told you, but I am 
not certain whether this messenger is dependable, 
so I will say no more. 

Remember me kindly to Father Garci- Alvarez, 
and to Fray Gregorio, whose letter greatly pleased 
me, though I do not answer it for the reason stated 

I will inquire whether any one at Avila knows 
the Rector of Seville and will get some one to 
write to him. Remember me very kindly to my 
Gabriela, (whose letter delighted me), and to all 
the sisters, and give any affecftionate message you 
like to Dona Leonora: tell her it is a great comfort 
to know she shows such kindness to your com- 

To show you what happens, I must tell you 
that twelve reales were charged for the porterage 

" Dona Maria Valera, mother of Sister Blanca, had been sending 
generous alms to the nuns by a beata named Bernarda who had taken 
upon herself to give them secretly to some one else. 

^ The widow with the gold nuggets never entered the convent 
after all. 


of your parcel, which was very loosely tied to- 
gether when it arrived, — I cannot tell why. 

Abide with God, and may He give you all as 
happy a Christmas as I wish you. 
December 19. 

Teresa and the sisters send you their kindest 
remembrances. I am suffering severely with my 
head; (I do not know why people imagine that I 
do not), and so many troubles coming together 
make me very weary at times. I am not sure when 
this letter will reach you, nor whether this messen- 
ger is trustworthy. My brother is well. Be sure to 
give many greetings from me to the nuns and the 
sisters at Paterna, who make me laugh with their 
chant. As far as we can learn, their hopes will soon 
vanish and they will see the fadts plainly. You 
may tell them as much as you like from me. 
The year 1577. 

Your Reverence's unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

Mind this : I enjoin you very strictly to obey 
Gabriela as regards your health, and I bid her take 
care of your Reverence, for you realize how im- 
portant your well-being is to us. 



Avila. December 29, 1577^ 

'The porterage of letters. 

Jesus be ever with your Honour. Amen. 

AS I am answering your letter by another route, 
I will not say much except to beg you to in- 
form me by the bearer how many of my letters 
you have received, if any. I should not like them 
to be lost as they are most important. As I shall 
'feel anxious until I know whether they are in your 
hands, will you let me know by the first messen- 
ger that goes, and be kind enough to forward the 
enclosed letter to Captain Cepeda,* my brother. 
Will you see that it goes by a trustworthy messen- 
ger and let me have the answer to my inquiries 
by him, as I think it will be the safest way. May 
our Lord give you His holy grace. Remember me 
kindly to Doiia Ines and the ladies. 
Sunday, December 29. 
Your Honour's unworthy servant, 

Teresa de Jesus. 

^ Fuente 1 79. The original letter belongs to the Discalced Carmelites 
of Logrono. It is addressed to 'The very Magnificent Senor Roque de 
Huerta, Chief Forester to His Majesty, Madrid.' Roque was helping 
the cause of the Reform at court and in the Royal Council of which 
he was secretary. 

^ Jeronimo de Cepeda, then in the West Indies. 



1577 Date uncertain.^ 
Dowry of postulants. 

. . . Men of the world care little for principle, 
when self-interest is at stake. This is the case with 
the Mother Prioress.* Having become used to 
superfluities at Pastrana, she has preserved little 
poverty of spirit. It pains me, and will do so when- 
ever I witness it for these houses were founded for 
the glory of God, confiding solely in Him, so that 
I fear that if we begin to trust in human aid, 
divine aid may sometimes be lacking. This does 
not apply to this affair, for I know the gentleman 
would not send his daughter there it it were the 
case. However, as we owe him so little, it must 
have happened by the will of God. 

Your manner of visiting the Discalced seems to 

' Fuente 1 80. The original belonged to the Marquis de Villa Alegre, 
Granada, and was longer than the copy that we have. 

^ Mother Isabel de San Domingo (de Ortega), one of the first pro- 
fessed at St. Joseph's, Avila, had been prioress at Pastrana and had 
transferred her community to Segovia in 1574. St. Teresa speaks of 
her in the highest terms in her letter to Father Gracian, 1578, saying: 
'That convent requires a prioress like Isabel de San Domingo . . . they 
would not dare to complain of one whose virtue is so well known.' 
Isabel founded a convent at Saragossa and spent the last 19 years of 
her life at Avila. She was raised to a high state of prayer and during 
the last four years of her life, when she was almost speechless and 
suffering from terrible diseases, her infirmarians used to hear the angels 
singing to her. Her doctors venerated her as a saint and knelt by 
her bed-side when they attended her. She died in 1623, after having 
made two most important depositions for St. Teresa's canonization. 
{CEuvres iii, 328.) 



have been taught you by God; may He be praised 
for all things! 

Your Paternity need give me no command on 
the subjed:; I take your opinion as such and shall 
conform to it. I really shall be glad to be freed 
from the burden, but I fear there is more love of 
money in some convents than I like. God grant 
they are not deceiving you more than me. I think 
that this has been the greatest grief of all to me, 
and as far as I know my own mind, I am resolved 
(whether you are near or even, I think, if you were 
far away,) to receive no postulant without consulting 
you, even if your Paternity is no longer Superior. 
It is impossible never to make mistakes: time alone 
will prove whether we were right, but if we are 
influenced by dowries, matters will be worse still. 

I enclose the information sent by the prioress. 
When I make many inquiries, I do so for the good 
of the convents and their affairs. I do not know 
how she could suggest such a thing; may God 
forgive her and give her light to judge better in 
future — but how I am excusing myself! The 
worst of it is that I am strongly tempted regarding 
the person I mentioned. 


Date uncertain, i^ll-^ 

Difficulty of finding postulants with all the required 

.... As I have often said, your Paternity must 
not suppose that postulants with money and the 
quaUties required are always to be found. I assure 
you that I have been obliged to make allowances 
on account of the small number of candidates, so 
that perhaps you may not find any nun who fulfils 
all the conditions . . . 

My Father imagines that I have rarely had to 
make such allowances in new foundations, but I 
have often done so. We cannot overcome these 
difficulties without suffering something. . . 

The ambition of these sisters astounds me. I 
allude to the prioress in your neighbourhood. As 
no doubt she does not understand her own motives, 
if she performs her duties well otherwise, you 
should overlook her defed:s and not discourage 
her. . . 

' These fragments are placed here because they seem to have some 
analogy with the preceding letter. In the Madrid edition of 177 1 
they are numbered 36, 37, 39. 



Probably written in 1577^ 

On the profession of novices. 

. . . We decree that the black veil is not to be 
given to novices w^ho cannot read or vv^rite, or who 
are not sixteen years old. 

After a year and three days, the novice asks all 
the assembled nuns three times, in the refed:ory 
or in the chapter room, to be admitted for her pro- 
fession. Her examination is to take place within a 
fortnight after giving notice to the examiners. After 
that period, if the examiners have not come, the 
examination shall not take place nor shall any one 
demand it, nor inquire as to the novice's will. 

It is not lawful for the bishop or his vicar to 
enter the enclosure for the examination: but he 
must come to the choir grille according to the 
decree of the above-mentioned Council of Trent. 

We absolutely forbid that the bishop or his 
vicar should ask any questions not included in that 
decree, or which do not relate to the examination. 
Therefore we desire that the young girls or novices 
should not be required to answer any questions 

' Fuente, vol. Ill, Escritos sueltos, xv. Fray Antonio de Jesus states 
that the original document, in the handwriting of Ines de Jesus, was 
kept in the convent of Medina where the tradition was that it had 
either been dictated or originally written by St. Teresa, being probably 
a regulation made by her and submitted to Fray Hernandez in order 
that he might give it binding force. The part referring to the exam- 
ination of novices is quoted word for word from the Bull given by 
St. Pius V, May 16, i 567 to the mendicant Orders. {Bullarium Roma' 
nutn, V. iv, p. 373. See (Euvres iv, 291,) The first part is missing. 



except as to whether they arc entering the convent 
of their own free will or no. 


Date uncertain. 1577 ?^ 

Prophecy of the triumph of the Reform over its enemies. 

.... I saw a violent tempest of trials. As the 
children of Israel were persecuted by the Egyptians, 
so shall we be persecuted, but God will enable us 
to pass through the sea dry-shod, and our oppo- 
nents will be swallowed up by its waves. . . . 

' Mother Mary of St. Joseph gives this revelation in her Ramillete 
de m'lrra when speaking of the troubles between the Calced and Dis- 
calced at this time. Ribera tells us that it was received by St. Teresa 
four years before the separation of provinces, which gives its approxi- 
mate date. (Book iv, ch. v.) 


Avila, January i6, 1578.^ 


Congratulations on his consecration. Persecutions of 
Father Gracian and the Discalced. Sufferings of the 
nuns of the Incarnation. Seizure of St. yohn of the 
Cross and Fray German. Diffculties in the way of 
founding more convents of Discalced nuns, especially 
in Portugal. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 

Most Illustrious Lordship. Amen. 

[RECEIVED a letter from your Lordship more 
than two months ago which I should much have 
liked to answer at once, but I waited as you asked 
me until I could announce some lull in the tempest 
of trials that have beset the Discalced friars and 
nuns since August. So far, things have grown 
worse every day, as I will relate. I only wish I 
could see you, for I cannot express in writing my 
joy at the news in your letter delivered to me by 
the Father Redior* this week, though I had learnt 
of it in greater detail more than three weeks before 
and have heard about it from another quarter since. 
How could your Lordship imagine that such a 

' Fuente 182. The Spanish is corrected from a copy of the first 
edition in the National Library, Madrid, as what was unfavourable to 
the Caked had been changed by former editors. 

' Father Gonzalo de Avila. 



thing could be kept secret?' May His Majesty 
grant that it may render Him honour and glory 
and that you may increase in sanctity, as I believe 
you will. You may feel confident that He will not 
refuse the earnest prayers of souls who seek His 
service alone in all their petitions. I, wicked though 
I am, pray for it continually, as your servants do 
in all these convents, in which I daily discover 
souls which put me to confusion. Our Lord seems 
constantly drawing them to us from such out of 
the way places that I do not know who can have 
told them of our Order. 

Then let your Lordship be very courageous and 
never let a doubt that God has ordained it pass 
through your mind, for I feel certain of it. Be con- 
vinced that His Majesty wishes you to carry out 
your desire of serving Him. You have long been 
inactive and our Lord stands in urgent need of some 
one who will uphold the right, for unless God raises 
up for us some protestor, we who are poor and of 
low degree can do little, however much we strive 
to aim at nothing but His service. Malice has so 
increased, and ambition and love of honours are 
so canonized by those who ought to tread them 
under foot, that even God Himself seems to seek 
help from His creatures, though He could avenge 
virtue without their aid. Since those He chose to 
succour it have failed Him, He calls on others 
whom He knows can help. 

Let your Lordship strive to carry this out, as 
I am convinced you will, for I trust that God will 

^ Don Teutonio had been consecrated Bishop of Evora in the pre- 
vious October. 


give you strength and health and grace to succeed 
in all ways. We nuns aid you by continual prayers : 
may the Master give you fellow workers with a 
love for souls to set your mind at ease. It is a great 
comfort to me that the Society (of Jesus) stands by 
you as it does ; this is the greatest boon in every way. 

I was delighted to hear of the success of the 
Marchioness of Elche: I felt very anxious and 
distressed about the matter until I heard it had 
ended satisfactorily. God be praised! When He 
sends such a multitude of trials at once. He gener- 
ally brings things right, for, knowing our weakness, 
and having our welfare at heart, He tempers our 
trials to our strength. This I believe will be the 
case with us, for had I not known for certain that 
our friars and nuns were striving to obey their 
Rule honestly and fully, I should have feared 
sometimes that our opponents would have succeeded 
in their aim which is to destroy this new-born 
Reform inaugurated by the most holy Virgin. The 
devil uses such artifices that God seems to have 
given him leave to wreak his malice. 

Such plots and efforts have been used to discredit 
us (especially Father Gracian and myself, for it is 
at us the blows are aimed) that I assure your 
Lordship that if you knew of the calumnies uttered 
against him and the memorials presented to the 
King, containing the gravest charges against him and 
the Discalced nuns, you would be astounded at its 
being possible to invent such malicious falsehoods."* 
I realize that we have gained much by it. These 
nuns are as recollected as though it did not affedt 

* See letter of December 4, i 577. 


them, and I am astonished at the perfection shown 
by Father Gracian. God holds a precious treasure 
in his soul, for he prays specially for his accusers 
and bears his trials as cheerfully as a St. Jerome. 
Having been Visitor of the convents for two years, 
he knows the nuns well and cannot endure their 
being slandered, for he thinks they are angels and 
calls them so. God was pleased that those who 
accused us should withdraw their statements. The 
other charges against Father Gracian* were exam- 
ined by order of the Royal Council, which brought 
the truth to light. Other calumnies have been 
retradled, making it clear that many at court are 
blinded against us by passion. Your Lordship may 
feel sure that the devil has been trying to prevent 
the good that is being done by our houses. 

I will not tell you all that has been done to those 
poor nuns of the Incarnation who, for their sins, 
eledled me as prioress. There was a tumult, and 
every one in the place is horrified at what the nuns 
suffered, and still suffer. I see no prosped: of its 
being over, so extreme is the rigour Father Tostado 
shows them. For over fifty days they have not 
heard Mass nor mav thev speak to any one even 
now. They were said to be excommunicated, but 
all the theologians of Avila contradid: it. The nuns 
were to be excommunicated if they eled:ed any 
one outside the convent, but were not told that 
this was said on my account. Thev believed that 

^ One of the accusations brought by the Calced Carmelites of Seville 
against Father Gracian was that he robbed them of 3000 ducats be- 
cause he had ordered them at his visitation to have all their books and 
property in common. A very clear explanation of Father Gracian's 
position is given in St, Teresa's letter of August 10 of this year. 


as I had been professed in it and had lived there 
for so many years I could return to it if I liked, my 
dowry being there and the Discalced not having 
a separate province. The Calced fathers confirmed 
in the office of prioress another nun with fewer 
votes. The Royal Council is considering the case 
of the nuns who are doing penance ; I do not know 
how the matter will end. 

I was deeply grieved at being the cause of such 
dissension and scandal in the city, and of trouble 
to so many souls, for more than fifty-five religious 
were excommunicated. My only consolation was 
that I had done all I could to prevent their eled:ing 
me. I assure your Lordship that one of the heaviest 
crosses I could have in this life would be to live 
in that convent, for during all the years I spent 
there I was never well for an hour. 

Sorry as I am for those souls, some of whom are 
very perfed: as is evident by the way in which they 
have borne their troubles, what has grieved me 
intensely is that, more than a month ago, by order 
of Father Tostado, those of the cloth seized the 
two Discalced friars who were confessors to the 
convent, who were excellent religious, and had 
edified the whole neighbourhood during the five 
years they have lived there, having kept the obser- 
vance of the community in the state I left it. One 
of them at least. Fray John of the Cross, is held as 
a saint by nuns and people, and I do not think they 
over-rate him : in my opinion he is a corner-stone. 
These two chaplains had been installed in their 
office by the Dominican Apostolic Visitor and the 


late Nuncio, and as they were subjects of the Visi- 
tor Gracian, people are shocked at the irregularity 
of the proceedings. I cannot tell how the matter 
will end. What grieves me is that the Calced have 
taken them both away, we do not know where, but 
I fear thev are being cruelly treated and I dread 
some catastrophe. The Royal Council is inquiring 
into a complaint made about this matter also. May 
God bring things right ! 

Will your Lordship excuse this long account. 
I am so glad that you should know the truth about 
events in case Father Tostado should visit your 
neighbourhood. The Nuncio*^ has shown him 
much favour since he arrived and forbade Father 
Gracian to make his visitation, though the latter 
does not cease to be Apostolic Commissary on that 
account as the Nuncio had not shown his powers, 
nor, he says, had he deprived Father Gracian of 
his office. However, Father Gracian went to Al- 
cala at once and is now suffering severely in a cave 
at Pastrana. As I said, he has made no further use 

* Philip Sega, Bishop of Plasencia and friend of St. Charles Borromeo, 
had been nominated as Nuncio in Spain before the death of Ormaneto. 
He was related to Cardinal Buoncampagni, uncle of the reigning Pope, 
Gregory xiii. and protector of the Carmelite Order and an opponent 
of the Reform. Before leaving Rome, Sega had been strongly prejudiced 
by Buoncampagni and the Calced against the Discalced. Unfortunately 
he did not examine the claims of the latter before taking action against 
them. However, he did them justice later on and petitioned for the 
separation of provinces. He was afterwards Nuncio in Portugal and 
Germany and Legate in France and was made Cardinal by Innocent ix. 
He died in Rome in i 596. He seems to have been a one-sided judge 
and to have condemned Owen Lewis, Bishop of Cassano and one of 
the founders of Douai College, harshly and rashly when commissioned 
to draw up a report of the troubles of the English College. {Ormaneto, 
p. 95. Found. Introd. xlv. ch. xxviii, note 5) 


of his commission but has remained there. Every- 
thing is in a state* of suspension. He and all of us 
are most anxious that he should not continue his 
visitation, as it would be very bad for us unless we 
are made a separate province by God's permission. 
If we are not, I cannot think what will become 
of us. When Father Gracian went to Alcala, he 
wrote to me saying that, should Father Tostado 
make a visitation there, he was determined to obey 
him and that all we nuns were to do the same. 
Father Tostado has been neither there nor here. 
I believe God has prevented him, for, considering 
what ill-will he has shown since, I think he would 
have done us immense harm. Those of the cloth 
declare that it is he who does everything and that 
he is arranging about making a visitation, which 
would be fatal to us. In fad:, he is the sole cause 
of all these troubles. It has been a relief to tell 
you the whole history though your Lordship may 
find it rather tiring to read, for you are under great 
obligations to favour this Order; besides, you will 
know the obstacles to our going to your part of the 
country. There is another difficulty which I must 

I cannot cease to endeavour in every possible way 
to prevent the destruction of the good beginning 
we have made, nor does any theologian who hears 
my confessions advise me otherwise. Consequently 
those fathers are very angry with me and informed 
our Father General, so that when the General 
Chapter he had summoned met, the Calced fathers 
decided and our Father General ordained that no 

Vol. III. 4 


Discalced nun (especially myself) should go out 
of her convent under pain of excommunication. 
I might choose which house I liked to live in. 
Obviously, this was done to prevent any further 
foundations of nuns. It is grievous that a multitude 
of candidates are clamouring to enter our convents, 
but as we have so few houses and may found no 
more they cannot be received. 

Though the former Nuncio ordered me not to 
cease making foundations, and I hold extensive 
patents from the Apostolic Visitor, I am firmly 
resolved to found no more convents except by 
command of our Father General or the Pope, for 
as I am not to blame, God is showing me mercy 
by it as I was worn out. But if I could render 
service to your Lordship, it would not tire me, for 
it is hard to think I shall see you no more ; if I 
were told to make the foundation, it would com- 
fort me greatly. 

But, setting aside the decision of the General 
Chapter, as the patents granted me by our Father 
General only applied to the kingdom of Castile, I 
should require a new mandate. I feel certain that 
our Father General would not grant one at present. 
It would be easy to obtain it from the Pope, especi- 
ally if he were shown a testimonial drawn up by 
order of Father Gracian, explaining our customs, 
our life, and the good done to others wherever our 
communities go. Competent judges say that it 
would suffice for the nuns' canonization. I have 
not read it because I am afraid its praises of me 
are exaggerated. 


I should be extremely glad, if your foundation is 
to be made, that the matter should be settled with 
the Father General and he should be petitioned to 
allow further foundations in Spain, for there are 
nuns who could make them without my leaving my 
convent. I mean that, when the house was ready, 
they would be sent to it, for souls are being de- 
prived of great benefits. If your Lordship could 
arrange it with the Proteftor of our Order, (who 
they say is the Pope's nephew), he could settle 
affairs with our Father General. I feel sure you 
would be rendering eminent service to our Lord 
and a great favour to our Order. 

As I wish your Lordship to understand the case 
thoroughly, I must mention another difficulty. 
Father Tostado is instituted Vicar General of Por- 
tugal, and it would be a hard fate, especially for me, 
to fall into his hands. I believe he would oppose 
our proje(ft with all his strength. As far as we can 
see at present, he will not be Vicar General in 
Castile, for he exercised that office there, especially 
in the case of the Incarnation, without having 
shown his powers, which gave a most unfavourable 
impression. He was constrained by a royal mandate 
to deliver his powers to the Royal Council, having 
already received a notification to that effed: last 
summer. His credentials have not been returned 
to him nor do I think they will be. 

We have letters from the Apostolic Visitors for- 
bidding any one who is not Discalced and has no 
order from our Father General, to visit convents; 
but we have no such guarantee in Portugal and if 
we were subject to those of the cloth, perfediion 


would soon collapse. The Mitigated had already 
begun to do us much harm in Spain before the 
Apostolic Visitors came. 

Your Lordship will know how all these obstacles 
can be overcome and there will be no want of good 
nuns to serve you, besides Father Julian de Avila 
who seems on the point of starting, and who kisses 
your hands. He is delighted at your good news, 
which he knew before I told him, and convinced 
that you will gain much merit in our Lord's sight 
by your office. Maria de San Jeronimo, formerly 
Subprioress of this house, kisses your Lordship's 
hands and says she will gladly go to Portugal to 
help you if our Lord ordains it. May His Majesty 
dired: all things for His glory and proted: your 
Lordship and increase your love for Him! 

No wonder that you cannot be as recolledted as 
you wish among your new duties. Our Lord will 
repay you double, as He does those who have for- 
saken self for His service, though I hope your 
Lordship will reserve some time for yourself, as 
all our welfare depends on that. 

St. Joseph's Convent, Avila, January i6. 

For love of our Lord, I entreat you not to tor- 
ment me by addressing me by such titles.^ 

The unworthy servant and subje6t of your 

Teresa de Jesus. 

' St. Teresa alludes to such titles as ' Reverend ', ' Very Reverend,' etc. 


Avila, February lo, 1578^ 


The Saint assures him that she had no part in Father 
Salazars projeSi of leaving the Society and joining 
the Discalced Carmelites. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit ever be with 

your Paternity. Amen. 

A LETTER from your Paternity 'delivered to 
me by the Father Red:or certainly surprised 
me very much, as it states that I have negotiated 
about Father Caspar de Salazar's* leaving the 
Society of Jesus to enter our Order of Mount 
Carmel because our Lord had revealed that He 
wished it. As for the first point. His Majesty knows, 
as you will find to be the truth, that I never wanted 
it, much less tried to bring it about. When first I 

' Fuente 183, vol. Ill, No. 20, first edition. P. Gregoire saw the 
original letter at Salamanca. Only the first line is in the Saint's own 

" Gaspar de Salazar entered the Society of Jesus while a young man. 
In I 560 he was made rector of the college of San Gil, Avila, where he 
became St. Teresa's confessor. {Life, ch. xxii-xxv.) He was successively 
rector at Madrid, Marchena, Cuen9a, Belmonte, and the professed 
house at Toledo. He died in 1593, still a member of the Society. 
St. Teresa speaks of the great graces he received in prayer and the 
warnings she was to give him of persecutions he would suffer. {Life, 
ch. xxviii, 3.) She sometimes regretted, later on, that she had dis- 
couraged his joining the Discalced. Father Salazar told Father Enrique 
that before the Saint died she appeared to him and advised him about 
his affairs. St. Teresa owned to Father Enrique that she had done so. 




learnt of the projed:, (which was not by your letter), 
my anxiety and grief increased the bad health from 
which I was suffering. I heard of it so recently that 
I think your Paternity must have known of it long 

As for the revelation you mention, as Father 
Salazar has not written to me and I knew nothing 
of his determination, I cannot tell whether he had 
any revelation. If I myself had had the * false re- 
velation' of which your Paternity speaks, I am not 
so rash as to wish him to make such an important 
change on that account nor to tell him of it, for, 
glory be to God, I have learnt from many people 
what value and credit to attach to such things. Nor 
do I believe that Father Salazar would be influenced 
by a revelation unless there were some other motive 
for ad:ion, as he is very shrewd. 

Your Paternity says the matter is to be investi- 
gated by the Superiors; this would be most prudent: 
you have only to order it. No doubt the Father 
will do nothing without your permission since you 
have spoken to him: at least, so I believe. I will 
never deny our great friendship for one another 
and the kindness he has shown me, though I am 
certain that in what he has done for me, he has 
been instigated more by a wish to serve our Lord 
and His blessed Mother than by friendliness to 
any one. 

Indeed, I believe that sometimes we have not 
written to one another for two years. Our friend- 
ship dates from long ago when the Father found 
me in far more need ot his aid as there were only 
two Discalced friars in our Order. He could have 


made this change more easily then than now, 
when, glory be to God, I believe there are more 
than two hundred friars, numbers of whom are 
capable of dirediing us in our humble mode of life. 
Never have I thought that the arm of God would 
be more shortened as regards His Mother's Order 
than it would be to others. 

As for your Paternity's alleging that I wrote to 
people to spread the report that you were opposing 
Father Salazar's projed:; may God never write me 
in the book of life if such an idea ever passed 
through my mind! Excuse this expression which 
I think will make you realize that I behave towards 
the Society as one who has its interests at heart 
and who would lay down her life for them, if it 
would serve our Lord. 

The divine secrets are profound, and since I have 
taken no greater part in this affair than I have 
owned to you, of which God is witness, neither 
do I wish to interfere with it in future. Should 
the fault be laid on me, it will not be the first time 
I have been blamed when innocent, but experience 
has taught me that, when our Lord is pleased. He 
smoothes the way. I cannot believe that even for 
grave reasons, and much less for one so slight as 
this. His Majesty would allow His Society to op- 
pose His Mother's Order, which it has helped, by 
His decree, to reform and renovate. Should He 
permit such a thing, I fear that what is reckoned 
as gain in one way will be a loss in others. 

We are all vassals of this King: God grant that 
the servants of His Son and of His Mother may, 
like valiant soldiers, only watch the flag of our King 


so that we may follow His will. If we Carmelites do 
this sincerely, it is clear that those who bear the 
name of Jesus cannot draw apart from us as they 
so often threaten me they will. May God spare 
your Paternity to us for many years. 

I know what kindness you have always shown 
us, and miserable creature as I am, I often pray for 
you as I beg you will for me. For the last six months 
trials and persecutions have never ceased to rain 
upon this poor old woman, and she does not reckon 
this matter as the least of them. And now, I give 
you my word that I will never advise Father Sa- 
lazar to take this step, nor ask any one else to, nor 
have I ever done so in the past. 
To-day is February lo. 

Your Paternity's unworthy servant and subjecfl, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

The following notes from Father Suarez and Father Gonzalo Davila 
are required to explain what follows. 

Note from Father Suarez to the Re5lor of the Society at 
Avila^ to be forwarded to the Mother Teresa de Jesus. 

If it shall come to my knowledge that a religious of an- 
other Order wisjies to enter the Society in this province, 
which contains twenty-six colleges and houses, and if I 
judge that it is not expedient to receive him, I will, with 
the help of our Lord, within twenty-four hours despatch 
notices forbidding his admission to the superiors of all 
the houses and colleges in all parts who have faculties to 
admit him. Most of these superiors shall receive these 
notices within eight days: all of them shall do so within 
a fortnight. 


Therefore, if the Mother Teresa judges that Father 
Salazar should not be received into her Order, let her 
write a letter stating so plainly to the head of her Order, 
who is to communicate its contents to the rest of the 
superiors. Or, let her write to the superior of each house 
to that effect, so that all may be cognisant of it within 
a fortnight, for the Mother Teresa and Mother Prioress 
of Avila have known of the matter for a longer period 
than that. This, with the help of God, will be effectual. 


Answer to Letter CCXII from Father Gonzalo Davilay 
Rector of the Society of Jesus^ Avila^ enclosing the former 
letter to St. Teresa. 

Jesus be with your Reverence. 
I RECEIVED a letter from the Father Provincial yesterday 
in which he says he is sorry to learn that you were pained 
by his letter and begs you to read it again, when your 
present feelings have subsided : you will then see that 
a better interpretation can be put upon it and you can 
take it in a kindlier way. He states that you may write to 
Father Salazar and the superior or superiors of your 
Order, telling them that he may be received, or refused 
if there are valid reasons for it. Also that, as Father 
Provincial, he is satisfied with having done his duty by 
advising the parties concerned that he is aware of the 
matter, so that, should the change be made and people 
found fault with them, the blame might not fall on him 
for having known of it and said nothing. Father Suarez 
begs you, for love of our Lord, to remember him in 
your holy prayers. He says that, God willing, he will 
soon be in Avila and will then consult you as to whether 
any more steps are to be taken. 

These are the words of our Father Provincial, who 
sent me the enclosed paper for you. For my own part, 
I entreat you, for love of our Lord, to carry out his 


request with exactitude and to write energetically to the 
same effect to Father Salazar, as the Father Provincial asks 
you, for as I remarked this very day, I fear the letter you 
have already sent him may not be strong enough. Do 
not hesitate to tell Father Salazar and the Discalced 
Superiors that the former is not to enter your Order, 
nor is he to be received without express permission either 
from the Holy Father or from his own General. Of this 
I am sure, that you will thus not only not offend our 
Lord but will please Him greatly. 

Will your Reverence return the enclosed paper to me 
and tell me what you think of doing, as, in my opinion, 
it will be of no small consequence to you that you should 
have the charity to accede to our wishes. 

Your letters have been given into the hands of Brother 
Bartolome Sicilia. 


Avila, about February 12, 1578 ^ 


St. Teresa discusses the letter from Father Suarez^ 
S.y. about Father Salazar. 

May the Holy Ghost be with your Paternity. 

I HAVE read the Father Provincial's letter again 
more than twice, each time having found in it 
such a want of regard for me and so strong a 
convid:ion that I have done a thing which never 
crossed my mind, that his Paternity cannot be 
surprised at my feeling pained. This is of little 

' Fuente 18^, Vol. iv, no. 16 of first edition of the Letters. 


consequence, for were I not so imperfed: I should 
be pleased if he mortified me, which as I am his 
subjed: he has the right to do. 

Since Father Salazar too is his subje(5t, it seems 
to me that it would be better that Father Provincial 
should himself stop his projed: than that I should. 
Why should I write to religious who are not my 
subjeds, as you suggest, for that is their superior's 
duty and they would be right in paying little atten- 
tion to my words ? In fad, I can see no other course 
to take, nor do I know what are the truths you wish 
me to tell Father Salazar; for short of declaring that 
it has been revealed to me from heaven that he is 
not to enter our Order, I know of nothing more 
that I can add. 

But as I said to your Reverence, there is no 
reason why I should tell every one what I think, 
which would greatly injure one to whom I owe 
staunch friendship, especially as I am certain from 
what he said and what I know of him, that he will 
take no step without the knowledge of the Father 
Provincial, and if he does not speak or write to his 
Paternity, it means that he will not carry out his 
projed. If the Father Provincial can stop it by 
refusing his permission, I should be affronting a 
man of Father Salazar's position and religion by 
aspersing his charader in all our priories, (even 
supposing the friars paid any attention to my re- 
quest) for it would be a gross aspersion to say that 
he wanted to do what would undoubtedly offend 

I have spoken to you with perfed sincerity and 
I beheve 1 have done all that is required by self- 


respe(fl and Christianity. God knows my words are 
true; were I to do more, I should be a(fting against 
both the one and the other. 

As I have told your Reverence, when I have 
done what I believe to be my duty, God gives me 
courage to bear, with His help, whatever painful 
consequences may devolve on me.* At least I 
cannot complain that I was not forewarned about 
them, nor have I omitted doing all I could. Per- 
haps your Reverence may be more to blame for 
your request than I am for not complying with it. 

I am also certain that, should the result be 
contrary to your wishes, I shall be censured as 
though I had done nothing to hinder it and that 
our having discussed the matter will bring about 
the fulfilment of the warnings given me. If this 
means trials for me, let them come and welcome ! 
My offences against the divine Majesty deserve 
worse punishment than could be inflidied — yet I do 
not think I deserved that it should be infli6ted by 
the Society, even had I taken any part in this affair, 
which neither helps nor hinders your interests. 
Your foundations are laid too deep. God grant that 
my foundation may be that of never flinching from 
doing His will; and may He always give your 
Reverence light to adt in the same way. It would 
be a great comfort and joy to me if we saw things 
in the same light. 

I should be much relieved, if the Father Pro- 
vincial came here, for it is a long while since God 
granted me the pleasure of meeting him. 

* This apparently refers to the last paragraph of Father Gonzalo'$ 
letter given above. 


The unworthy servant and daughter of your Rever- 

Teresa de Jesus 


Avila, February 16, 1578^ 


St. Teresa s arm broken by the devil. Affair of Father 
Salazar. A postulant for Seville. 


MAY the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 
Paternity, my Father, and give you strength 
this Lent for the work which I know that you have 
before you ! I am wondering whether you will have 
to travel from place to place. For the love of God, 
take care you meet with no falls on those bad 
roads, for I feel more anxious about it since my 
own arm was broken ^ The arm and hand are still 
swollen and my arm is in a bandage like a coat of 
mail, so that I can hardly use it. 

There is a hard frost here ; there has been none 
since the beginning of winter : but, the weather is so 
fine that one feels the cold here much less than at 
Toledo — at least I find it so. Perhaps it is because, 
as your Paternity ordered, a door has been opened 

' Fuente 185. Most of the original letter is in the convent of 
Santa Ana, Madrid. 

^ On Christmas eve the devil threw St. Teresa down a flight of stairs 
and broke her left arm. On rising, she exclaimed: *God help me! he 
tried to kill me!' An interior voice replied: 'He did, but I was with 
thee.' For the rest of her life she was unable to dress and undress herself. 


into the ante-chamber near the infirmary, making 
our cell as warm as a stove. In fa6l I have got on 
extremelv well in this house as regards the cold. 
Your Paternitv's orders always succeed — God grant 
I may succeed as well in obeying them! 

I should like to know whether the health of 
Fray Antonio de Jesus still improves and what has 
become of Fray Mariano' who has so completely 
forgotten me. Will you remember me kindly to 
Fray Bartolome. 

I enclose a letter written to me by the Provincial 
of the Society about Carillo's'^ affair, which dis- 
gusted me so much that I should have liked to 
answer more forcibly than I did, for I knew he 
had been informed that I had no share in the 
matter, which is the truth. In fa(fl, as I told your 
Paternitv, I was very sorry when V heard of the 
proje(5l and extremely anxious that it should not 
be carried out. I wrote the most emphatic letter 
possible to Father Gaspar de Salazar, like the 
answer I enclose to the Provincial, in which I 
make my statement on oath, as I thought that 
otherwise the fathers would not believe me in their 
present frame of mind. It is most important that 
they should trust my word about the 'false reve- 
lations,' of which he speaks and should not suppose 
that I used them to influence Father Salazar, which 
would be a gross falsehood. 

But I assure your Paternitv that I fear their 
threats so little, that I am astonished at the liberty 

^ Father Mariano was in safe shelter with some influential friend at 
Madrid. He was a great favourite of the king. 
* Carillo was Father Caspar de Salazar. 


of spirit God has given me. I told the Father 
Rector that when I was convinced that anything 
would render God service, the whole Society or 
the whole world could not stop my carrying it out, 
but that I had done nothing to forward, nor would 
I stop his projedl. He asked me at least to write 
to Father Salazar, repeating as I have said in the 
enclosed letter that he could not carry out his plan 
without incurring excommunication. I asked: *Is 
he acquainted with the Briefs?' He replied: * Better 
than I am.' I said: *Then I am certain he would 
not knowingly offend God.' The Father Redior 
answered: * Perhaps his strong affecflion might 
deceive and mislead him.' So I sent Father Sala- 
zar a letter by the messenger who takes this. 

How silly it is, my Father, for I knew from cer- 
tain indications that the fathers had seen my letter 
to him, though I did not tell the Father Re(5lor 
so. I warned Father Salazar in it not to trust his 
brethren, for Joseph, too, had brothers. I know the 
fathers will read it as it must have been his own 
friends who revealed his plan. I am not surprised, 
as they take it overmuch to heart; they must dread 
his setting an example, 

I asked the Father Reftor whether any Jesuits 
had become Discalced. He answered 'Yes: Dis- 
calced Franciscans; but they had first been turned 
out of the Society and were then given permission 
to become friars.'* I said that this might be done 

^ Several young Jesuits who wished for the contemplative life had 
joined some of the older Orders. Father Barci, S.J., wrote to the 
Propositor General in 157+ : 'The Certosa of Valencia eats into our 
Society like a moth ; unless stopped, it will ruin us. Five students have 
gone there from this college in the last few years.' 


now. But the fathers are not willing, nor am I will- 
ing to tell Father Salazar that he ought not to take 
the step. I will merely state the case, as I have done 
in this letter, and leave it to God. If it is His work, 
the fathers will consent; otherwise, (as I say to 
Father Salazar) I have consulted others on the sub- 
jed, and he certainly ought not to take the step. 
Lawyers who hold the contrary opinion must be 
reiving on the common law, like the other lawyer 
who persuaded me, at the foundation of Pastrana, 
that I could receive an Augustinian nun, in which 
he was mistaken. As for the Pope's giving permis- 
sion, I do not believe he will, for the doors will be 

Will your Paternity make inquiries and let 
Father Salazar know the result, for I should be 
deeply pained if he offended God, which I am sure 
he would not do deliberately. 

I feel very anxious, for if he remains where he 
is, he will lose credit from the fathers' knowing of 
his wish to join another Order, yet he cannot carry 
out his projed: unless it can be done lawfully, and 
I always keep in mind what we owe the Society 
— though as for their harming us, I do not believe 
God would allow it. To refuse to receive Father 
Salazar if we could, out of fear of them, would be 
to wrong him and would ill requite his kindness. 
May God dired: the matter; He will guide the 
father, who I am afraid may have been too much 
influenced by revelations during prayer, for they 
say he gives over much credit to them. I have often 
told him so, but with no avail. 


It troubles me to think that the nuns of Veas 
must have had something to do with the plan, as 
Catalina de Jesus was extremely anxious he should 
join us. The great thing is that Father Salazar 
certainly serves God faithfully, and if he is mis- 
taken, believes that he is obeying the divine will. 
His Majesty will watch over him. But he has got 
us into difficulties, and unless I had learnt what I 
told you from Joseph,^ I think I should have done 
all in my power to stop the projed:. But though 
I do not trust in revelations as this father does, I 
am most unwilling to oppose him. How do I 
know that I should not deprive his soul of some 
great good? for, believe me, it has never seemed to 
me that he had the spirit of the Society. 

While this matter was being discussed, Ardapilla 
wrote, suggesting that I should tell the ravens to 
apply to Joannes, asking him to send some one to 
Avila to examine the case. I should be extremely 
glad if I had nothing to do with it, but as many 
objedlions occurred to me, I excused myself as best 
I could. I know that he suggests it to help us but 
really there is no help for the present state of things 
except to go to the root of the matter, unless Paul 
takes it into his own hands. May God take charge 
of it as I wish He would ! I heartily regret that I 
am the stumbling-block for all the rest, and as I 

* 'Joseph' stands for our Lord and 'Ardapilla' and 'Joannes' allude 
to the Licentiate Padilla. 

Juan de la Miseria says in his autobiography that eight Jesuits wished 
to join the Reform when the college was founded at Alcala but Father 
Gracian refused them admittance on account of the objections of their 

Vol. in. 5 


have sometimes said, much the best remedy might 
be to throw me into the sea like Jonas, to calm the 
tempest which perhaps is raised by my sins. 

The Prioress of Seville writes asking me to 
obtain your permission to admit another sister of 
Blanca, the Portuguese, who has not reached the 
canonical age:^ indeed, she must be much younger. 
It would be well to receive her to pay the rent of 
the house, for I cannot remember how much they 
owe. If, when Blanca's parents pay her dowry, 
they would lend the convent the amount they 
would give later on to their other daughter (if she 
enters), or if they would pay the rent in exchange 
for her board and lodging, it would not be a bad 
plan. The sisters are never tired of telling how 
much they are indebted to this Portuguese. Your 
Paternity must think it over and do what seems 
best to you. 

If I write to you, I never know when to leave 
off. My brother always asks me to send you his 
kind remembrances: will you accept them now, 
once for all, from him and from all the sisters. May 
our Lord proted: your Paternity and bring you 
here soon, for you are urgently needed on my ac- 
count and for other reasons. I do not deny that 
there may be one of which you are unaware. Dona 
Guiomar is ill; she comes here rarely, as her com- 
plaint has quite incapacitated her. 

Will your Paternity send the enclosed letter 
immediately to Father Salazar, by means of the 
Prior of Granada who is to deliver it with the 

' Dofia Francisca Freyle. 


greatest secrecy. Be sure to insist upon that.' I 
dread any Fathers of the Society writing again either 
to me or to the sisters here, for they are exceedingly 
plain-spoken. Or you might send the message via 
Madrid, asking Roque to take special care of it, 
paying the porterage well. If he entrusts it to the 
same muleteer, it is sure to arrive safely. On no 
account negle(5t this, my Father, for it ought to 
be sent to Father Salazar to prevent his taking any 
steps in the matter if he has not already done so. I 
think it would be well if your Paternity put off 
giving him the licence ; it would be best for him. 
May God give you what is best for you, my Father, 
as I desire. 

To-day is the first Sunday in Lent. 

The letter from the Father Provincial and its 
answer may prove useful to us some day. If you 
think so, do not tear them up. 

Your Paternity's unworthy servant and daughter, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

'^ Father Gracian did not forward St. Teresa's letter to Father Salazar, 
as appears from her letter of May 22 of this year. 


Avila, March 2, 1578 ^ 


Father Gracian s prayer. Father Salazar. The jour- 
ney to Rome. 


May the Holy Spirit be with your Paternity, my 


1HAVE received two letters from you; one dated 
the Carratolendas^'^ the other enclosing one for 
the sisters about the good Shepherd. God grant 
our offerings to Him may be what you wish, but 
I believe He will give far more than we shall. 
The little manuscript, too, is good. I do not know 
why Paul says he understands nothing of (divine) 
union : what he writes about the obscure light and 
impetus proves the contrary; but as it passes 
quickly and is rare, it is not thoroughly realized. 
I feel very envious of the souls you are to help 
and sorry that I am here, doing nothing but eat, 
sleep, and discuss those fathers, our brethren, who 
always give us something to talk about as the 
enclosed paper will show. I have told Sister Cata- 
lina to describe what is happening, to save myself 
fatigue, as it is late and Master Daza will preach 
us a sermon this evening (a good one ! ) The 

' Fuei.te 186. The original belongs to the Discalced Carmelite 
convent, Seville. 

" From Carries tollendas — deprivation of meat — the popular name 
for Shrove-Tuesday. 



Dominicans are extremely kind; they preach once 
and the Society twice a week to us. 

I remember your Paternity's sermons perfed:ly 

I do not know what tempts you to travel from 
place to place to preach, for I am really grieved at 
the slander spoken against you. God proted: you, 
my Father, but these are dangerous times and it is 
very rash to move about when there are souls to 
be cared for everywhere. God grant that what 
seems zeal may not be some temptation which will 
cost us dear. A cat^ sufficed in that place (I believe 
there were Dominicans and Franciscans as well) 
though I cannot imagine that blessed ni2in?>[bendito) 
preaching well. Remember me kindly to him and 
let me know whether the people go to hear his 
sermons — But what curiosity! — Do not tell me, 
but tear up this letter lest, for my sins, he comes 
across it. 

So you eat in the hospital ! Those nasty cod pies! 
How we laughed at them! But what they tell me 
about your Paternity makes me wish you were not 
so rash. Carillo ^ may well say I am a coward. 
He has answered the first letter I wrote him telling 
him it was the devil's plot and a great many other 
things. He said I made him laugh, and changed 
his opinion neither much nor little, and that I am 
like a rat afraid of the cats. He declared he had 

^ St. Teresa had written : *■ basta el Padre Casiano, Father Castano 
would suffice,' but crossed it out and substituted *■ bastaba el gato? 
Father Gracian had retired to Alcala while the question of the Nuncio's 
power to deprive him of his office was being decided at Rome. He 
now insisted on travelling about to preach Lenten sermons. 

* Carillo is Father Salazar. 


held the Blessed Sacrament in his hands while 
swearing to carry out his intention, which the 
whole world could not force him to relinquish. I 
assure you I am terrified, for his brethren declare 
that he, and whoever gave him the habit, would 
be excommunicated. He states that he has his 
Provincial's permission and a letter from your 
Paternity, and that though you have a man's 
misgivings, you write like an angel. He is right, 
for your letter is angelic. It is hard that the Jesuits 
should ask us not to recive him; it must be because 
they believe it is not feasible. They are so energetic 
that they have probably written to your Paternity 
already, asking you to give notice to the priories. 
They urged it on me so persistently that I told 
them I had referred the matter to you. 

Certainly if the thing is to be done and is lawful, 
as this father declares, it would be far better to 
have it over than to make such a disturbance by 
warning the friars. I do not know what you are 
to do, for if it is lawful, it seems to me against one's 
conscience not to admit Father Salazar. From 
what he says, I believe no one will prevent him, 
so it would be better to defer writing to the priories 
if you have not written. May God diredl the matter, 
for the more the Society opposes it, the more it 
seems to me that it would give God glory and the 
devil is trying to stop it. The fathers must be afraid 
that Father Salazar will not be the only one to leave 
them; but they are so numerous that it would make 
little difference to them, even if those you mention 
joined our Order. 


Regarding Paul's scruples as to whether he may 
use his power or not/ he seems to have been suff- 
ering from melancholia when he felt them and 
wrote to me on the subjed:. As it is evident from 
the reasons he gives, I made no further enquiries, 
for, according to Ardapilla, these doubts will be 
short-lived, as the memorial from the Archangel has 
been presented by Gilbert, and he is expefted from 
day to day. 

I have shared the terrors of Elias ^ at your absence ; 
there is everything to fear for people who go 
through those narrow lanes. May the Lord deliver 
Paul from those who are so blinded that I should 
not be astonished at anything they did. I am more 
astonished at him who does not dread them, but 
travels about without real necessity. 

To return to what I was saying. I wrote to 
Paul long ago telling him that an extremely learned 
Dominican theologian, to whom I related what 
had passed with Mathusalem^ told me (I believe) 
that the latter had no power unless he showed on 
what authority he adied; so we need discuss that 
question no more. 

I should have liked to send your Paternity the 
letter from the Prioress of Valladolid, describing 
the disturbances about Carillo's affair. She declares 
that the fathers of the Society are perfe(5tly satisfied 
with me and the Discalced; she suggests that 
theirs were empty threats. What preoccupies my 

' Paul stands for Father Gracian; Ardapilla for the Licentiate Padilla; 
the Archangel for Gaspar de Quiroga, and Gilbert for the Nuncio Sega. 
^ Father Elias de San Martin, rector of Alcala. 
' The Nuncio Sega, 


mind and causes me misgivings, which I wish your 
Paternity to examine and state very clearly, is 
whether Father Salazar can do as he wishes with- 
out offending God or incurring excommunication. 
If what his brethren say is true, your Paternity 
cannot possibly receive him. If the Count de 
Tendilla goes to Rome, or even if he does not go 
there but only presents his petition, I believe that 
permission will certainly be granted. 

I was delighted to hear the good news that the 
Count was going to Rome, as the friars can accom- 
pany him. May God direcft the matter and prote6l 
your Paternity for me. I do not know whether I 
have answered all your questions for want of time 
— but what a long letter considering I have no 
time! The nuns beg your prayers and are much 
pleased with the offices you gave them. I have not 
seen Dona Yomar, who rarely comes here, being 
in bad health. 

To-day is March 2. 

Your Paternity's unworthy and true daughter — 
and what a true daughter! How little I feel that 
for some of the other fathers ! 

Teresa de Jesus. 

I am extremely sorry that Father Mariano is so 
delicate; make him eat well and on no account ar- 
range about his going to Rome until he is stronger, 
for his health is most important. Oh, how long 
your Paternity's sister delays coming,* and how we 
want her! They tell me my Isabelita^ is very well. 

"■ She took the habit at V'alladolid two months later, under the name 
of Maria de San Jose. 

'" i'aUicr Gracian's little sister, then at Toledo. 


Avila, March 9, 1578^ 

Trials of the Carmelites of the Incarnation. 

Jesus be ever with you. Amen. 

IT will be a week next Monday since I sent you 
a letter by a waggoner of Avila, telling you of 
the proceedings of the Provincial Magdaleno/ and 
enclosing copies of the chancellor's letters and the 
notification made to him. 1 do not know whether 
you have received them, and should be glad if you 
would tell me, as I feel anxious. The enclosed 
papers will show you what has occurred since. I 
am extremely sorry for these nuns: in fadt, I do 
not know what to think, except that God must love 
them very deeply since He sends them so many 
heavy trials. 

For the whole ten days that the Provincial and 
Valdemoro have been at the Incarnation, they have 
done nothing but persuade and threaten them, 
bringing people to tell them what they will sufi^er 
unless they obey and vote differently and annul 
the petition they signed to the Council. 

The Provincial is in a great hurry, now he has 
got what he wanted, to go to court; it is supposed 
that he wishes to present the nuns' signatures to the 
Royal Council. I implore you, for charity's sake, 
to take means to make the truth known, and that 

' Fuente 187. The autograph is at the Carmelite priory, Madrid. 
^ Fray Juan de la Magdalena, whom St. Teresa often calls by this name. 



force has been used: it would he doing a great ser- 
vice to those poor nuns. Do not allow the Council 
to believe that those fathers' information is true; 
it has all been a case of tyranny. If Senor Padilla 
can read these papers, show them to him.' 

Father Magdaleno has declared positively that 
he has a royal mandate to seize your person if you 
are found in Avila, and that he was two leagues 
from Madrid when they called him back to give 
him the order. He adds that Tostado has full 
powers over both Calced and Discalced and that 
he has sent Fray John of the Cross to Rome.* 
May God, for His Name's sake, deliver the father 
from his hands, and may He bestow on you His 
holy grace. 

March 9. 

Your honour's unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

For love of God, I entreat you to make known 
at once to the members of the Council what force 
has been used with the nuns. It would be a great 
boon for all of us, and no one pities these martyrs. 

It is three days since this was written, and the 
Provincial is still tormenting the sisters. 

^ Roque dc la Huerta, as secretary to the Royal Council, was able 
to render great service to the Reform. The Licentiate Padilla had 
much influence with the king who had appointed him to reform 
several religious houses. 

* St. John of the Cross had remained at the Priory of the Calced at 
Toledo all the time. 


Avila, March ii, 1578.^ 


Troubles of the Reform and the nuns of the Incarna- 
tion. A postulant. 

JESUS be with my Father and deUver him from 
those Egyptians,* for I assure yuu that I am 
horrified at what they have done to those poor 
nuns. I have tried to persuade the sisters to obey, as 
great scandal is being given, and people here 
(especially the Dominicans) think that I am right. 
I suspect that the Mitigated are banding together 
to destroy the Retorm and I am weary of their 
outcries. In tad:, the nuns have suffered for a long 
time, and unless I had sent telling them that I 
thought it would not prejudice the justice of their 
claim, I do not think they would submit. 

Their cause has made little progress since the 
Discalced fathers left them. It is true that I wrote 
to Roque and Padilla saying that if the Discalced 
confessors' affair was not cleared up, and the Calced 
remained as Visitors, there was no need for haste 
on the part of the Royal Council^ for it appeared 
useless for me to go there as prioress, even if the 
nuns gained their suit. Yet I should seem to be 
treating them very badly if I did not go there, but 

' Fuente 188, vol. v. no. 14, 1st edition of the Letters. 

' The Mitigated friars. 

^ The nuns of the Incarnation had appealed to the Royal Council 
against the setting aside of St. Teresa's election, but as their two Dis- 
calced confessors could not plead their cause, Ana de Toledo, the choice 
of the Calced, was established as prioress. 



forsook them after all they have endured. On the 
whole, I think I shall not refuse especially as, though 
it seems useless, the Master must succour these souls 
in some way. I compassionate them deeply, for as 
you will see by the enclosed papers, they are being 
afflid:ed. Be kind enough to forward the Mss. to 
Fray German,'^ so that he may pray for the sisters. 
It is well that he has left his prison. 

But I am much distressed about Fray John, lest 
they should bring some fresh charge against him. 
God treats His friends terribly: though, to tell the 
truth He does them no wrong, for He served His 
Son in the same way. 

Will your Paternity read this letter, which was 
brought me by a gentleman from Ciudad-Rodrigo, 
who came here expressly to arrange about this 
postulant. He says much in her favour; if it is the 
fadt, she will be an acquisition. She would bring 
four hundred and fifty ducats and a good trousseau. 
The community at Alba are asking me for a novice. 
The girl wants to go to Salamanca, but she would 
enter at Alba, though the former needs her most 
on account of the state of the house. She could 
be received at whichever convent your Paternity 
chooses. I will undertake to persuade her to con- 
sent, and she seems suitable to either place. 

Two girls at Burgos are negotiating about their 
entrance at Avila. They are said to be very good 
and would have a dowry of fifteen hundred ducats 
— a sum that is required to finish the house and 

'' Fray German escaped from Moraleja. He was made Prior of 
Mancera in i 579 and died during the following year with the reputa- 
tion of a saint. 


build the enclosure wall. With the dower of an- 
other postulant, everything could be completed. 
Will your Paternity give the required permission. 

What a disturbance that Father of the Society is 
making about the sister of the Prioress of Veas ! I 
sent to the Prioress of Medina asking her to make 
enquiries about her. We shall see what they say, for 
they must know more about it. Your Paternity 
should be cautious, for such natures do not change. 
Though Ana de Jesus has seen her several times, 
as they must have told him, I answered her as 
though I knew all, being in a hurry and finding 
that they had spoken neither to the brother nor 
sister on the matter. The brother is a member of 
the Society, and I believe that they are helping 
one another.* 

It is a severe trial to have been kept so long from 
making my confession to your Paternity, for much 
to my grief, there are not such advantages here as 
at Toledo. 

This letter was written yesterday. I have just 
heard such tales of the unjust treatment of the nuns 
of the Incarnation, that it is grievous. I fancy some 
of the sisters here dread falling into the hands of 
the Calced which does not surprise me, for it is a 
thing to be feared. May God set matters right 
and proted: your Paternity. It is late at night and 
the messenger starts early tomorrow. 

To-day is March ii. 

Your Paternity's unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus 

^ The meaning of this sentence is very obscure ; probably the 
copyist made mistakes. 


Avila, Lent, 1578.^ 


A letter of condolence. Isabel de San Pablo. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 


AS God was pleased that it should not be my right 
arm which was broken, I am able to write to 
you. I am better, glory be to God ! and can keep 
Lent: with the presents you constantly send me, I 
shall get through it well. Though your kindness 
is shown to me, yet Sister Isabel de San Pablo* is 
so strongly tempted to love me dearly that it is a 
much greater kindness to her. Her society is a 
great comfort to me, for she seems an angel, and 
it comforts me to know that you and the seiioras 
are well. I kiss their hands repeatedly. I pray 
earnestly for all of you to our Lord. 

I am very sorry to hear of the death of that 
senora: when the news reached me, I had just 
written an answer to Don Teutonio congratulating 
him on the good match she had made. I owe much 
to him. The members of this family are passing 
through great troubles; they evidently render God 

' Fuente 189. The Carmelite convent of Segovia has the original. 

* A second-cousin of the Saint, the first to be professed at Avila, she 
having left the Incarnation with St. Teresa. She preserved her baptis- 
mal innocence until death. 



good service, which is our chief happiness on 
earth, for if a life so short has any value, it is to 
purchase eternal life. I thank our Lord that you 
are not careless in this respedl as I beg Him may 
always be the case with you and these senoras. 

Lorenzo kisses their hands and your own re- 

Your unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Avila, March 26, 1578.* 
Consolation in trials. 


MAY the Holy Spirit ever be with your Most 
Illustrious Ladyship and give you strength to 
bear such trials, for you have indeed received a 
heavy blow, and I grieved deeply over your sorrow. 
Yet the favours that our Lord shows you convince 
me that He will not fail to console you in this 
sorrow and to recall to your memory what His 
Majesty and His glorious Mother suffered in this 
holy season. If we realize this as we ought, we 
shall bear all life's trials easily. 

I should much like to be with you so that I 
might share your grief, though even here I have 
borne no light part of it. My only comfort has 

' Fuente 190. The original letter belongs to the Discalced Carmelite 
convent, Ecija. The year is uncertain but the signature shows that it 
was written after 1576, as before that date the Saint signed herself 
Teresa de Jesus, Carmelita. 


been to beg St. Joseph and our Lord to be with 
you. Besides our other prayers, we have not neg- 
lected to intercede for that holy soul, which I hope 
God has already taken to Himself, since, before it 
learnt more of the world's evils, He drew it to 
Him. All things pass so quickly that, if only our 
minds faced this truth, we could not weep for those 
who die and go to gaze on God, for we should 
rejoice in their gain. 

As far as appearances go, I too was very sorrv 
for the Count, but God's judgments are wise and 
His secrets inscrutable; perhaps the Count's salva- 
tion may have depended upon his losing his position. 
I believe that His Majesty watches over all your 
interests with special care, for He is a most faithful 
friend. Let us feel confident that He has considered 
what is best for souls — all else matters little in 
comparison. Eternal weal or woe is what signifies; 
so I beg of you, for love of our Lord, not to brood 
over your reasons for sorrow but to think about 
what is consoling. Thus you will gain greatly, but 
by the other course you would lose. Besides, you 
might injure your health of which you are bound 
to take care because of its importance to all of us. 
God grant you a long life as we beg of Him. 

The sisters and the Mother Prioress kiss your 
hands repeatedly, as I do those of my senora. Dona 

To-day is Wednesday in Holy Week. I did not 
write before, thinking you would not wish for letters. 

The unworthy servant and subje6t of your most 
illustrious Ladyship, 

Teresa de Jesus, 


Avila, March 28, 1578^ 


Sister San Francisco. Postulants. Advice and mes- 
sages for the nuns. 

Jesus be with you, my daughter, and give vou and 

all your daughters as happy an Easter as I ask 

from Him! 

IT was a great comfort to me to know that you 
are all well. I am as usual ; my arm is in a very 
bad state and so is my head; I do not know what 
Office they are reciting. Doubtless it is best for 

I should be very glad if I could write you a 
long letter full of affectionate messages for every 
one. Will your Reverence give them for me, 
especially to Sister San Francisco,* whose letters 
have given us great pleasure. Her office of prioress 
has shown us her good qualities. O Jesus ! how 
lonely I feel at being so far away from you! May 
He unite us in eternity, for I comfort myself with 
the thought that all is passing quicklv. 

I am amused at what you say about the defeats 
inFray Bartolome's sisters, which would be unbear- 
able, even if the candidates could buy the house with 
their dowries. On no account take either of them 

^ Fuente 191. The autograph is at the Carmelite convent, \^a!ladolid. 

^ Isabel de San Francisco (de Vega) who had been prioress at Paterna. 
She had been professed at Toledo, and thence removed by the Saint to 
Veas and Seville. 


Vol. HI. 6 


if they have not their wits about them; it is against 
our Constitutions and an incurable evil. The other 
girl of thirteen is very young; the mind is constantly 
changing at that age. You will know what is best: 
believe me I wish for whatever is to your advan- 

Before I forget it, I must say that I do not approve 
of those sisters' writing an account of their prayer: 
there are many drawbacks to it that I should like 
to explain. Setting aside the time it wastes, it cur- 
tails liberty of soul and may even lead to imagining 
what did not take place. I will tell our Father if I 
do not forget; otherwise, you must do so. If what 
occurs is important, it is never forgotten : if it is 
forgotten, it was not worth writing down. It will 
suffice if they speak to our Father about what they 
remember when they see him. When the sisters 
have scruples, let them tell them to your Reverence, 
for if they feel confidence in you, I think God will 
give you light to guide them. I lay such stress 
on this because I know the objections to thinking 
over what to write, and how the devil encourages 
such things. If the matter is really serious, your 
Reverence may write it down without letting the 
nuns know. If I had taken notice of the things San 
Jeronimo told me, she would never have stopped: 
though some of them seemed to me certainly 
genuine,! said nothing. Believe me, the best course 
is to thank God for giving them to us, and when 
they are withdrawn I should humble myself, ^by 
which the soul is sure to benefit. 

What Sister Eliseo' says is right, but not being 

^ In6s de San Elias (de Morales) went with Mary of St. Joseph to 


so learned a woman as she Is, I do not know who 
those Assyrians are. Remember me very kindly to 
Sister Eliseo of whom I am extremely fond; also 
to Sister Beatriz and her mother. I am glad to hear 
from you about the latter and to receive your good 
news about all the community. God forgive those 
friars for treating us so badly ! You must not believe 
all that you hear at Seville. They give us more 
hopeful news here, which rejoices us, though *in 
obscurity'* as Mother Isabel de San Francisco says. 

Besides my broken arm, I have suffered severely 
with my heart for several days. Will you send me 
a little orange-flower water, packed so that the 
flask does not get broken in transit. I should have 
asked for it sooner had I not feared such an acci- 
dent. The agua de angeles was so delicious that I felt 
scrupulous about using it and gave it to the chapel 
where it did honour on my behalf to the glorious 
Saint Joseph. 

Give very kind messages from me to the Prior of 
las Cuevas (for I am very fond of that saint) also to 
Father Garci-Alvarez and to my Gabriela. (Our 
Mother certainly has some reason for calling her 
*my Gabriela').* I should almost envy you the joy 

Lisbon. She was distinguished by her zeal for strict observance. Ines 
so dislilced being put into any office that, on hearing she was to be 
made prioress, she prayed that she might die before the election and 
her petition was granted. {(Euvres, tv. 38). 

^ It seems as though Mother Isabel was making a sly allusion to the 
noche oscura of St. John of the Cross. 

^The last part of this letter is written by the secretary, Isabel de 
San Pablo, who interposed this little remark. The postscript is also 
hers. Gabriela had been the devoted infirmarian of the Saint while 
at Seville. 


of living with her but for our deep love for one 
another and that I know the same mutual affedlion 
exists between your Reverence and your daughters. 
What need is there for Mother Isabel de San 
Francisco to tell us this? If she had been sent to 
Seville solely to praise you and your nuns up to 
the skies, her journey would have been well spent. 
But wherever your Reverence may be, my Mother, 
you will always be praised. Blessed be He who 
gave you such rich gifts which you employ so well. 
I commend myself to the prayers of my Mother 
San Francisco — I can say no more — and to all the 
others, especially Sister San Jeronimo. Teresa 
commends herself to yours. Senor Lorenzo de 
Cepeda is well. I hope, my Mother, that you will 
be able to decipher this letter for as the writing- 
implement is bad*^ and the hurry great, what can 
the result be? 

To-day is Friday of the Cross.' 

Do not send more than a small quantity of 
orange-flower water until we see how it travels. 

Teresa de Jesus. 

The secretary is Isabel de San Pablo, the servant 
of your Reverence and all your community. 

My Mother, I have just remembered having 
heard that you have some large and beautiful 
pidiures at Seville, which Father Julian de Avila 
praised very highly. Our Mother told me to ask 
you for one of St. Paul. Will your Reverence send 

* The secretary. 

' Good Friday, when the Adoration of the Cross takes place. 



me a very good one, for, (excuse my saying so) it 
must be one that I shall love to look at. 


Avila, April 15, 1578^ 


The Saint warns him against elediing a Provincial 
without permission ; she advises him to have recourse 
to the King or the Pope or the General instead. Visit of 
Father Gracians mother and sister to Avila. 

Jesus be with your Paternity, my Father. 

INCE Father Prior of Mancera* left I have 
O spoken about the province to Master Daza and 
Doctor Rueda, as I wish you to do nothing with 
which fault can be found. Even though the matter 
should succeed, it would grieve me more than any 
check to our plans for which we were not to blame. 
Both my advisers say your projecfl would be difficult 
to carry through unless your Paternity's commission 
aifords special faculties for it. Dodtor Rueda spoke 
most strongly and I rely greatly on his opinion as 
he is very judicious, as well as a most learned man. 
He declares that it is an extremely difficult matter 
to hold an eled:ion, because it is a question of juris- 
did:ion; that without permission from the Pope or 

' Fuente, 192. Vol. III. No. 22 of first edition. 

^ The Prior of Mancera, Juan Jesus de Roca, had proposed that the 
Discalced should convoke a Chapter and elect a Provincial of their 
own, thus making the Reform into a separate province. Unfortunately 
St. Teresa's warnings were disregarded: the plan was carried out at the 
Chapter of Almodovar on October i^ of this year. 


the General it could not lawfully be done, and the 
votes would be invalid. 

It would be quite enough to make the Calced 
rush to the Pope and cry out that the Discalced 
had withdrawn from obedience by choosing their 
own superiors in an unauthorized way. It has an 
ugly sound. Dodlor Rueda thinks it would be more 
difficult to get such an election confirmed than to 
obtain permission from the Pope for a separate pro- 
vince, which he would be willing to grant if the 
king wrote to his ambassador to ask for it. This 
would be easy to manage if his Majesty were 
informed how the Calced treat the Discalced. Per- 
haps, if the matter were laid before him, he might 
be glad to take the step. The petition would be a 
great help for the Reform, as the Mitigated would 
respedl it more and not imagine that they would 
be able to abolish it. 

Would it not be well for your Paternity to sub- 
mit the question to the Father Master Chaves,^ 
enclosing the letter I send by Father Prior.? Pie 
is very sagacious, and by using his influence with 
the king might perhaps obtain the latter's inter- 
vention. In that case our friars who are going to 
Rome might take the royal letters with them. But 
on no account ought they to relinquish their pro- 
ject of going there for as Dod:or Rueda maintains, 
the most sure and straightforward way is to appeal 
to the Pope or the General. 

I assure you that if Father Padilla and the rest 
of us had had recourse to the king, our affair would 

^ Fray Domingo Chaves, Dominican, confessor and almoner of the 
king. He had been one of the Saint's confessors. 



have been settled by this time. In fadt, your Pater- 
nity might yourself address his Majesty and the 
Archbishop* on the subjecft, for if the king has to 
confirm and approve the Provincial's eled:ion it 
v^ould be better that he should do so beforehand, 
so that if he refuses his consent we may avoid the 
blame and failure of the election's proving invalid. 
Your Paternity also would be greatly discredited by 
having undertaken what was beyond your power 
and committed a blunder. 

The Dod:or said it would be more tolerable if 
the Dominican Visitor or some other person made 
the eled:ion than that the Discalced superiors 
should themselves hold it, and that, as I said, in 
these cases of jurisdiction, the important point is 
that the principal superior should be invested with 
lawful authority, 

I lose heart at the thought that people would 
have some right to blame your Paternity, though 
my courage only takes a stronger flight when you 
are not at fault, therefore I have not lost a moment 
in writing this so that you may consider the mat- 
ter seriously. 

Do you know what has occurred to me? that 
perhaps our Father General may have made use 
against us of the letters I wrote him (though they 
were very good in themselves) by showing them 
to the Cardinals and that perhaps I had better send 
him no more until our affairs are settled. It would 
be well, if there is an opportunity, to make the 
Nuncio a present. I know, my Father, that when 
you are in Madrid, you do a great deal in a day: 

^ Don Quiroga. 


if you talked to one person and another and to 
your friends at court, and Fray Antonio spoke to 
the Duchess, much might he done towards persuad- 
ing the king to carry out what we plan, as he wishes 
to maintain the Reform. Father Mariano might 
mention the matter, as he sees him to speak to, 
and could explain our position, beg him to help 
us, and remind him that the little saint. Fray Juan, 
is in captivity. In fadl the king listens to every one, 
and I do not understand why Father Mariano, 
especially, does not discuss our affairs with him and 
beg his aid. 

But how I chatter and what nonsense I talk to 
your Paternity, and you put up with it all ! I assure 
you that I feel crushed at not being free to carry 
out and insist on what I have said being done. 
Now that the king is setting out on a long journey, 
I wish something could have been settled first. May 
God accomplish it as He has the power. We are 
all longing for these senoras' visit.* The sisters at 
St. Joseph's are firmly resolved not to allow your 
sister to leave them without giving her the habit. 
It is extraordinary how anxious the nuns are to 
please your Paternity ! I am very grateful to them 
as they form a large community and are in need of 
money, yet they never reckon that, on occount of 
their longing to have some one among them re- 
lated to you. Oh ! what does not Teresita say and 
do ! Yet I am glad to have her here, for if she left 
she would go so far away that I could not enjoy her 

' Father Gracian's mother, Dona Juliana Dantisco, who was to pass 
through Avila with her daughter whom she was taking to the convent 
gt Valladolid. 


company and might perhaps never see her again. 
However, the decision as to her home rests with 
me and I ought to oppose her staying here for she 
has been received for Valladolid where she would 
be very well off, while the nuns, especially Casilda, 
would be much disappointed if she did not go there. 
It is Juliana who will stay here, though I say no- 
thing on the matter. It would be very hard for 
Dona Juana if I sent her to Seville, and even the 
girl herself might feel it when she grew up. Oh! 
how I long to have your other sister, the one who 
is with the Doncellas. She remains there and is 
unhappy for want of knowing the remedy, but she 
would be more at her ease here. 

My brother Lorenzo, who is taking you this 
letter, is on his way to court, and I believe will go 
from there to Seville. Will your Paternity kindly 
allow him to enter the convent there to examine 
a cooking-stove installed by the Prioress, of which 
they speak wonders. Unless he sees it, we cannot 
have one made like it here, and if it is what they 
say, it would be a real treasure for all the friars 
and nuns. I will write asking her to allow him to 
enter the enclosure. But if your Paternity thinks 
this unnecessary, let me know, as he will be spend- 
ing some days in Madrid. If you only read what 
they write about that stove you would not be 
surprised at these nuns wanting one like it. They 
declare that it surpasses Soto's forge ^ and more 
could not be said in its favour. 

As I believe that Mother Prioress is writing to 

* The forge near the convent of St. Joseph's. 


you, I will conclude, only asking God to have your 
Paternity in His care for me. The Prioress of Alba 
is as ill as she can be. Pray for her, for, say what 
they will, hers would be a great loss to us as she 
is very obedient, and when that is the case, a nun 
corrects all her faults when she is told of them. 
Oh! What a trial the Malagon community is suf- 
fering from Brianda's absence! But I laugh at the 
idea of her returning there. 

Dona Luisa de la Cerda has lost her youngest 
daughter. I am deeply grieved at the troubles God 
sends her. The widow is now the only daughter 
left her. I think it would be well for your Pater- 
nity to write to console her, for you owe much to 

Will you consider the question as to your sister's 
remaining here? I will not oppose it if you prefer 
it, or if Doila Juana would rather keep her near 
her. But I fear lest, having already decided on 
her own account to enter at Valladolid, she might 
be tempted about it later on if she stayed at Avila 
for she will hear of things they have there which 
are lacking here, were it only their garden and 
orchard, for the soil of Avila is miserably sterile. 

God have you in His care for me, my Father, 
and make you as holy as I wish. Amen, amen. 
My arm is recovering. 

To-day is April 15. 
Your Paternity's unworthy servant and daughter, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

Dona Yomar is at Avila; she is better in health 
and very desirous of seeing your Paternity. She is 


weeping for her Fray John of the Cross as are all 
the nuns. This has been a painful affair: the 
Incarnation is beginning to return to its former 


A Vila, April 17, 1578 ^ 


Dangers of Father Gracians intended visit to Avila. 
Dona Juana a7id her daughter Maria s journey. 
ObjeSfions to the Discalced holding a General Chapter 
for eleSiing priors. 

Jesus be with your Paternity, my Father! 

OH, how ill you acfled in sending me so short 
a letter when you had so safe a messenger as 
Juan! I was indeed glad to see him and to learn all 
particulars about your Paternity. In the letter I 
gave to Father Prior of Mancera for you, I answered 
several of the questions you ask. Your making so 
much of my opinion is a real mortification for me. 
Whatever appears right to you, will be the best 

I have grown so timid from seeing that the devil 
draws harm from whatever is good that, while 
those fathers^ are in the ascendant, I wish to give 
them no further chance of speaking or adling 
against us, for, as I said, they make use of every 
opportunity, and I should not be astonished at any- 

' Fuente 193. The«original letter is at Seville. 
» The Mitigated. 


thing they did. They do not think they offend 
God, as their superiors are on their side, and they 
do not care for the king, finding he says nothing, 
whatever they do. If they should venture to inter- 
fere w^ith your Paternity, it would be a most 
unhappy thing for us, as, setting aside the deep 
grief and afflicflion which we should all feel, we 
should lose all courage and our cause would be 
lost. May God deliver us as I believe He will, 
but He wishes us to help ourselves. That is why, 
besides the other reasons I mentioned when writing 
to your Paternity, I force myself not to ask you to 
come here, much as I should like it. 

The Prioress of Alba' is extremely ill ; that is the 
place which chiefly needs your Paternity's presence. 
I wish the journey were safer for you than it can 
be at present, and that you would remain where 
you are until things are more settled and that 
Peralta* has left. I know what the Mitigated have 
done since the king sent for Father Mariano, though 
they would not be so daring in Madrid as they are 
here. On the other hand, it pains me so that I do 
not know what to say, except that life in this world 
is no longer endurable. 

Your Paternity questions whether it would not 
be better to travel by another route, as Avila 
is out of the way. xAlthough I very much wish 
to see the senoras, yet if your Paternity accom- 
panies them you could keep your journey a secret 
better by the other road as it does not pass by the 

^ Juana of the Holy Ghost. 

*'Peralta' stands for Tostado, who was then at Madrid: in the 
beginning of May he returned to Portugal. 


priories of any of these good Calced friars [benditos). 
Otherwise, it would be extremely hard that, for 
the sake of saving eight leagues, you should refuse 
me this favour. They could rest here for a few 
days and give us the pleasure we are all looking 
forward to eagerly. I said this in the letter to your 
Paternity which my brother (who left to-day for 
Madrid) is taking to you. 

In the third place, I am very sorry to hear of the 
plan of Doiia Juana's accompanying her daughter 
to Valladolid : this would involve a journey of 
eighty leagues, from which she might be dispensed 
as her health is valuable to us. I made the journey 
myself, and though it was as easy and pleasant as 
possible because I travelled with Dona Maria de 
Mendoza, I found it very wearisome. 

Your Paternity must know that I am deter- 
mined your Mother shall go no farther than Avila, 
for which there is no real necessity if a maid 
accompanies Dona Maria and her brother, as 
matters are already arranged at the convent. It 
would be a great mistake for Dona Juana to under- 
take such fatigue, as she has already seen her 
daughter. It would be better even if she deferred 
her visit until Dona Maria takes the veil, when, 
God willing, there will be less danger and your 
Paternity could accompany her without so much 
risk. Your Mother's health is so precious that I 
venture to assert my opinion, and shall at all events 
do everything in my power to prevent her going 
farther than Avila, which is not a trying journey 
in fine weather. 

It has just occurred to me that if she comes by 


carriage it would be best to chose the Avila route, 
as I believe it has no mountainous passes as the 
other has. 

I have been wondering whether, (supposing 
that Dona Juana does not come and no one but 
Senor Tomas Gracian^ accompanies his sister,) it 
would not be well for Fray Antonio de Jesus to 
go with them, as he has recovered from his illness. 
You will say that he too is a Discalced Carmelite, 
but his white hair will disarm criticism. No notice 
will be taken of the travellers as your Paternity 
will not be of the party, for it is on you that all 
eyes are fixed just now. I should be very glad to 
see Fray Antonio now that he has risen from his 
sick bed. This idea occurred to me : if it is unprac- 
tical, treat it as nonsense for I do not understand 
what I am talking about. 

I assure you that I should be delighted to see 
Doiia Juana but I think it would be extremely rash 
of us to allow her to undertake the journey, 
especially if she went further than Avila. God 
deliver me from myself since I care so little for 
my own consolation, and may He give me some 
opportunity of solacing my soul at leisure with 
your Paternity ! 

My brother gave you my letter in which I stated 
how difficult Doctor Rueda and Master Daza 
considered it would be to eled: priors without a 
mandate from the Pope or the General, because it is 
a matter of jurisdid:ion. As I have written at length 

^ Tomas, Father Gracian's brother, who succeeded his father as 
secretary to Philip II. 


on the question,* I will only ask you to refledl upon 
it seriously, for the love of God. It is very labori- 
ous for you to consider every matter so deliberately, 
but God will grant you easier times in future. For 
the present, my Father, we must so ad: that He will 
protedl you. The Prioress and Subprioress have 
sent you letters by my brother. 

Should you require any help from Judge Cov- 
arrubias you must say so; he is very intimate with 
my brother. 

God be with your Paternity and preserve you to 
me for many years, making vou very holy. 
To-day is April 17. 

Your Paternity's unworthy servant, 

Teresa de Jesus. 

You must know, my Father, that I feel distressed, 
as I did not exped: Doila Juana would come so soon. 
The choir is roofless, the workmen are very noisy, 
and the grilles have been removed, yet I should 
have been delighted to see her at the grille. What 
a life! What with the heat and the cold we could 
not stay in the choir, but it will be very comfort- 
able now. Consider whether it is possible to give 
leave for Doila Maria to enter our house; it is 
extremely untidy, but that will only make her 
like her own convent better. 

^ See letter of April i 5. 


Avila, April 17, 1578 * 

'Joy at hearing that Dona J nana is coming to Avila. 


MAY the grace of the Holy Spirit ever be with 
your Honour and repay you for your letter to 
me and the good news it contains. Your visit 
to Avila with Dona Maria ^ will be very welcome. 

You have much reason to be pleased for I do 
not know what better fortune could be granted 
you than that God should call your daughter to a 
state in which, while serving His Majesty, she 
will find deeper peace than can be imagined. I 
trust in God that it will render Him great service. 

On the one hand I longed that vou should come 
here, for it is some time since I have had much 
pleasure in anything. On the other hand, I was 
grieved at seeing you undertake so long a journey 
which could be avoided, as I care more for your 

' Fuente 194.. The autograph belongs to theDiscalced friars of Alcala. 

* Juana Dantisco, the beautiful daughter of the Polish ambassador 
at Madrid, married Diego Gracian and bore him twenty children, 
many of whom became Discalced Carmelites. 

^ Maria de San Jose (Dantisco) took the habit at Valladolid on May 
5 at the age of fifteen and was professed the following year. St. Teresa's 
letters constantly mention her in high terms. She was at Madrid at 
the time of Father Gracian's expulsion from the Order. She bore the 
trial in silence and perfect patience, but for a month she lived almost 
without food and sleep, spending her time in prayer and penance. 
Maria was twice prioress at Consuegra and died after severe suffering 
in 161 1. She appeared in glory to her sister Juliana, a nun at Seville. 
(^(Euvres III, 405.) 



health than for my own comfort. I wrote to our 
Father Visitor on the subjed:, and about his joining 
you, to which there would be many drawbacks. 
Whatever he decides will be for the best. 

I have not received the letter you say you wrote 
to me. The Mother Prioress and all the sisters 
desire to be remembered to you and are looking 
forward very much to a visit from you and Dona 
Maria. May God direcfl all for His greater glory. 
Our sisters at Valladolid are getting the serge for 
your daughter's habit. I beg His Majesty to protect 
you and the secretary, to whom I wish to be kindly 
remembered, also to the senoras, especially Doila 
Adriana, though really she is very forgetful of me. 
To-day is April 17. 

Your unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

My dear little Isabel de Jesus'^ has already writ- 
ten to me. All the nuns say they cannot express 
how pleased they are with her, in which they are 

* Isabelita (Bela), Father Gracian's little sister, twelve years old, then 
at Valladolid. She had worn the habit four years. 

Vol. III. 


Avila, April 26, 1578.^ 

Rash judgment of superiors. Arrival of his mother 
at Avila. 

JESUS be with your Paternity, you who are both 
my Father and my superior as you say, which 
caused me no little laughter and pleasure. In 
fadl, whenever I recall your words I am amused at 
the solemn manner in which you declared that I 
must not judge my superior. O my Father ! how 
little need there was for you to swear, even like a 
saint, much less like a muleteer, for I thoroughly 
realize that fadt. 

When God gives such zeal and longing for the 
good of souls as He has to your Reverence, He does 
not withdraw that zeal when the superior's subjedls 
are in question. I will say no more now, except to 
remind your Paternity that you gave me leave to 
criticize and hold my own opinion of you. 

Yesterday, April 25, the Senora Doila Juana 
arrived late in the afternoon ; in fad:, almost at night- 
fall. She was in very good health, glory be to God ! 
I was delighted to see her, as day by day I love her 
more and she seems better and more sensible. 
I was highly pleased with our nun* whose joy is 
beyond description. She seemed, when she entered 
as though she had lived here all her life. I trust 

' Fuente 195. The autograph belongs to the Carmelite nuns, Alcala. 
^ Maria de San Jos6 who must have entered the enclosure. 



in God great things will come of her; she has a 
fine character and mind. I heartily wish that Dona 
Juana were not going to take her any further, but 
your Paternity has made this angel so fond of 
Valladolid that no persuasion would induce her to 
remain here. May God be praised and may He 
watch over your Paternity. 

The unworthy daughter of your Paternity. 
Teresa de Jesus.* 


Avila, April 26, 1577* 

Teresita wishes to leave Avila for Valladolid with 
Dona 'Juana and her daughter. 

. . . Oh, as for Teresita! what has she not said 
and done, although she behaved well, declaring 
discreetly that she would do as I wished, though 
she showed plainly that it was not what she wanted. 
I talked to her in private and told her a great deal 
about this convent: how it had been founded by 
miracle and other things. She answered that she 
did not care more for one place than another, and 
we thought we had begun to influence her, though 
I saw she was sad. She ended by secretly asking 
Doila Juana to be sure to take her to Valladolid 

^ P. Gregoire, who has seen the autograph at Alcala, says that it 
ends here. What is printed by Fuente as a continuation is here given 
as a separate letter. 

' Fuente 195. This may have been a note or a postscript written 
on another sheet of paper. 


without letting any one know that she wished it. 
Dona Juana and I think that the only course to 
take is to allow Dona Maria to receive the habit 
at Valladolid, lest she should regret leaving Avila 
for that convent if she had been clothed here. She 
stated plainly to me that she would feel pained at 
changing, and ought not to leave the house that she 
had once entered, so I believe that Dona Juana will 
start after dinner tomorrow with her daughter. I 
should have preferred her stopping here until Mon- 
day, but when I discovered how expensive it would 
be, I did not like to say much to persuade her. She 
is staying with my brother, and Aranda takes great 
care of her. May God be with her ! I feel very 
anxious about her, although she has accomplished 
the worst part of her travels and was quite well 
when she arrived. God will be pleased to prevent 
her being injured by the journey, and she is healthy 
and has a good constitution. I embraced her at the 
door when the Senora Maria entered the convent, 
for I love her dearly. May God bring her safely 
home, for she is very precious to us. May He be 
praised and may He watch over your Paternity. 
Your unworthy daughter, 

Teresa de Jesus. 


Avila, April 30, 1578^ 


Permission to profess three novices. 

IN virtue of the authority deputed to me by the 
Father Visitor Provincial, the Maestro Jeronimo 
Gracian de la Madre de Dios, I grant permission 
to the Mother Prioress of Caravaca, Ana de San 
Alberto, to admit to their profession Sisters Flo- 
rencia de los Angeles, Ines de San Alberto, and 
Francisca de la Madre de Dios, and I give leave 
to the sisters to pronounce their vows. God grant 
it may be for His honour and glory, and may He 
make them worthy daughters of the Virgin, our 
Lady and our Patroness! Amen. 

Written at St. Joseph's, Avila, April 30, 1578. 
Teresa de Jesus, Carmelite. 

' Fuente Escritos sueltos i 2. The autograph belonged to the Discalced 
friars at Venice in the i8th. century. 



Avila, May 7, 1578* 

Dona Maria takes the habit at Valladolid. ProjeBs 
for the Reform. The Saint's arm operated on by a 

Jesus be with your Paternity, my good Father. 

1 LEARNT the day before yesterday that Dona 
Juana reached ValladoHd in good health, and 
that on the eve or the feast of the holy Angel, 
Doiia Maria was clothed. God grant that it may 
be for His honour, and may He make her a great 
saint! The Prioress of Medina wrote telling me 
that she would have been glad to give her the 
habit had Dona Maria wished it, but I do not 
think she did. As I told you in my letter, the nuns 
at Valladolid were much disappointed at your 
Paternity's not having gone there. I have told 
them that, God willing, you will soon visit them; 
indeed, your presence there is greatly needed. As 
Tostado has left, there is nothing to fear. 

I am writing to ask Father Mariano to bring 
you with him if he comes here with the Sicilian 
Father* as your presence will be necessary, if any- 
thing is to be arranged concerning the plan men- 
tioned in his letter. If what this friar says is correcfl, 
I assure your Paternity that it affords a prompt 

' Fuente, 196. The autograph belonged to the Discalced priory, 

^ Padre Silicien. He is supposed to have been an Italian priest who 
might be able to influence the Father General. 



way of arranging matters with our Father General : 
all other means seem to me very tardy. If this 
proved unsuccessful, we should still have time to 
try other measures. May God prosper the plan. 

Should the Sicilian Father not come here, I 
should like you to have an interview with him. 
I think we ought to discuss the whole matter with 
him, though whatever your Paternity decides upon 
will be best. 

As I wrote you a long letter a few days ago, I 
shall not say much now, for letters arrived from 
Caravaca to-day which I must answer and I am 
writing to Madrid. 

O, my Father, I forgot ! The woman came to 
cure my arm,* which cost not a little to both of us. 
The Prioress of Medina did well in sending her. I 
had lost the use of my wrist, and the pain and labour 
of restoring it were terrible as it is a long time since 
I had the fall. But after all, I am glad of it, for I 
have experienced some small degree of what was 
suffered by our Lord. I think the arm is cured, 
though on account of the agony I suffer, I can 
hardly judge. Still, I can move my hand easily and 
lift my arm to my head, but it will be some time 
before the cure is complete. Believe me, if the 

* The woman was a cuiandera or quack bone-setter. St. Teresa sent 
the nuns to the choir to pray for her while the curandera with her 
companion, a strong peasant woman, wrenched the arm which had 
healed wrongly and reset it. The Saint uttered no sound and the 
sisters found her as calm and composed after the operation as they left 
her. She said she was glad to share something of our Lord's pain when 
He hung on the cross. In his deposition for the canonization. Fray 
Diego de Yanguas stated that, when describing to him how her arm 
had been broken and reset several times, she said 'I do not think anj^ 
living human being has suffered as I have,' 


woman had delayed a little longer, 1 should have 
lost the use of my hand. To tell the truth, I should 
not have grieved much if it had been God's will. 
So many people went to the woman to be cured 
that my brother's house could not hold them. 

I assure you, my Father, that since you left, I 
have undergone suffering of every kind. Some- 
times, when one cross succeeds the other, the body 
becomes weary and the soul grows somewhat 
cowardly though it seems to me that the will 
remains firm. 

May God ever be with your Paternity. Your 
daughters here commend themselves to your 

To-day is the Vigil of the Ascension. 

Doiia Yomar's'^ health is better : she is here now. 

Your Paternity's unworthy daughter, 

Teresa de Jesus. 


Avila, May 8, 1578.^ 

Fray Antofiio and the nuns of Malagon. Ana de la 
Madre de Dios as Vice-Prioress. 

Jesus be with your Paternity! 

TO-DAY, the feast of the Ascension, after 
having written the enclosed letter, I received 
yours, via Toledo, and they pained me deeply. 

^ Dona Yomar had entered as a postulant but was obliged to leave 
on account of ill health. 

' Fuente 197. This letter was iSo. 25 of Vol. iv, in the first edition. 


I assure you, my Father, that this measure is 
most imprudent. Tear up this letter directly you 
have read it or you know what will happen if my 
correspondence with you is added to the other 
grievances he* has against me. I am weary of him, 
for though I like him very much, (in fadf, very 
much indeed,) and he is a saint, I cannot but 
recognize that God has not given him talents for 
a ruler. Now do you not see how he gives credence 
to these nuns, blinded with passion as they are, and 
without further inquiry seeks to abolish and intro- 
duce whatever he chooses. 

I am aware that the Vice-Prioress^ is unfitted to 
rule; however, her faults are not such as to disgrace 
the Order but are confined to the convent. I had 
already written to the community, telling them 
that you will visit them and set matters right, and 
that they must consult their confessor about their 
temptations instead of the nun in charge. It is 
most unwise to wish to give Sister Isabel de Jesus 
authority over that community as Subprioress, for 
the two or three days during which she held that 
position while Mother Brianda was there furnished 
those same nuns with subjects for endless tales and 
jokes. They shall never have her for that office, 
for though she is a good nun she is unsuited for the 
charge. It would be folly to deprive Ana de la 

^ Fray Antonio, who had visited Malagon to set things right in the 

* Ana de la Madre de Dios (Palma). (See letter of July z, 1577.) 
She was made temporary prioress at Malagon during the illness of 
Brianda de San Jose. The nuns leagued against her, supported by an 
indiscreet confessor, and their accusations were believed by the Visitor 
Fray Antonio de Jesus. 


Madre de Dios of her position for two days, by 
which time Mother Brianda may be back at Ma- 
lagon, so eager is Father Antonio to take her home. 
For my part, I should be very reludlant to let her 
return unless she were soon to leave for another 
foundation, as I dread her being at Malagon while 
he remains there. 

Fray Antonio accuses the Vice- Prioress of not 
helping the Discalced fathers, but that was on 
account of your Paternity's decree. His other 
accusations regarding her 1 do not believe, nor that 
she opposes what is done for me, because I know 
her character. She is not mean but very generous. 
Evidently the community make mischief of every- 
thing she says. Your Paternity knows that Mother 
Brianda wrote asking me to forbid Ana de la Madre 
de Dios sending any help to the Discalced friars, 
yet a nun complains to me that she has spent more 
on them than on all the invalids together, though 
the sick have been very numerous this year. My 
opinion is, my Father, that what with the priest 
who is there, and what with their own frame of 
mind, they would find plenty of faults in St. Clare 
if she went to the convent. 

Their charge against the Vice-Prioress of ne- 
glecfling the sick is a gross slander, for she is most 
charitable. I found the former superior very close- 
fisted, my Father. However, that matters nothing 
as long as the reputation of the community does 
not suffer, especially in a place visited by so many 
people as Malagon is. What they say about the 
honour of their house being tarnished by Brianda's 


going to Toledo is untrue, for she went there by 
the dod:or's orders on account of her health. I do 
not know what your Paternity can decide in such 
a case. I am glad Father Antonio forbade them to 
mention Mother Brianda; it was the wisest course 
he could have taken. 

Will your Paternity be good enough to inquire 
into the matter seriously. The best plan would be 
to send them as Prioress such a nun as Isabel de 
San Domingo'^ with a good Subprioress, and to 
transfer some of the nuns to other convents. You 
ought to write to Fray Antonio promptly, dired:ing 
him to make no changes until you have investi- 
gated the affair thoroughly. I, for my part, will 
tell him that he can take no further steps until he 
knows your Paternity's orders. I will disabuse him 
on certain points. 

I am sorry about the state of the house at Mala- 
gbn; it is a pity that no one should have come to 
the nuns' assistance. They must have started build- 
ing some small part of the convent; I should like 
them to finish two floors and have the enclosure 
wall eredled, so that if no more can be done at 
present, all will not be useless. They would be 
better off in that way than they are now, however 
short their stay may be. Will your Paternity write 
and tell them. 

I do not know, my Father, how you could have 

deputed Father Antonio as your delegate at Mala- 

gon without cautioning him on several subjed:s. 

I am amazed; besides, it seems to me a disgrace 

* Isabel de San Domingo was then Prioress of Segovia. See letter 
of May 15, 1577. 


to the convent that nuns should be deposed from 
or raised to the post of superior in so senseless a 
manner. If I thought it possible that N. . . would 
mend his ways, the best plan would be for him to 
return there and finish his priorate, but I have lost 
all hope of his improvement, and Fray Bartolome 
de Jesus, Fray Francisco de la Concepcion and 
Antonio Ruiz so insist upon his not going back 
that I think it ^'ould be rash to allow it. 

Will your Paternity investigate the matter and 
decide as God leads you to think best, which is 
the safest course. I will ask Him to enlighten you. 
But it is necessary to look to the affair at once and 
to prevent Father Antonio's martyrizing that saint 
— for a saint she certainly is. May God be ever 
with your Paternity. 

Your unworthy subjed:, 

Teresa de Jesus. 

I do not think that Mother Isabel de San 
Domingo would be averse to going to Malagon 
and she could reduce that community to order. 
Then either Mother Brianda or Mother Maria de 
San Jeronimo could be sent to Segovia. May God 
remedy the evil! The warm climate would not suit 
Mother Isabel de San Domingo's health, but the 
nuns would not dare to complain of her on account 
of her high reputation. 

I have opened this letter to cross out my words 
about Father Mariano, in case it should be mislaid. 
1 am tempted to be very angry with him. 


Avlla, May 14, 1578* 


Father Gracians health and work. The clothing of his 
sister at Valladolid. The convent of the Incarnation, 
Money matters. ProjeB of foundations at Villanueva 
de la Xara and Madrid. 

Jesus be with your Paternity. 

1HAD written this letter and was just about to 
send it when our Discalced brethren arrived and 
gave me those from your Paternity. I assure you 
that they restored my health, for I received those 
I enclose from Malagon last night, and the fatigue 
of reading and answering them increased a severe 
cold in the head from which I am suffering, but 
the pleasure your letters gave me has revived me. 
God be praised for granting you the strength to 
render Him such service and help so many souls. 
It is an immense consolation to me. 

Yet I should be glad if you were here, for the 
distri(5l in which you live must be very unhealthy 
as no rain has fallen. I do not know why you 
prefer it to Avila unless it is that God, Who knows 
the future, has chosen this season for you to mini- 
ster to these souls, and your efforts cannot but bear 
much fruit. 

Iforgot'to say in the enclosed letter how annoyed 
I feel at Fray Hernando Medina's having given the 

' Fuente 198, Daring the last century the autograph was in the 
possession of a gentleman living in la Bafieza. 



habit to our novice.* I do not know why that 
foolish prioress is so anxious to please the Calced 
fathers. The letter from Fray AngeP which I 
transmit to you shows that they knew you were 
to come with your sister. I am glad that you did 
not as now you can make your visit satisfactorily. 
I have already written to Ardapilla/ asking him 
to persuade you to go there, and explaining some 
of the reasons why your presence is required. In 
fa(5l, even if you do not wish it, you must come for 
it cannot be avoided. 

I have been thinking what a comfort it would be 
to me to have my daughter Maria de San Jose here 
with me, for her good handwriting, intelligence, 
and cheerfulness would be a help to me. May God 
bring it about after her profession, though young 
girls do not care for being with old women. I even 
wonder at times that your Paternity does not weary 
of me, unless it is that God so decrees in order that 
I may be able to bear my life in which I have so 
little health and pleasure except in your company. 
I even think that one who receives favours from 
God and loves Him truly cannot but like to be with 
a person who desires to serve Him. 

It will try me severely if Ardapilla comes here 
with his old refrain about the Incarnation. I sent 
to ask your Paternity whether his authority gives 
him the right to order me to go there, and you did 

^ At the invitation of Mother Mary Baptist, the Calced friar, 
Hernando de Medina, had given the habit to Father Gracian's sister, 
Maria de San Josd, at Valladolid. 

* Fray Angel de Salazar, Provincial of the Mitigated. 

■* The Licenciate Padilla, who wished St. Teresa to be obliged to 
return to the Incarnation as Prioress. 


not answer. I must tell you that I should resist to 
the uttermost, for it would be useless to be there 
without the former confessors and while the con- 
vent remained under the authority of the Calced 
fathers. But if I am obliged to undertake the office 
under pain of sin, you see that I am helpless. For 
charity's sake, speak decisively, saying clearly what 
I may and what I may not do: you ought not to 
write so obscurely on such matters. 

Pray much for me, because I am very old and 
worn out, though my desires are vigorous. I will 
give the sisters your kind messages. I wish your 
Reverence would come here with the Prior of 
Mancera.^ I assure you that I think you will be 
wasting time where you are, for it will not be the 
season for sermons. 

What a disturbance those other nuns are making 
about the hundred realesl Was I not right in saying 
that it was necessary to be very cautious in making 
Visitations? Another superior comes later on and 
it is most important to give him no cause for 
complaint. I am very angry, for the sister could 
perfed:ly well have given you the money, as she 
has control over such affairs and she is not in 
much need of it. 

It matters little about Fray Antonio;^ but how- 
ever slightly he may blame me, if it reflefts upon 
my Paul I cannot endure it, though I care nothing 
for what he says of me. 

May God protecfl you, my Father! It is a great 

^ Fray Juan de Jesus (Roca). 

® Fray Antonio showed a growing jealousy of St. Teresa's affection 
for 'Paul' (Father Gracian). 


grace for me that, as these fathers say, you should 
be growing stout in spite of all your work. May 
He be for ever praised! Dona Yomar was highly 
delighted with your letter: she is well. 

This is the fourteenth of May, and I am your 
Paternity's true daughter, 

Teresa de Jesus. 

Fortunately for me, this long letter to you has 
not harmed me so much as the one which I wrote 
to Malagon: on the contrary, it has done me good. 
As for the foundation at Villanueva, it is not to be 
thought of if the Franciscans oppose it. The place 
suits them, but they would have taught our sisters 
to beg. Your Paternity is right: small towns are 
terrible for us. A foundation at Madrid is what we 
require and there is a good opportunity of starting 
it at once. Believe me, it is an important matter, 
as also that we should make Roque de Huerta a 


Avila, May 22, 1578^ 


Esperanza. Father Mariano and the Jesuits. Im- 
prisonment of St. John of the Cross. 'Journey of the 
Discalced friars to Rome. College at Salamanca. 
That no extra burdens should be laid upon the nuns. 

Jesus be with your Paternity. 

AS the father who is to take you this letter is 
about to start, I cannot write much. I am very 
sorry that I was not told last night of his departure. 
I am in better health and my arm is recovering. 
I was astonished at hearing that, in his interview 
with you, the *cat'* had spoken so strongly against 
Esperanza.' God forgive him, for if Esperanza had 
been as bad as they declared, they would certainly 
not have striven so strenuously to keep him. I am 
very glad you did not forward the letter to Seville,* 
as I think it would be better to behave towards them 
with the deepest humility, for we owe much to 
them in the past and a great deal to many of them 
still. As far as I have seen, this father is wanting 
in prudence, so I hope you will not have much to 
do with him. 

* Fuente 199. The original letter was in the convent of Jeronymite 
nuns, Espeja. 

■ Former editions gave Cato or Caton, but the MS. at the National 
Library, Madrid, gives the correct word gato, cat. See letter of March 2, 
1578. (P. Gregoire.) 

^Evidently 'Esperanza' here stands for Father Caspar de Salazar 
who wished to leave the Jesuits and become a Discalced Carmelite. 

* See Letter of February 16, 1578. 

97 8 


I have heard from Toledo that they are exceed- 
ingly displeased with me there. Yet the truth is 
that I have done all I could for them and even 
more than was just. Apparently their ground for 
complaint against your Paternity and myself is that 
we have taken such pains not to annoy them. I 
believe that, had they looked only to God and tried 
solely to serve Him as so good a projed: required, 
they would be at peace and better pleased, for God 
would have smoothed the way. When we ad: from 
human resped, we always fail to attain our objed, 
as we see in this case. Any one might have sup- 
posed our plan was heresy, as I remarked to one 
of these fathers. They are hurt because the matter 
became public. Certainly, my Father, both they 
and we have been influenced by very mundane 
motives in this matter. On the whole, I am glad 
that things have resulted as they have ; I hope our 
Lord will be satisfied. 

I have already told you how anxious the fathers 
of the Society are that Father Mariano* should 
call and examine their spring of water. For some 
time past they have been asking him to do so and 
he has answered that he will be passing through 
Avila during this month. However, I beg your 
Paternity to write telling him on no account to 
omit visiting them: do not forget this. 

I am astounded at the conjuring trick they have 
played with Fray John of the Cross and at the 

' Fray Mariano was a most skilful engineer. By the king's appoint- 
ment, he had rendered the Guadalquiver navigable from Seville to 
Cordova and had planned a system of canals by which the Tagus 
might water the adjoining fields. 



way our business has come to a stand-still. May 
God redlify it! We hear from Toledo that Tostado 
has already left, but I do not believe it. He is 
reported to have made Fray Angel *^ his delegate. 
I do not know what to think about your Paternity's 
not coming to Avila. I see that you have good 
reason for it, yet time is passing without our send- 
ing to Rome, and we are losing all by depending 
on hopes which will not be fulfilled for the next 
thousand years. I cannot understand it, nor do I 
know why Nicolao' does not go there, for it would 
not impede the other plans. 

I realize that your Paternity is more solicitous 
than any one else in the affair; still, to perform 
our duty to the Father-General could do no pos- 
sible harm, and this is the right moment for it. 
Unless this is done, I believe that nothing else will 
be of lasting good. Harm never comes of having 
several strings to one's bow.* 

It is an excellent idea to call that college *St. 
Joseph's.' May God reward your Paternity for that 
and for your part in its establishment which would 
be of great advantage to the Order.^ Your decision 
about Toledo is quite right, for the nun is very 
narrow-minded, and the prioress must be extremely 
silly to tell your Paternity that if you wish they 
can go to law about the case, as it concerns the 
convent and a large sum of money. 

" Fray Angel de Salazar. Tostado had gone to Portugal. 
' Fray Nicolao Doria, who being an Italian was specially suited for 
the commission. 

* Las diligencias nunca son mains por ser muchas. 

* The Discalced college at Salamanca for which Father Gracian was 
striving to obtain permission. 


Dona Yomar is delighted witli your letters 
to her as I am with mine, at which I am not 

That father feels the difference which no doubt 
is made at Guadalajara between him and Paul.'° 
The two persons are very different. The father is 
overcome by natural feeling; I wish your Paternity 
would overcome yours by being kind to him. I 
think he speaks rather impulsively, but it is a great 
thing to be able to bear with every one's weakness. 
May God give us the strength we need in order 
to please Him. Amen. 

I do not know what answer to give your Pater- 
nity about those nuns." Four hundred ducats for 
twenty! I should not like to accept six hundred. 
We must wait and see what Dona Maria de Men- 
doza decides about it; she is sure to manage matters 
well. I dislike the question of incomes extremely. 

We were all shocked at what Mother Antonia'* 
told us about the new regulations laid down by 
Father N. . . I have written to him to inquire about 
it. Believe me, my Father, our communities are 
going on well and there is no need to cumber the 
nuns by more rules. Whatever was added would 
be burdensome: let your Paternity not forget that, 
for charity's sake. Always insist on the sisters' 
obeying the Constitutions and no more; they will 
do much if they do that. You may rely on me as 

'" A preacher from Pastrana who was to take the place of Father 

" The community of Valladolid. 

'■ Antonia del Espiritu Santo, one of the first four Carmelite novices 
of the Reform, who had returned from Valladolid to Avila a few days 
before: the priest was probably Fray Antonio de Jesus (Heredia.) 


regards whatever relates to the nuns, for I can judge 
of that community by this one. Trifling as it might 
be, any addition would be oppressive and I should 
be the first to feel it unless it were imposed by your 
Paternity in God's name. May He preserve you to 
us for many years. 

To-day is May 22. 
Your Paternity's unworthy servant and daughter, 

Teresa de Jesus. 


Avila, about June, 1578^ 



How to be recolleSied while leading a busy life, 

Jesus be with your Reverence. 

IT is a long while since anything has mortified 
me so much as the letter 1 received from you 
to-day, for I am not humble enough to wish to 
pass for one so proud, nor ought your Reverence 
to prove your humility at such a dear cost to me. 
Never did I so long to tear up any letter of yours! 
I assure you that you know how to mortify me, 
and to show me what I really am by appearing to 
think I believe myself capable of teaching others. 
God deliver me from such an idea: I do not like 
to remember it. I know that the fault is mine, 
though perhaps I care less about that than for 
seeing your Reverence truly devout. This weakness 
and my love for you may be the cause of all the 

' Fuente 222. Vol. iii, No. 21, first edition. 


foolish things I say to you, and may make me 
speak freely without considering my words. Some- 
times 1 feel scrupulous afterwards about what I 
have said, and did I not feel a scruple about being 
disobedient, I should not comply with your request, 
such repugnance do I feel at doing so. May God 
accept it. Amen. 

As one of my great faults is to judge others by 
myself in the matter of prayer, your Reverence 
must pay no attention to what I say, for God has 
given very different abilities to you from those He 
has bestowed on a foolish, insignificant woman like 

Considering the grace our Lord has granted me 
by enabling me to realize His a6tual presence, and 
yet that much business must pass through my 
hands on account of my office, I feel that neither 
persecutions nor trials harass me so greatly as these 
affairs. When the matter is one that can be done 
at once, I sometimes, indeed generally, work until 
one or two o'clock in the morning or even later, 
in order that my soul may not be forced to attend 
to anything but Him Who dwells within it. As 
this has seriously injured my health, I think it 
must be a temptation, though it seems to leave my 
soul at greater liberty. I am like a person with a 
very urgent, important affair to attend to, who, to 
keep his mind free for it, finishes his other work 
quickly: therefore I am glad when I can hand over 
any business to the nuns, though perhaps I might 
have done it better myself. But as there is a good 
reason for it, His Majesty supplies what is wanting, 


and I find that my soul makes notably better pro- 
gress if I withdraw it from earthly things. Though 
I see this clearly, I am often careless about it, by 
which I feel that I undoubtedly lose when I should 
have gained, had I taken greater pains. 

This does not refer to serious matters which 
cannot be negledied, and I must be mistaken in 
applying it to your Reverence, for your duties are 
grave ones and I believe it would be wrong to 
depute them to other people. Yet when I see that 
your health suffers, I wish you had less work. 
Indeed, I thank our Lord for the manner in which 
you take to heart all that affe(fls the welfare of 
your house, for I am not too foolish to understand 
that your talent for business is a great grace from 
God and acquires much merit for you. It makes 
me very envious, for I wish my superior possessed 
the same ability. Now that God has given you to 
me as my soul's superior, I hope you will take as 
much pains with it as with your spring of water* 
(which greatly amuses me). But water is so neces- 
sary in a religious house that all your labours are 
spent in a good cause. 

There is nothing left to say: I speak as openly 
to you as I should to God Himself. I believe that 
the efforts made by superiors to discharge their 
duties are so pleasing to Him that He gives them 
in a short time what He would otherwise only 
have granted by slow degrees. This, as well as 
what I said before, has been taught me by experi- 
ence. However, as I know that your Reverence is 

* The conduit and spring about which Fray Mariano was to give 


usually overwhelmed with affairs, the idea occurred 
to me of saying what I did. On reflexion, I realize 
that your circumstances differ from mine. In future 
I will cure myself of the habit of speaking on 
impulse, seeing how dear it costs me. The temp- 
tation will cease when your health returns. May 
God restore it as He can and as I desire. 
The servant of your Reverence, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Avila, June 4, 1578^ 


Thanks for presents. Community affairs. An insane 



May the Holy Spirit be with your Reverence, 
my daughter. 

1HAVE received two letters from you — one via 
Madrid; the other came this week by the mule- 
teer. But you delay so long in writing that I lose 
my temper. Everything you sent arrived safely and 
in good condition. So did the orange-flower water 
which is excellent, but we do not want more 
now: this is enough. I was delighted with the 
pretty little jugs: we do not require any others. 
As my health is better, I do not need so many 
comforts, for I must be mortified some day. My 
arm is recovering though I cannot dress myself yet: 

' Fucnte 200. The original letter is at V'alladolid. 


they say it will be well when the weather grows 
warmer. The box and the rest of the things were 
excellent. Do not fancy that I eat all the sweets 
you send; in fa6t I do not like such things. But 
as long as I live I shall never lose my liking for 
making presents, and as we are always in difficul- 
ties and every one is not so eager to help us as my 
Father the Prior of las Cuevas and Father Garci 
Alvarez, all those little gifts are needed. 

The explanations about the small stove* were so 
clear that I think mistakes will be impossible. It 
is now being made. Every one is astonished at your 
ingenuity; the sisters thank you very much indeed, 
as I do, for your efforts to please me in every way 
show how fond you are of me. I am confident 
of it, and can tell you that you owe me even more 
affedlion, for I am surprised at my love for you. 
You need not imagine that I prefer any one else, 
for some do not suit my charafter. The misfortune 
is that, though I pray much for you, my wickedness 
prevents my being much help. 

I regret to hear that you are suffering with your 
heart. It is very trying but I am not surprised at 
it, considering how many trials, you have had to 
bear alone. Even though the Master gives us virtue 
and courage to endure them, yet nature suffers. But 
one thing should cheer you: your soul has made 
very great progress. Do not fancy that I say this 
to console you, but because I perceive the fadt, 
and this progress, my daughter, is never made 
without costing us dear. 

I am deeply pained at what you tell me as it must 

'The stove mentioned in the letter of April 15. 


be very disturbing for every one. It is a great thing 
that the sister' has improved slightly; I hope our 
Lord will cure her, for many such cases recover. 
Her submission to treatment is satisfadlory. God 
will restore her; perhaps He means to give you this 
cross only for a short time and will draw much 
good from it, as I heartily beg of Him. 

Attend to what I am about to say. You are to 
see as little as possible of the sister, for such things 
so injure the heart that it might doyou much harm. 
I enjoin this under obedience. Choose two of the 
bravest of the nuns to take charge of her and the 
rest need see little of her. The sisters must not feel 
unhappy nor more sorry for her than if she were 
suffering from any other illness. In one way she 
deserves less pity, for the insane do not feel their 
malady as they would any other disorder. We were 
reading, the other day, about the convent of our 
Order in which St. Euphrasia lived. Among the 
community was a nun afflidied in the same way as 
this sister; she would obey no one but the Saint, 
who finally cured her. Perhaps there may be some 
one in your house of whom the sister stands in awe. 
Unless we were tried by ill health in our convents, 
they would be like heaven on earth, and we should 
gain no merit. Perhaps the nun would leave off 
screaming if she were slapped: it would do her no 
harm. You are right in keeping her shut up. I 
have been wondering whether she suffered from 
an excess of blood, which, I believe, causes pains 
in the shoulders. May God cure her! You must 
know that, though such things are regrettable, I 

* One of the nuns at Seville had gone out of her mind. 


do not feel as sorry as though I saw imperfections 
or discontent in the community, and since there is 
nothing of the kind, bodily ills do not trouble me 

You know that those who are to enjoy the 
companionship of the Crucified must bear the 
cross, and we need not ask for it, (though my 
Father, Fray Gregorio, thinks that we ought,) for 
those whom His Majesty loves. He treats as He 
treated His Son. 

I wrote to my Father, the Prior of las Cuevas, 
a few days ago. Remember me very kindly to him 
and read the enclosed letter from me to Father 
Garci Alvarez: give it to him if you think well. 
On account of my head, which suffers from con- 
tinual noises, (although it is a little better) I rarely 
write to either of them, much as I like them: you 
must always give them kind messages from me. 

I was glad our Father ordered that the two nuns 
so much given to prayer should eat meat. You 
must know, my daughter, that I am distressed 
about them, for if they had been near me, they 
would not have undergone so many extraordinary 
experiences. The number of these experiences 
makes me doubtful of them, and though some may 
be genuine, I am certain that it is safest to pay 
little attention to them. Neither your Reverence 
nor our Father should make much account of 
them, but should depreciate them, for when they 
are genuine, nothing will be lost in this way. 
When I say 'depreciate them,' I mean you should 
say that God leads souls by different ways and that 


this is not the way of the greatest sanctity, which 
is the truth. 

I am pleased with Father Acosta's* account and 
that he has so high an opinion of the sister. I do 
not wish her to tell him many of the prophecies 
lest it should destroy his good impression if they 
are not fulfilled, as happened to me in her case. 
I do not mean that I lost my belief altogether, for 
I know well that when many such things may have 
been revealed by God, there may be others which 
are merely imagination. I forget the date at which 
the event foretold by the other nun was to take 
place; let me know whether her prophecy comes 
true or not, for letters arrive safely by this courier. 
It has just occurred to me that I had better not 
write to Father Garci Alvarez until you have in- 
formed me as to whether he knows about the matter 
so that I can speak to the point. Give him my very 
kind regards and say that I was delighted with his 
letter which I will answer. 

Be very cautious about the two postulants who 
wish to enter. It is a strong point that Father 
Nicolao should be satisfied with them. God willing, 
our Father will go there in September or even 
earlier, as you know he has been requested to do,* 
and you must a6l as he decrees. I feel very anxious 

■• A saintly Jesuit at Seville. 

^ To Seville. This order had been given by Pazos, President of the 
Royal Council. (See letter of August lo, 1578.) He had consulted 
the Holy See on the matter and had received the reply that the Nuncio 
had no power to interfere with the religious of Spain unless requested 
to do so by the king. Sega was furious with Father Gracian about it, 
declaring that the latter had impeded his jurisdiction. He was also 
very irate on account of the calumnies and processes brought by the 
Mitigated against Father Gracian, as well as because of the memorials 
presenced by the latter to Philip, stating the great harm that would 


about his being with those people: prayers are 
greatly needed for him. 

All the nuns send kind messages. Oh, how 
Teresa jumped for joy when she got your present! 
It is wonderful how fond she is of you. I believe 
she would leave her father to go with you. As she 
grows older, she improves in charadler, and is very 
sensible. She already receives Holy Communion 
and with no little devotion. 

My head is getting tired, so I will say no more 
except to wish that God may have you in His 
keeping as I beg of Him. Remember me kindly 
to all the nuns and to the Portuguese and her 
mother. Try to forget your troubles, and let me 
know how the pain in your heart is. The orange 
flower water is excellent. My heart has been better 
during the last few days, for after all the Master 
does not wish me to have so many trials at once. 
To-day is June 4. 

Please attend to the favour or rather the request 
I make of you in the enclosed paper. For the 
love of God be most careful in the matter which 
is a service asked of me by some one to whom I 
am under the greatest obligation. I told him that 
if your Reverence could not succeed, no one could, 
for you are both clever and lucky in everything 
you undertake. You must take great pains about 
it, which will please me extremely. 

result to the religious Orders of Spain if the Nuncios issued Briefs 
in contradiction to the commands of their superiors. These memo- 
rials had been handed by Philip to persons who had shown them 
to Sega. The Nuncio's indignation was so great when the decree came 
from the Pope, that he declared he would return to Rome unless 
Father Gracian were burned alive for having impeded his jurisdiction. 
{Peugrin., Dial, ii, 39-41.) 


Perhaps Father Prior of las Cuevas may be of 
some help, but I rely chiefly upon Father Garci 
Alvarez. It seems a difficult task, but with God's 
favour, everything is easy. It would be a real con- 
solation to me if the matter were carried out: 
indeed, I believe it would render great service to 
our Lord as it is for the good of souls and can harm 
no one. What is wanted is a complete set of sermons 
by Father Salucio of the Order of St. Dominic. 
Get the best copy that can be had. If you cannot 
obtain them all, purchase as many as possible of 
the best he preached. A year's sermons comprise 
those for Lent, Advent, our Lord's feasts, our 
Lady's and the Saints' commemorated during the 
year, the Sundays from the Epiphany until Lent, 
and from Pentecost until Advent. As this is a 
private commission, it must not be mentioned 
unnecessarily to any one. God give you good for- 
tune in the matter. If you send them, let them go 
by this messenger and pay him well. As long as I 
am here, address your letters to St. Joseph's, which 
is better than dired:ing them to my brother, even 
when they are written to him, as he may be away 
from home. In short, if you cannot colledl all the 
sermons, get as many as possible. 

It is a great comfort that Father Garci Alvarez 
and Father Gregorio speak so well of your Rever- 
ence and your daughters, though, being your 
confessors, the reverse was to be exped:ed. God 
grant they are telling the truth ! 

The servant of your Reverence, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Avila, July 28, 1578^ 


The Saint advises him not to visit Avila. JJnjust 
imprisonment of the Licentiate Padilla. 


May the Holy Spirit be with you, my Father. 
T RECEIVED a letter from you full of your 
1 usual kindness and charity, of which you show 
me so much that all I can do is to beg God to 
repay you for it and the rest of your good deeds. 

As regards your visit to Avila, I assure you that 
I should be so grieved at what you would suffer 
from your travelling companion and at the injury 
this place does to your health, that, unless you 
were coming to help me in my desperate need, I 
should beg you not to spend your holidays here at 
so dear a cost to yourself. Thank God, I am in no 
need of your aid, and my many occupations and 
trials would prevent my having the comfort in 
your society that I should like. I therefore beg 
you not to visit Avila but to find some more 
pleasant spot in which to take the holiday you must 
greatly need after working hard all the year. Be- 
sides, if the Father Visitor should happen to come 
while you were here, I should enjoy little of your 

Believe me, my Father, I am well aware that 

' Fuente 201. The name of the addressee is missing; the letter seems 
to have been written to Fray Domingo Banez. The autograph belonged 
to the Bishop of Orduna. 



the Master chooses for me in this life cross upon 
cross. The worst of it is that He gives a part in 
them to all who wish me well, by which I know 
He means to make me suffer. May He be for 
ever praised! 

I am deeply grieved at Father Padilla's misfor- 
tune, for I believe he serves God sincerely. May 
God make the truth manifest, for many enemies 
mean many trials, and we are all liable to the same 
fate. But it is a small thing to forfeit life and 
honour for love of so good a Master. 

Will your Reverence pray much for us, as I 
assure you that our affairs are in a state of chaos. 
My health is fairly good: though my arm hurts 
me so much that I cannot dress myself, still it is 
improving and I wish I were improving in love 
for God. 

May His Majesty have your Reverence in His 
keeping and make you as holy as I ask of Him. 

To-day is July 28. 

The unworthy servant and true daughter of your 

Teresa de Jesus. 

Your servants the nuns of Avila beg earnestly 
for your prayers. Do not allow the prioress to leave 
off eating meat, and make her take care of her 


Prefatory note. 

On July 23, 1578, the Nuncio Sega revoked and an- 
nulled all patents, authority and powers formerly granted 
to Gracian by the Nuncio Ormaneto, ordering that by a 
certain date Gracian should deliver to him all books, 
documents, processes, seals, and other properties belong- 
ing to his office. (This command was obeyed.) Gracian 
was blamed because, after having been prohibited, he 
had continued his Visitation. All were forbidden to ren- 
der obedience either to him or to any other superior 
appointed by Ormaneto. {Acta Cap, Gen.Ndi. i, page 560). 

Avila, the beginning of August, 1578.^ 

Encouragement and sympathy, 

MAY the Holy Ghost be with your Paternity, 
my Father, and give you strength to endure 
this combat, for in our days God permits the w^orld 
and the devils to assail few persons with such fury. 
Blessed be His name Who has decreed that you 
should gain such merits in so just a cause. I assure 
you that, but for our natural affection, reason would 
show us clearly what strong motives we have for 
joy. I am relieved at hearing you do not consider 
that you were excommunicated, though I never 
believed you had incurred that penalty. . . 

' Fuente 202. The beginning and end of this letter are missing. 
It was published as No. 19 of Vol. vi, first edition. 

Vol in. 9 


Avila, August, 1578^ 

The Saint reproaches himfornot answering her letters. 

. . . May God protect your Paternity and permit 
me to see you at rest some day, if only to recruit 
your strength in order to suffer more! All the nuns 
beg earnestly for your prayers. God grant you may 
answer all my questions, for you have become very 
like a native of Biscay!* I know there have been 
reasons, but since it causes me such suffering no- 
thing should have prevented your writing. . . . 


Avila, August 8, 1578* 



The Reform is transferred to the authority of the 

Jesus, Mary be with you I 

GOD sends us all trials both here and at Alba. 
May He be for ever praised! You need feel 

^ Fuente 203. Another fragment of a letter. In one of the deposi- 
tions for St. Teresa's canonization it is stated that she wrote to Father 
Gracian every day while the persecutions were severe. This fragment 
was No. 20 of Vol. VI, first edition. 

■-' The natives of Biscay could not talk much as they knew little 

^ Fuente 207. The autograph is at the Discalced Priory, Alba de 




no anxiety about Gonzalo's going away with little 
Lorencico:* my brother would not consent, nor 
does he think it suitable. I did not write to him, 
as the lad who brought the letter had left when it 
was delivered to me. Now I am praying for all 
of you. 

You must know that our affairs have suddenly 
become as serious as they could be, for a counter- 
brief has been obtained which subjects us all to 
the Nuncio. I am not sorry for it as perhaps it 
may be the best means of obtaining our eredlion 
as a separate province ; also because Father Gracian 
will no longer be among these people. 

I am so hurried that I do not know what I am 
saying; I am now sending advice on certain subje<fls 
to the convents at Alba and Salamanca, therefore 
I will only ask you to pray for me. 

I am not more of an invalid than usual, as crosses 
are health and medicine to me. Remember me 
very kindly to Seiior Juan de Ovalle and Dona 
Beatriz. The sisters here send you kind messages. 
My brothers are well; they do not know that 
Pedro' is going to Alba. 

This is August 8, and I am yours, 

Teresa de Jesus. 

* The sons of Juana and Lorenzo. There was a question of their 
going to the West Indies together. 

' Pedro, the messenger, accompanied St. Teresa on several of her 
journeys. On one occasion, when he began a low song, she said: 
'Don't sing that, Pedro, for you will be a friar one day.' It was far 
from his thoughts then, but at the age of seventy-one he joined the 
Discalced and lived as a holy friar until the age of eighty-nine. 


Prefatory note. 

Father Gracian was at Valladolid, engaged on making 
nis Visitation by order ot the king, when the Nuncio's 
agents arrived there to notify the counter-briet to him. 
Being warned that an attempt was to be made to seize 
him, Father Gracian hid himselt in the Bishop's house. 
The messengers went to St. Alejo's Priory and tried to 
break open the doors, but were prevented by a band of 
armed citizens. The Nuncio's notary, seeing two friars 
escaping over the wall, ran after them as tar as the Bishop's 
palace, thinking that one ot them was Father Gracian. 
The lawyer read the Brief aloud outside the door and 
returned to IMadrid, where he told Sega that he had ac- 
complished his commission. Father Gracian left for 
Madrid, calling on S. Teresa, at Avila, on the way. 

Avila, August 8 and 9, 1578 ^ 


T^he Nuncio head of the Rejorm. Presentation oj his 
Brief at Avila. Benefts oj trials. 

Jesus be with your Paternity, my Father 

I WROTE to you yesterday via Mancera and sent 
the letter to the Subprior, asking hnn to inquire 
whether you were at Peneranda as you exped:ed to 
be. 1 begged hini to let no one else know, even the 
friars. 1 also enclosed two letters from Roque in 
which he lays much stress upon your going at once 
to Madrid. Though he says he has written diredtly 
to you on the subjedt, I tell you because I am afraid 
that letters are intercepted. 

' Fuente, 204. The autograph belongs to Don Crispo. (Fr. Ant.) 
Vol. V, No. 19, in the first edition. 



In case you should not have gone to the place 
you mentioned, I am despatching a messenger to 
Valladolid, advising the Mother Prioress how to 
answer, for Roque insists upon our replies being 
identical, otherwise our cause would be lost. He 
sent me a copy of what he wished said, which I 
am forwarding to her. I have told the other com-, 
munities the precaution may not be necessary. 

It is very sad to see these souls in the hands of 
one who does not understand them. However, my 
anxiety and trouble are solely on Paul's account. 
If only I could see him at liberty! I do not know 
why, but even if I try, I cannot feel the same 
about the rest. God will watch over you, and if 
you are cautious there, I shall be content, as long 
as you do not go to that other place. 

I am greatly alarmed, for there cannot but be 
danger in your going to and fro to say Mass. I am 
astounded at what is happening and heartily wish 
you would leave where you are and go to some 
place where we should be sure you were safe. For 
charity's sake, let me know your address, so that 
I may not be as completely at a loss when I want 
to tell you anything as I am at the ciphers, which 
you change without explaining them. I should be 
very glad if you had a companion, were he only a 

The prior of Santo Tomas* came to see me 
yesterday. He thinks that it would not be a bad 
plan if you waited for an answer from Joanes* and 
deferred your visit to court until the business was 

^ The Dominican Priory at Avila. 
* The Licentiate Juan de Padilla. 


settled. The Recftor/ and even my brother, were 
of the same opinion after I had told them of your 
letter to Joanes. Since your Briefs are to be deli- 
vered to the President, I do not know why they 
should press you to start at once. I wish you to go 
solely for two reasons: one is my terror lest they 
should seize your person at Valladolid, and it would 
be better to leave than that this should happen, 
(from which may God deliver you!) The other 
reason is that we should see how the Nuncio 
treated you before your interview with the king. 
In any case, the presence of His Majesty would be 

This was written yesterday. It will prove to you 
that I believe that God will give you light by 
which to adt in this affair, as he gives you peace 
in bearing it, for I have witnessed His intercourse 
with you.* The state of the matter is that last 
Sunday, the third instant, a Brief was notified to 
Father Mariano which, as far as I understand, was 
the same that was taken to Valladolid, but Roque 
gave me few details. According to him, the Brief 
is very long, and revokes the decrees of the last 
Nuncio. It must be the one mentioned by your 
Paternity, but little is known about it. No doubt 
it was written by the Pope and published by the 
Nuncio, as Fray Mariano declares in his answer 
that he submits to his Lordship's commands. 

* The Rector of the Jesuits. This concerns the Briefs, powers, etc. 
given by the late Nuncio and the Pope to Father Gracian which were 
now to be delivered up to Pazos, President of the Council of Castile. 

"" While St. Teresa was praying she saw a vision of our Lord con- 
soling Father Gracian. 


The Brief is said to ordain that the friars should 
no longer consider your Paternity as their superior, 
but should obey the Nuncio, and no one else. I 
was glad of this ; perhaps the Nuncio will not give 
those fathers as much authority as they exped:, 
for he will wish to gratify the king. I believe, as 
you say, that they long to have done with reforms : 
there is no doubt about that, nor would anything 
please me better than to see your Paternity set free. 
All will come right later on. 

No notifications have been made either here or 
at Mancera. As the Provincial of the Calced has 
not left Avila, they must be awaiting something. 
Roque says that the Brief is to be notified in all the 
houses but does not state whether that means the 
friars or no. 

I have written asking the Prioress of Alba to 
keep the sister, and to Teresa Laiz*^ asking her 
consent. It is such a consolation to me that God 
gives you the grace to find some comfort among 
your trials that I do not know how I could feel 

I had reached this point in my letter when the 
Reverend Father Rioja arrived at the door with a 
lawyer to notify the Brief. They asked for the Mo- 
ther Prioress, not for me, and as far as I can learn, it 
is the same Brief that was sent to Valladolid, which 
is said to be in the hands of the Royal Council. 
God forgive me! I could never have believed that 
the Nuncio would have given such an order — I 
mean, could have expressed himself in such a 
manner. Had you not followed the advice of so 

* Foundress of the convent at Alba. 


many learned men, I should not be surprised at 
your Paternity's feeling it keenly, but as you have 
always adled uprightly, and you suspended your 
Visitations for a year until you knew that the Nun- 
cio had affirmed that he had never withdrawn your 
commission, I do not know how such things can 
be alleged now. Though I am exceedingly pained, 
yet, on the other hand, I am deeply touched, 
knowing how circumspedtly you acfled, yet with 
what infamies you are loaded. I assure you, my 
Father, that God loves you greatly and that you 
imitate Him closely. Rejoice that He gives you 
the crosses you ask of Him for He will defend 
you because He is just. May He be blessed for all 

Oh, what rich treasures these sufferings are, my 
Father! No money could equal them in value, 
since they purchase you so rich a crown. Remem- 
bering that our Lord Himself and all the Saints 
travelled by this way, I cannot but envy your 
Paternity, for I am not found worthy of suffering 
myself now, except by witnessing the pain of one 
I love dearly — and that is far keener anguish. 

Tomorrow we shall arrange together how to 
send Father Julian de Avila to Madrid at once to 
recognize the Nuncio as our superior, to make 
friendly terms with him and beg him not to deliver 
us over to the Calced. When Father Julian returns, 
I shall write to several persons, asking them to 
propitiate the Nuncio on your Paternity's account. 
I intend to state the fadis and to explain how 
long you refrained from using your commission 


until you learnt what he himself had declared. I 
shall add that you always obeyed him willingly 
until you discovered that Tostado had interfered in 
order to destroy the Reform. I can assure the Nun- 
cio truthfully that I am pleased with his a(5tion, 
for anything is better than our subjediion to those 
* of the cloth/ 

Father Julian de Avila must ask for what is 
required in our houses, such as leave for workmen 
to enter, and other matters of the kind, as I am 
told that the Nuncio becomes our superior diredily 
we render him obedience. May God prote<fl us all 
for no one can force us to offend Him. In any 
case, I shall still have St. Paul and nobody can 
withdraw me from the obedience I promised to 
that saint.' 

The Brief has pained the sisters more than any- 
thing on account of its aspersions regarding your 
Paternity. The nuns commend themselves earnestly 
to your prayers and are praying much for you at 
my request. We need feel no fear, my Father; 
we should praise God for leading us by the way 
He walked. May His Majesty protect you for me 
and grant that I may see you freed from all these 

To-day is the Vigil of St. Lawrence. 

The unworthy servant and true daughter of your 

Teresa de Jesus. 

' An allusion to St. Teresa's vow of obedience to Father Gracian 
(Paul). See Rel. vi. 


Prefatory note. 

The addressee of this letter is unknown ; it may have 
been either Roque, or more probably, the Count de 
Tendilla. Very likely Father Julian took it with him to 
Madrid. (See last letter.) Yepes says that St. Teresa sent 
a full and most excellent account of the affairs of the 
Reform to the king, to be delivered to him by one of 
the friars of the Order. She also wrote letters to the 
Nuncio, to Rome, and to several influential persons on 
the subject, besides a number forming a large volume 
directed to Roque de Huerta, which Yepes declared he 
had in his own possession. This and the next letter were 
possibly addressed to Rubeo, who, as he died on the 
fourth of the following month, cannot have received 
them. The closing sentence seems to show that it was 
sent via Madrid. 

Avila, about August lo, 1578^ 


'Justification of Father Gracians condiiB. The rela- 
tive pollers of the Visitor and the Nuncio. Theologians, 
lawyers i and the President of the Royal Council favour 
Father Gracian. 

. . . When the late Nuncio died, we considered 
it certain that the powers of the Visitor had also 
expired. However, the theologians and lawyers of 
Alcala, Madrid, and some of those at Toledo whom 
we consulted, said this was not the case but that as 
the Visitation had been begun, in spite of the Nun- 
cio's death it must be completed. Had it not been 

' Fuente 205. \'ol. v. No. 20 of hrst edition of the Letters. 



commenced, the powers of the Visitor would have 
ceased at the death of him who bestowed them. 
President Covarrubias, in his turn, told Father 
Gracian to continue his Visitation until it was 
completed. All were agreed upon this point. 

When the present Nuncio arrived in Spain, he 
at once bade Father Gracian show him his authority 
and the Ad:s of all his Visits. The latter wished to 
retire from his post, but was told that this would 
annoy the king, who had requested him to make 
the Visitation. Father Gracian then called on the 
Archbishop* and gave him an account of what had 
taken place. The latter remonstrated with him, told 
him that he had the courage of a fly, and that he 
ought to go to the king and lay the whole matter 
before him. When Father Gracian objedied on ac- 
count of the Nuncio, the Archbishop replied that 
every one has the right of appeal to the superior and 
that this course must be followed. 

The king ordered Father Gracian to return to 
his priory, saying he himself would examine into 
the matter. Some theologians (including even 
President Romero) whom I consulted at Avila, 
declare that, as the Nuncio had not shown the 
faculties giving him authority in the case, Father 
Gracian is not bound to discontinue his Visitation, 
for which opinion thev give several reasons. 

The Nuncio had not then shown his faculties, nor 
has he done so vet, unless it has been within the 
last ten days, though I know for certain that the 
king requested to disclose them. 

Notwithstanding all these opinions, for about 

- Don Quiroga, archbishop of Toledo. 


nine months' Father Gracian did not use his powers 
even to sign a document, though he was aware 
that the Nuncio had declared, and even sworn, 
that he had not forbidden him to continue the 
Visitation. This can be vouched for by numerous 
witnesses, also that when asked by a friar to deprive 
Father Gracian of his commission as Visitor, the 
Nuncio replied that he had not the power. 

At the end of nine months, the acftual President 
of the Royal Council, sent for Father Gracian and 
told him to resume the Visitation.'^ The latter beg- 
ged him urgently to withdraw the command, but 
the President replied that this was impossible, for 
it was the will of both God and of the king; that he 
(Pazos) was in his present office against his own 
wish, adding other reasons of the same kind. 
Father Gracian asked whether he should go to 
the Nuncio: this the President forbade, telling our 
Father to have recourse to himself if necessary. 
The Council then delivered to Father Gracian 
several royal mandates authorizing him to apply 
to the civil power wherever he might be.* 

It had always been believed, from what the 
Nuncio himself had said, that he had no authority 
over the religious Orders, for when the king was 
displeased at the way in which, without consulting 
him, he had treated Father Gracian on arriving in 

' From August or September 1577, until May or June 1578. 

* In consequence of the decision of the Holy See that the Nuncio 
was not to interfere with the religious Orders in Spain unless requested 
to do so by Philip, Pazos gave this direction. 

' Father Gratian never availed himself of this permission in spite of 
the attempt made to capture him at V'alladolid. 


Spain, the Nuncio has done nothing nnore until now. 
We therefore suppose that, since then, he must 
have received some very special powers from the 
Pope, on account of his present ad:ion: though, as 
far as we know, he has not shown those powers to 
the Royal Council or to any one else. 

Father Gracian felt greatly perplexed, for, if he 
had had recourse to the Nuncio, instead of obeying 
the king, we should have lost favour with his 
Majesty, who is our patron, and who upholds our 
cause with the Pope, especially as we knew for 
certain that the Nuncio was endeavouring to ap- 
point as Visitor Tostado, a father *of the cloth' 
whom the General chose as his Vicar. Tostado 
undoubtedly came to Spain with the determination 
of carrying out the regulations of General Chapter^ 
by abolishing all our priories except two or three. 
No novices were to be received in these houses, 
and the friars were to be dressed in the same man- 
ner as the Calced. Father Gracian accepted the 
office of Visitor with great relucflance, solely with 
the object of defending the Reform. 

It would be a very delicate matter for him to 
render up his powers together with the A(^ls of the 
Visits relating to the faults of the Calced friars 
of Andalusia, because much of the information 
was given him under promise of secrecy. To 
reveal it would provoke the anger of all, and 
destroy the reputation of many religious. Nor did 
Father Gracian know whether the Nuncio was the 
superior appointed to treat of the affair, since the 
latter has never shown his authority. 

*^That of Piacenza, held in 1575. 


All this is true, and there are other fad:s which, 
were they revealed, would prove clearly that the 
Brief blames Father Gracian unjustly. He has 
done nothing without the advice of learned men; 
for, learned as he is himself, he never follows his 
own judgment. He declares that it is a novelty in 
Spain that a Nuncio should refuse to disclose his 
powers, former Nuncios always having shown 

Will you kindly consider whether it would not 
be well to have clearly written copies made of this 
explanation and send them to several persons in 

Teresa de Jesus. 


Avila, August, 1578* 


A plea for the Reform and for forgiveness for herself 
from the Father General. She asks that the Discal- 
ced may not be governed by the Caked. Arguments 
in favour of a separate province. 

. . . Indeed, notwithstanding the numerous letters 
you have written to him* and the honour done to 
him by it, the result has been the opposite of what 
you wished. He no more writes to our commu- 
nities nor deals with them than if he were not our 

' Fuente 206. This letter is incomplete. The autograph belongs to 
the Discalced nuns of Alcala de Henares. It was probably addressed 
to the Count de Tendilla. 

* Most likely Rubeo, the Father General. 


superior. Evidently people must have prejudiced 
him, or he would not have behaved In so marked 
a manner. 

We v^ish to obtain for our communities from 
his Most Reverend Paternity three most Important 
concessions for our houses. 

Firstly, If possible, he Is to be persuaded not to 
give credence to what has been alleged against 
Teresa of Jesus, for Indeed she has done nothing 
unbecoming a most obedient daughter. This Is 
absolutely true and nothing can be proved to the 
contrary. He knows that she would not tell a 
falsehood for anything in the world, and experience 
has shown him of what people not personally ac- 
quainted with her are capable when carried away 
by passion. Let him make inquiries, and since he 
Is our shepherd, let him condemn no one unjustly 
and unheard. But if he will listen to nothing except 
the accusations made against her, let him punish 
Teresa and impose a penance on her, leaving her 
no longer in disgrace, for she would prefer anything 
to his displeasure. 

Fathers forgive their children even for grave 
offences: how much more should he forgive her 
who has committed no fault, but has laboured 
painfully to found convents, thinking to please him, 
for not only is he her superior, but she bears him 
the deepest affed:ion. Let him not permit so many 
handmaids of God, with whom no one finds fault, 
to remain in disgrace with him but let him hold 
them as his daughters as he always has done and 
acknowledge them publicly as such, since they 
have done nothing to forfeit that right. 


Secondly, since the Apostolic Vicar no longer 
rules over us and we are under his Lordship's 
jurisdiction, will he nominate superiors to whom 
we may have recourse for Visitations and our many 
other needs. But we ask that these superiors should 
be Discalced Carmelites who keep the Primitive 
Rule, and that he will not subje(5l us to the friars 
of the Mitigation. We beg for this both because 
they lead a life so different that it is impossible for 
them to understand ours and to corred: the sisters' 
failings, also on account of the ill-success of their 
government, of which his Lordship is aware. If 
he wishes, he shall be informed of the complete 
failure of the last father who filled that office,' 
though he had been chosen as the most suitable by 
the nuns themselves. Perhaps it may have been no 
fault of his, but, as I explained, came from lack of 
experience which does great harm. 

Besides this, the two Apostolic Visitors stipulated 
in the Ad:s of their Visit, imposed upon us by 
obedience, that the nuns should be subjecft to the 
Father General and to a superior appointed by 
him, who, on account of the harm that had resulted 
from a different choice, should be a friar of the 
Primitive Observance: that is, a Discalced Car- 

If his Most Reverend Paternity disapproves of 
this plan, you might give him to understand (not 
as coming from the nuns but as your private 
opinion) that they would prefer placing themselves 
under the jurisdiction of the Ordinary to being 
visited and governed by the Calced, for as his 

' Probably Fray Angel dc Salazar, Provincial of the Discalced. 


Lordship is so far away, much harm might be done 
before they could appeal to him, as experience has 
shown him. This was one reason why we did not 
oppose the Visitors, which as Reformed religious 
we had the right to do. However, we do not wish 
to be in the power of the Mitigated again, having 
already experienced it. 

Until every effort has been made to carry out 
the first plan, nothing is to be said of the second, 
which I should regret to accept and should only 
agree to if we should be ruined otherwise, as the 
nuns would suffer terrible torment at being with- 
drawn from obedience to the General. But surely 
they will meet with some mercy from him, for 
besides being held in high esteem for their virtue 
by the king and the highest in the land, they num- 
ber among them several ladies of rank. They are 
in no need of money; the convents are built and 
in flourishing condition, having been founded by 
the nobles of the kingdom. God grant the time 
may never come when the nuns may find them- 
selves in such a condition, and separated from the 
jurisdidiion of so good a shepherd."* May God 
forgive whoever sowed these tares ! A most impor- 
tant point, towards which, for love of our Lord, 
I entreat you to dired: most strenuous efforts, is 
that the Discalced should be constituted as a 
separate province. 

Our convents are always under the jurisdidion 
of the Provincial, but as the nuns converse with 

* The end of this paragraph from the word 'good a Shepherd' 
was first published by Pere Gregoire, by whose kind permission it is 
translated from the Spanish. 

Vol. III. JO 


God only, it would be a great advantage as regards 
mortification and perfection that, if possible, the 
direction of our communities should be conferred 
upon the Father Master, Fray Jeronimo de la 
Madre de Dios Gracian, as he has visited them for 
several years. His interior spirit, his discretion, and 
gentle manners, combined with great perfedtion and 
gravity, make it evident that the Virgin has chosen 
him to help the nuns to make great spiritual pro- 
gress. They declare that at every visit he renews 
their fervour and benefits them extremely.* 

If it could be carried out, this would be the best 
plan, as all the nuns would agree. Yet the thing 
seems impossible, for our most Reverend Father 
General is as displeased with Father Gracian as 
with Teresa of Jesus: indeed, far more so for the 
reasons given in the enclosed statement.*^ It was 
this Father who was made Apostolic Visitor by 
order of the late Nuncio and the King, and, con- 
sidering the misdeeds alleged against him, no 
wonder the Father General is annoyed with him! 

Could the above plan be carried out, it would 
render great service to our Lord, but as this seems 
impossible, it is necessary to suggest the names of 
other religious. These are: the Father President, 
Fray Antonio de Jesus, or Fray John of the Cross, 
these being the first to become Discalced Carmelite 
friars, and very faithful servants of God. Should 
these be unsuitable, let the Father General choose 
one he prefers, as long as he is neither a friar * of the 

■" The rest of the autograph is missing. The Spanish is taken from 
Vol. VI, No. 48 of the first edition of the Letters. 
*This appears to refer to the preceding memorial. 



cloth' nor an Andalusian. Do your best, for, God 
willing, better terms for us may be arranged later 
on. It would be a great thing first of all to be 
delivered from the Calced. 

Whoever is nominated must be careful to send 
the appointed taxes every year to the General 
as the Visitors should do in order to acknowledge 
their delegation by him. Should he not do so (but 
he will, as he is bound), the nuns will pay these 
taxes. If the Father Master Jerome Gracian were 
appointed their Visitor, the sisters would gladly pay 
double and even much more, and consider them- 
selves gainers, so important would be the advantage. 
This must be repeated to no one except to him who, 
after the most careful inquiry, is found to be the 
Most Reverend Father General's chosen confidant. 
It would be prudent to treat first with this adviser 
on all the above-mentioned questions, for it is 
essential, if our plans are to succeed, to gain the 
good- will both by word and deed of those associated 
with his Lordship. 

In the third place, it would not be desirable that 
the Father General should set a strid:er limit to the 
powers of our superiors than that appointed to those 
of other Orders who, when a convent or house is 
bestowed for nuns, or the superior himself founds 
one, have power to transfer to it sisters from the 
older-established communities. Otherwise, it would 
be dithcult to make foundations in his Order. Peo- 
ple help the Reform and are glad to see it spread, as 
was the Most Reverend General of Carmel himself 
before he was misinformed on the subjed:. I do not 


know what can have been alleged against such 
religious, who give and who have given so good an 
example, and who continue to found houses in 
which they live sincere and devout lives, that he 
should, as I said, deprive them of what is accorded 
to all other religious bodies. 

At the General Chapter, the Most Reverend 
Father General forbade under pain of excommu- 
nication that any nun (especially Teresa of Jesus) 
should leave her convent; he also prohibited the 
superiors' giving such permission. Yet, when a 
house was ready for a new foundation, she had only 
gone there with some other nuns to establish the 
Order, taking possession of it with all possible 
religious observance, according to the patents given 
her by the Most Reverend Father General himself. 
In fadl, those who witnessed it were edified, as can 
be proved if necessary. 


Prefatory note. 

On August 9, by the king's order, the Royal Council 
opposed the Nuncio's jurisdiction and issued provisions 
forbidding the friars of the Reform to obey him, at the 
same time commanding the governors of towns and 
cities to intercept the communication of his briefs and 
mandates. Father Gracian (who was to retain his office 
of Visitor) received letters of provision entitling him to 
protection by the magistrates against any measures that 
Sega might take against him. 

Avlla, August 14, 1578.^ 

T^he Sainfs anxiety about Father Gracian. Advice 
as to obtaining a separate province. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with you, 
my Father. 

HAD your Paternity not visited Avila, I should 
have gained small merit from our trials which 
caused me little grief, but since then I have paid 
my whole debt. I assure you that I was so touched 
by the sight of you that my heart felt broken 
all day yesterday, (Wednesday), for I could not 
bear to see you so downcast and with such grave 
reason, as wherever you go you are in danger and 
obliged to skulk and hide like a malefad:or. Yet 
never for a moment do I lose confidence in our 
final success. The fad: is, my Father, that God has 
sought a sure way of making me suffer by willing 
that the blows should fall where they hurt me 
more than when aimed at myself. 

To-day, the vigil of our Lady's feast, the good 
Roque sent me a copy of the letters of provision 
which are a great comfort to us, for as the king 
thus takes the matter up your Paternity will be free 
from danger. Your peril was what tormented us, 
for I know that the sisters are courageous about 

' Fuente 208. Part of the autograph is kept at Fuencarrel, near 
Madrid ; and the rest is taken from Vol. v, No. 25 of the first edition 
of the Letters. 


all the rest. The Master has not willed that I 
should suffer long. It is fortunate that your Pater- 
nity left here when you did and that you are 
travelling via the Escorial. 

You will tell me by the bearer, Pedro, all that 
has happened and is happening. Let news be sent 
to Valladolid, as the sisters there are anxious. They 
sent a messenger here, as they had learnt what had 
become of Fray Juan de Jesus.* At the same time, 
do not forget to mention whether anything can be 
done to help Fray John of the Cross,^ nor to tell 
me whether it would be well to send some one to 
the Nuncio to show that the Discalced know 
something of obedience, since we are put under 
his authority. We shall consult together here as to 
our best course and shall follow it, if your Pater- 
nity is no longer at Madrid, for such an adlion 
cannot impair the justice of our cause, since we 
have obeyed. I received letters to-day from the 
convents of Valladolid and Medina; nothing has 
been notified to them. The Mitigated must have 

" Fray Juan de Jesus Roca, Prior of Mancera, who went to Madrid 
to settle some dispute with the Vicar of Valladolid concerning the 
foundation, presented himself before the Nuncio who would not listen 
to him but condemned him to confinement for two months in the 
Priory of the Calced at Madrid. 

^ St. John of the Cross escaped miraculously from his prison on the 
feast of the Assumption. Our Lady appeared to him and showed him 
the window from which he was to descend. He let himself down 
safely by a rope too short and frail for the purpose and was twice 
miraculously assisted over high walls which he could not climb. He 
entered the convent of the Discalced nuns at Toledo to give the 
Sacraments to a sick sister, and hid in the infirmary while the Calced 
friars searched for him. Canon Mcndoza sheltered him in the hospital 
of the Holy Cross until he was well enough to return to the priory at 


learnt what is happening, otherwise I feel sure 
these brethren of mine would not have been idle. 

My Father, I feel rather anxious, for amid all 
this commotion and in these letters of provision, no 
other Visitor is mentioned but my Father Gracian. 
I should not like any edi6t to be sent from Rome 
against him, so I think it would be well for your 
Paternity to remember the light seen by Paul^ 
which seemed verified by that seen by Angela* 
and that you should withdraw from this fire as far 
as possible. But do not vex the king, whatever 
Father Mariano may say. Your conscience is un- 
suited to cases about which contrary opinions may 
be held, for even when there is nothing to fear, 
you are troubled, as you have been lately. This 
course would appear right to every one. Let the 
others settle their disputes among themselves : when 
all has been arranged and made certain, it will be 
enough for you to expose yourself to danger with- 
out incurring scruples as well. I assure you that 
my chief anxiety during all this commotion has 
been the fear implanted in me (I cannot say how) 
that you will not be relieved from the Visitation. 
If it is the will of God, He will protedl you as He 
has hitherto, but it would be torture to me. 

If you withdraw as I have suggested, you will 
need all your tadt in order to appear to fear nothing 
but offending God which is the truth. Should your 
Paternity converse with the Nuncio, justify your- 

* This happened while Father Gracian was reciting Compline at 
Toledo in 1577. The trials he was to undergo were also revealed to 
St. Teresa. Re/, ix. 23. (David Lewis). 

" Here begins the autograph kept at Fuencarral. The beginning of 
of this paragraph was first published by P. Gregoire. 


self in this affair, and explain, if he will listen, that 
you will always obey him and only delayed sub- 
mission in the past because you knew that Tostado 
was bent on destroying our newly established Re- 
form. You might say that he can discover the state 
of our houses by making inquiries, and other things 
of the sort. 

Your Paternity should strive, in every possible 
way, to obtain a separate province on whatever 
conditions the Calced require. On that all depends, 
even the very existence of the Reform. This must 
be stated to the king, the president, the archbishop, 
and all the rest, and they must be made to under- 
stand what scandal and contention has resulted 
from the want of it, especially in Castile, where as 
there is neither Visitor nor justice to control them, 
the Mitigated behave as they like. Your Paternity 
will know better than I how to state the case: it 
is very foolish of me to write about it, but I mention 
it lest your other cares should cause you to forget 
it. I am not sure whether Pedro will take this letter 
as he cannot get a mule: at all events, the messenger 
will be trustworthy. For charity's sake, let me 
know all that is happening, however limited your 
time may be, and tell me how Father Mariano is. 

The nuns here commend themselves earnestly 
to your prayers. If you witnessed their grief at 
your trouble, you would be touched, for it is all on 
my Father's account. I feel sorry for the sisters at 
Veas and Caravaca: we sent them a messenger 
and they must be in great distress for they have 
heard nothing lately. We wrote to them holding 
out great hopes, except as regards your Paternity, 


so that they might pray for you more fervently. 
Be kind enough to let Roque know if there is any 
means of communicating with them from Madrid. 
I forwarded fifty ducats to him yesterday and am 
sending to-day what will complete the sum of a 
thousand reales!' 

I should be very sorry if your Paternity were 
obliged to remain at Madrid, or even where you 
are, during the warm weather. As these affairs are 
likely to take a long while to settle, would it not 
be well for you to come to Mancera? For charity's 
sake, consider the question, for we should be nearer 
one another. Let me know what has become of 
the prisoners taken at Pastrana. Oh, if only another 
vision would deliver you from the torment into 
which the other plunged you a few days ago! God 
grant it, and may He grant me the favour of seeing 
you in such a position that I may be freed from 
all my fears. Amen. 

To-day is the vigil of our Lady of August. Our 
joys and sorrows come to us on her feasts as though 
from her.'' 

The unworthy servant and subjed: of your 

Teresa de Jesus. 

•^ The autograph clearly shows that the last two clauses refer to 
Roque, not Father Gracian. 

' On the feast of the Presentation of our Lady, 1575, St Teresa had 
been in great distress on account of the danger incurred by Father 
Gracian when presenting the Brief at the Calced Priory, Seville. Our 
Lord said to her : "O woman of little faith! be at peace : all is going 
well." {Rel. ix, 27). 


Avila, August, 14-15, 1578^ 


Cautio7i to he shown ahout entrusting the affairs of 
the Reform entirely to the Nuncio. 

... I believe that you are to speak to-day to 
the king who arrived at the Escorial yesterday. 
Let the greatest care be taken that what is entrusted 
to the Nuncio is made sure of, for I see that many 
things are treated more as a matter of custom than 
as a right. This is what must be insisted on as 
regards the province. . . 

. . . brother. I beg your Honour to dired: that 
it should be given into his own hands. . . 

' Fuente 267. P. Fidel Fita assigns this date to tlie letter. (Bol. de 
R. la Acad, de la Historla, lvhi. cuad 1.) 



Avila, August 24, 1578^ 

Death of the king of Portugal. The necessity of urging 
upon the Nuncio and others the establishment of a 
separate province for the Discalced. The Count de 
Tendilla. The fesuits and Father Mariano. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 

Paternity, my Father ! 

WE were delighted with the letter Pedro 
brought, so full of bright hopes for the 
future which seem certain to be realized. May our 
Lord dispose of matters as tends most to His service ! 
However, until I know that Paul* has had an inter- 
view with Mathusalen and how it has passed off, 
I shall not be free from anxiety. If your Paternity 
should hear of it, have the kindness to write an 
account of it to me. 

I was deeply grieved at the news of the death 
of such a Catholic king as that of Portugal* and 
angry with those who let him incur such great 

' Fuente, 209. The first part of the original letter belongs to the 
Carmelite nuns of Rioseco; the rest is taken from Vol. iv, No. 26, 
first edition. 

"'Paul' stands for Father Gracian; 'Mathusalen' for the Nuncio. 

^ Don Sebastian, king of Portugal, with a number of his subjects, 
had lost his life on August 4, 1578, on the coast of Africa where they 
had gone to establish the Christian faith. Ribera says that, more than 
twenty years before, St. Teresa had seen a vision of an angel holding 
a naked blood-stained sword over Portugal. While she was weeping 
over the death of the king and his companions, our Lord said to her : 
'Why do you grieve, if I saw that they were ready to come to Me ?' 


danger. We learn from all parts of the world that 
there is little safety and no happiness to be found, 
unless we seek them in suffering. 

Your Paternity should make every possible 
effort, in whatever way you think best, and under 
any conditions, to obtain a separate province, for 
though there will be no lack of other trials, it is a 
great thing to be safely established. If the fathers 
* of the cloth' were also to press the matter with 
the Nuncio (as I believe thev would do willingly), 
it would be a great advantage. Do not cease to en- 
deavour to bring this about, as if the Nuncio sees 
no opposition, he will listen to us more favourably. 

We were delighted at his answer to the Miti- 
gated about their adlion at Medina and their 
endeavours to persuade the nuns to obey the Pro- 
vincial *of the cloth.' 

Valdemoro is Vicar there: as he did not receive 
sufficient votes to be made Prior, the Provincial 
named him Vicar in order to assist the house. Since 
what took place some time ago, he is very angry 
with the Prioress Alberta. The Calced fathers here 
tell people that the nuns are to be placed under 
their jurisdicflion, and many other things of the 
kind. The sisters were half dead with terror of 
Valdemoro, but I have reassured them. 

Let us know when your Paternity thinks it ad- 
visable to render some acfl of homage to the Nuncio, 
and for charity's sake tell us, as soon as possible, 
about your interview with him, for I shall be 
anxious until it is over, though I trust in God that 
all will succeed in answer to our many prayers. 
I am very glad that you have found such a pleasant 



home : you need some comforts after your trials. 
I wish the Count de Tendilla would accompany 
you on your first visit to the Nuncio. Should the 
latter grant you pardon, you will be completely 
exculpated from all the slanders brought against 
you. I feel certain that if some influential person 
were to plead for Fray John with the Nuncio, 
were he only entreated to inquire into the father's 
character and the injustice of his imprisonment, 
Sega would at once order that he should be sent 
to one of his own houses.* I do not know by what 
mischance it is that nobody remembers that saint. 
The Princess of Eboli would intercede for him if 
Father Mariano stated the case to her. 

The fathers of the Society are very anxious that 
Father Mariano should come to Avila at once, as 
they are in great need of his help.* If, without 
much inconvenience, he can be spared from Ma- 
drid, I beg your Paternity to have the charity to 
send him here, as these fathers have been asking for 
him for a long while and are writing to the Nuncio 
for permission. He would be with you again in five 
or six days, as a day or a few hours would suffice 
here. I beg you not to forget this amidst all your 
other business. It is fortunate that you are able to 
charge him with this commission, for, though it 
seems unimportant, the fathers consider his help 
absolutely indispensable.^ 

I do not know how we can repay Don Diego ^ 

* The escape of St. John of the Cross was not yet publicly known. 
' This refers to the water supply for the Jesuits' house at Avila. 
® Here terminates the part of the letter preserved at Rioseco. 
' Don Diego Peralta, who was sheltering Father Gracian in his house 
at Madrid. 


in return for his great charity; heaven must recom- 
pense him. Give him my kindest greetings and tell 
him I entreat him not to forsake you until he has 
found you a safe refuge for I am terrified at all 
these highway murders. May God in His divine 
loving-kindness prote(ft your Paternity. I com- 
mend myself to the prayers of Doila Juana;^ 
remember me kindly to the secretary and the 
sefioras. I sincerely hope we shall not give them 
such trouble in future. 

You must know that the Father General has 
written to Dona Quiteria, as you will see by the 
enclosed letter. God forgive those who have told 
him such falsehoods against us! If His Majesty 
should grant us the favour of being constituted as 
a separate province, it would be well to send some 
of our fathers to him at once, as I believe we 
should eventually become his favourites. Let us 
be His Majesty's favourites and then, come what 
may ! xMay He proted: your Paternity for us. Amen. 

The bell is ringing for Matins, so I will only say 
that the prioress and sisters are well and feel much 
consoled. They and my brother ask your prayers 
and are pleased with the way our affairs are pro- 
gressing. My greatest pleasure is that this detestable 
Visitation, which cost us so dear, is done with, and 
that your Paternity has no more to do with it as 
I have long desired. Yet I cannot but fear lest so 
great a blessing should not last long. 

To-day is August 24. 
Your Paternity's unworthy servant and daughter, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

• Father Gracian's mother and his brother Tomas. 



Prefatory note. 

This fragment of an unpublished letter must have been 
part of the large volume of letters from St. Teresa to 
D. Roque de Huerta, which Yepes says were in his 
possession. At his death, in 1 6 1 3, as Bishop of Tarazona, 
they were nearly all dispersed and lost. A photo of the 
autograph of this fragment (which is kept at the Fran- 
ciscan convent de la Concepcion, Madrid), was published 
by P. Fidel Fita in the Boletin de la Real Academia de 
la Historia, January, 191 1. He believed that it was 
written on Aug. 24, 1578, and that the first sheet, now 
missing, contained an account of the crisis of the Reform 
which Roque cut off and probably sent to the Count de 
Tendilla. While Rubeo was alive, St. Teresa would have 
liked Father Gracian to go to Rome to explain and settle 
matters with him. 


Avila, August 24, 1578 
Dangers of Father Gracian. 

. . . Your Honour must not feel anxious, for our 
Lord will bring things right when you least expedl 
it. I feel, and I have felt, greater anxiety as to 
whether our Father has put himself into the hands 
of the Nuncio; for I would very much rather he 
cast himself into the hands of God and faced the 
dangers of the journey to Rome, and that he should 
be one of those who go there. Perhaps I do not 
understand what I am talking about. 

For charity's sake let me know all that happens 
at once, as we are greatly concerned about it. 



Tell me how Fray Antonio is: I was very sorry 
about him, for they were heavy blows for one so 
ill and weak to bear. He is a saint and God treats 
him accordingly. 

The Count's letter was a great comfort to me, 
for I believe that God has chosen him for our 
deliverer. I enclose the answer, which is of the 
utmost importance. If he is at Madrid, will you 
give it into his hands yourself; if not, send it by a 
special messenger — but remember that on no 
account must it be lost. 

Your Honour's unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Prefatory note» 

SegAj who had excommunicated Father Gracian at Valla- 
dolid, now sent him an order to show his powers as 
commissary. The king and the theologians whom he 
consulted, advised Father Gracian not to comply until 
Sega had shown his own powers. After a short stay at 
Madrid, Father Gracian went to the priory at Pastrana. 
While he was there, the Nuncio's deputies, Augustin 
Suarez and Coria, came to present the Brief and receive 
the submission of Father Gracian, Fray Antonio, Mari- 
ano, and the community. At first the friars, relying upon 
the royal provisions, determined to resist, but Father 
Gracian first consulted a holy lay brother accredited with 
supernatural discernment who told him that if the Dis- 
calced submitted to Sega as the representative of the Holy 
See, the Pope would grant them a separate province. 
Father Gracian followed his advice, showing the royal 
provisions to the Visitors as a proof that his compliance 
was voluntary, and returned to Madrid. There he gave 


his documents to the Royal Council and went to the 
king. Philip, indignant at his provisions having been 
set aside, left the Discalced to their fate, telling Father 
Gracian to call on the Nuncio and learn his wishes. Sega 
refused to see him until the documents of the Visitation, 
etc. had been transferred to himself. 

If the three friars thought that their submission would 
have propitiated Sega, they were mistaken. The inter- 
view was terrible. After having excommunicated them, 
he condemned them to prison: Mariano at Atocha; 
Father Antonio with the Discalced Franciscans, and 
Father Gracian with the Mitigated at Madrid. The exact 
date of this affair is unknown, but their custody cannot 
have lasted very long as the three fathers were free to 
attend the Chapter of Almadovar by October 9. (See 
PeregrinacioneSy Dial, in, p. 47; Found. Introd. xlvi, ch. 
xxviii, note 9. For the royal provisions, see pref. note 
to Letter ccxli.) 

Avila, early in August 1578^ 


St. Teresa writes to Sega. Advises Father Gracian 
as to how to behave to him. 

Jesus be with your Paternity. 

I VERY much wished to write you a long letter 
in return for yours, which was downhearted and 
melancholy throughout, but the letters I enclose 
had to be sent, and now mv head will not allow me 
to scrawl any more. Will you have the enclosed 
missive directed to the Nuncio;* I have not written 
the address lest I should make a mistake : let the 

' Fuente 210. Vol. vi, No. 26, first edition. The original was at 
the Cistercian Monastery, Poblet. 
^ This letter has been lost. 
Vol III. il 


lady whose handwriting most resembles mine, 
affix it. 

In the first place, this Paul' of mine with all his 
scruples, is very foolisli : your Paternity should tell 
him so. There is nothing to say to your Paternity 
on the subjedt. All theologians declare that his 
conscience can be perfedlly clear until the Brief is 
notified to him, and he would be mistaken in 
putting himself into the Nuncio's hands before the 
President has smoothed the way for him.'* If pos- 
sible, the latter should be present during the first 
interview your Paternity has with the Nuncio. 

For the love of God do not let your fancy make 
you prophesy such evils: He will bring things 
right. I understand now why Joseph said, when 
Ardapilla went away, that it would be well for our 
afi^airs; if he is in such ill favour, there is no doubt 
of that. It does not matter about those hermits: 
God brings good to light as well as evil when He 
chooses. You are under no obligations as to Mass; 
I have inquired about it and you know it yourself. 
Try to remain where you are, if it can be kept 
secret: that is what makes me anxious. If you are 
melancholy in such a comfortable life, what would 
you have been had you shared the lot of Fray John?* 

The money owing to Alonso Ruiz will be paid. 
If he has not left, tell him that I have about a 
hundred bushels. The money ought to be paid to 

^'Paul' stands for Father Gracian, 'Joseph' for Christ, and 'Ar- 
dapilla' for the Licentiate Padilla. 

* The President of the Royal Council, Don Pazos, soon after made 
bishop of Avila. 

* St. John of the Cross. 


the Malagon nuns at once; his payment can go 
with it. 

My head prevents my writing more, my good 
Father. Abide with God, and since you serve such 
a lady as the Virgin, who prays for you, never 
allow yourself to grieve, though I see there are 
reasons for it. 

Remember me affectionately to Dona Juana. 
Teresa de Jesus. 
Let the President be told we are praying earnestly 
for his health. 


Avila, End of August, 1578^ 


Imprisonment and escape of St. "John of the Cross at 

... I assure you that the treatment undergone 
by Fray John of the Cross is ever in my thoughts. 
I do not know how God can allow such things, 
for even your Paternity is not aware of all. During 
the whole of the nine months he was imprisoned 
in a cell hardly large enough to hold him, small 
as he is, and for all that time he never changed 
his tunic, though he was almost dying. Three 
days before his escape, the superior gave him a 
tunic of his own, and disciplined him several times 
severely. Fray John saw no one during his cap- 
tivity. I envy him intensely. Thank God for giving 
him courage for such martyrdom! 

' Fuente 211. Nothing remains of this letter but these two fragments, 
Vol. VI, No. 44. First edition. 


It is well that the faits should be told so that 
we may be more on our guard against these people. 
God forgive them! Amen. 

.... Inquiries ought to be made so that the 
Nuncio can be informed as to how this saintly 
Fray John was treated, blameless as he was. It is 
a lamentable affair. Tell Fray German* to do so; 
he will, for he feels very strongly about it. . . . 


Avikj the middle of September, 1578^ 

Anxiety at St. 'John of the Cross having been allowed 
to leave Toledo. 

... I am deeply pained at the life Fray John of 
the Cross has led, and that they have permitted 
him, ill as he was, to start at once for Almadovar. 
God grant that death may not deprive us of him. 
As a personal favour to me, will your Paternity see 
that he is taken care of there and not allowed to 
leave. Be sure not to forget this. I assure you that 
you would have few such religious left if he were 
to die. . . 

'' Fray German, St. John's fellow chaplain who was taken prisoner 
by the Caked. 

' Fuente, 212. This may possibly be part of the preceding letter. 
Vol. V, No. 47, first edition. 


Avila, September 29, 1578^ 

ProjeSi of sending to Rome to obtain a separate province 
and protestor . Father Ajitonio continues the Visitation. 
Disappearance of Fray Juan de la Miser ia. Father 
Paul Hernandez. 

... If all were done it would be a great thing : 
if both friars could not go, one should do so, but 
it would be better to send two. They are much 
liked by the Society (of Jesus) which would be no 
small advantage in the negotiations.* In any case, 
will your Paternity write to me at once, and for 
charity's sake let us not confine ourselves to hopes 
any longer. Every one is surprised at our having 
no one to negotiate for us in Rome, so that the 
Calced can do as they like. Let those who go, take, 
a petition begging that the Discalced may have a 
protecftor there. 

There is need for us to ad: without delay, for 
our time is very limited, as your Paternity is aware. 
Being in Madrid, you can inform me whether it is 
too late, for however we hastened matters I think 
we should need the whole of Odober. I laugh at 
myself for planning as though there were friars 
at hand and funds for their journey. But if we 
do not make a beginning, it will never be done: 

' Fuente 2 1 3. The first part of the letter is missing. The Carmelite 
nuns of Rioseco have the original. 

" St. Teresa did not know that Rubeo had died on the fourth of 
this month. 


we ought to have begun to prepare diredlly we 
submitted to the Brief. 

Fray Antonio complains terribly, and with good 
reason, that we have told him nothing.' I am sur- 
prised at Roque, considering the number of mes- 
sengers who travel between Madrid and Granada. 
I told Roque that your Paternity would give notice 
to Fray Antonio who, as he knew nothing of what 
had passed, used his powers with less scruple. I do 
not know what I have done with his letter ; if I 
find it, I will send it to your Paternity. 

I must own that I was grieved at learning how 
lawless some of your Discalced friars are: I refer 
to the one who went away with Fray Baltasar;'^ 
the Calced jailors were more grateful. God grant 
he may obtain no followers when he is set at liberty; 
but it is better that he should be with the Calced. 

I fear lest those *of the cloth' may have seized on 
Fray Juan de la Miseria^ as he has never appeared 
since they say they last saw him. May God bring 

' Fray Antonio de Jesus (Heredia) had been making a Visitation in 
Andalusia as delegate of Father Gracian who had omitted telling him 
that Sega had withdrawn his powers. Perhaps Roque de Huerta had 
forgotten to give Fray Antonio Father Gracian's message. 

* This alludes to a friar who left the Mitigation for the Reform and 
afterwards returned to the Calced. 

^ Fray Antonio says in his notes that Juan de la Miseria, who was 
at Valladolid when the Nuncio's Visitors arrived, fled in terror to 
Rome, where he consulted St. Philip Neri, who advised him to suffer 
and obey. He died at Madrid over a hundred years old with a repu- 
tation for sanctity. {Found, ch. xvii, 5, note.) Les GLuvres states that, 
while in Rome he left the Carmelite Order and returned to the 
Franciscans. Later on, he wished to rejoin the Discalced Carmelites but 
was refused by the superiors and it was only through the intervention 
of St. Teresa from heaven and by means of another Brief from the 
Holy See that he rejoined the Reform. 


all things right, and may He preserve your Pater- 
nity to us as I and your daughters beg of Him. 
Amen. My health is fairly good. The Prioress of 
Salamanca writes telling me that she has informed 
you of the reception of the novice. 

To-day is the feast of St. Michael. 

Your Paternity's unworthy servant and daughter, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

Will you read what you think fitting of this 
letter to Father Mariano. Remember me kindly 
to him and Fray Bartolome, also answer me 
promptly about the journey to Rome. You must 
know that a father of the Society, a great friend of 
mine, is at Madrid. They say he went there on 
account of the President; perhaps they may have 
been fellow-citizens. If it would benefit us, I would 
write to him: his name is Pablo Hernandez. 

This letter was entrusted to a carter and returned 
to me as he was taken ill on the road and brought 
back to Avila. I have opened it to see what I had 
written. I think it would be well for you to read 
it, though you may find it tiring. 


Probably July, 1578 


Distress on account of Father Gracians sufferings. 

. . . The Discalced friars having . . . they owe to 
them. All in this house commend themselves 
earnestly to you. I am not astonished at the sand:ity 
people say you possess: I should be astonished if 
you did not, considering the prayers that are offered 
for you by such good people as I believe your 
daughters are. But what troubles our Lord has 
sent us with these changes of superiors and the fears 
I feel ! I assure you that . . . all is wearisome and 
the other would have been rest. Blessed be God, 
Who is pleased that our life should be so spent. 
The life your Paternity leads me is very painful: 

' This fragment of a letter in St. Teresa's handwriting has never 
before been published. It belongs to the Discaked Carmelite nuns of 
Chichester and is contained in a case with a document and other relics 
of the Saint. The document states: . . . " J'assure, disje, que toutes ses 
reliques ont 6te donnees par nos Meres Carmelites d'Hespagne a nos 
premieres meres du Couvent Royal de Bruxelles avec des assurances de 
personnes trcs digne de foy. En moyen du temoignage de I'afFection que 
jay pour le couvent de nos Carmelites de Valenciennes, je leur en fais 
present de tous . . . fait a Lille le 2 Juillet, 1701. Fr. Aubert de Ste. 
Marie, Vicaire-Provincial, Carme Deschausse." The date of the 
fragment is uncertain but it seems to have been written during the 
troubles of the Reform, probably during i 578, as in the fragment dated 
August of that year, St. Teresa complains that Father Gracian did not 
write to her and she speaks there and in other letters of his being worn 
out and exhausted by work and anxiety. If so, the fragment must be 
anterior to October 15, 1578, as from that time, the Saint does not 
address him as 'Your Paternity.' 



God forgive you for such days of suffering as you 
have cost me with your fevers and the hemorrhage, 
which they say has been very severe. I do not know 
why you did not tell me of it. I own, my Father, 
that it tries me so that I do not know how I manage 
to speak a pleasant word to you, for though. . . 


A Vila, October 4, 1578^ 


Trials of the Reform and of Father Gracian. Petition 
for help in respeB of the Royal Council and the 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with you, 

my Father. 

A WEEK ago, I received a letter from Ana de 
los Angeles, Prioress of Medina, telling me 
that you were at Madrid. The news was a great 
comfort to me, for I believe that God has led you 
there in order to relieve me of some of my trials. 
Since August last year they have been so numerous 
and so varied that it would be an intense relief to 
me if you visited me^ so that I could tell you about 
some of them, though to relate them all would be 
impossible. They culminate in our present position, 
which will be described to you by the bearer of 
this letter, whose affection for us makes him share 
our sorrows, and whom we can trust implicitly. 

' Fuente, 214. The original letter belonged to the Discalced con- 
vent, Carnide. 


The devil cannot endure the fervour with which 
these Discalced friars and nuns serve our Lord. T 
assure your Reverence that the perfection of their 
lives would console you. There are nine houses of 
friars containing many excellent religious, but as 
we do not form a separate province no pen could 
describe the annoyances and sufferings inflidled on 
them by those * of the cloth.' At present our Father, 
whether for good or evil is, under God, in the hands 
of the Nuncio; and, for our sins the Mitigated have 
brought charges against us, in which the Nuncio 
places entire credit, so that I do not know how affairs 
will end. They say that I am a gad-about, restless 
woman, who founded convents without licence 
either from Pope or General. Let your Reverence 
consider whether anything could have been more 
unruly or unchristian on my part. Many other 
accusations unfit to be mentioned, are brought by 
these blessed friars against me and Father Gracian, 
who was their Visitor. Such unbearable calumnies 
are deplorable, for I certify to your Reverence that 
no one I have met serves God more truly with an 
upright, pure conscience than he does. You may 
trust my word for this. As perhaps you are aware, 
he has been trained by the Society all his life. The 
whole matter took its rise at Alcala. The Nuncio 
is exceedingly angry with him for reasons concern- 
ing which, were the truth known. Father Gracian 
would be found to be little if at all to blame. I, 
too, am in disgrace with the Nuncio, although 
I have done nothing against his authority; indeed, 
I willingly obeyed a Brief which he sent here,* 

* See Letter of August 8,9. 1578. 


and wrote him the most humble letter possible. 

I believe that all this trouble is sent from 
heaven, that God wills us to suffer and that no one 
should defend the truth or say a good word for me. 
I declare sincerely to you that I feel neither trouble 
nor pain regarding what affedts me personally: 
indeed, it affords me special pleasure, though if it 
were proved that these fathers' charges against me 
were false, perhaps the Nuncio would not believe 
what they allege against our Father Gracian, which 
is the important matter for us. I therefore send 
you a copy of the patents of authorization which 
I hold, as the Nuncio declares that our acfls are 
invalid on the ground that we have founded houses 
without licence. As I perceive that the devil is 
doing all in his power to discredit these convents, 
I desire that God's servants should come forward 
to defend them. O my Father, how few friends 
we have in time of need! 

They tell me that you are a great favourite of 
the President and that you are now in Madrid 
on his account. I believe that the Nuncio has given 
him his own version of what I have told you, and 
more as well. Your Reverence would do us great 
service by undeceiving the President, which you 
could do as an eye-witness, as indeed you are of 
my soul. I believe it would be rendering great 
service to our Lord. Will you explain to the 
President how important it is that the new-born 
Reform should flourish, for you know how lax our 
sacred Order had become. 

People declare that the Reform is a new Order 


freshly Invented. Let them read our primitive 
Rule: all we do is to observe it without mitigation 
in all the rigour in which the Pope first authorized 
it. Let them believe only what they see, and ex- 
amine our lives and those of the Calced, instead of 
listening to what the latter say, for I do not know 
where the Mitigated got the many falsehoods with 
which they attack us. I also beg your Reverence 
to speak on my behalf to the Nuncio's confessor,' 
to remember me to him, and tell him the whole 
truth, asking him to lay it on the Nuncio's con- 
science not to publish such charges against us until 
he has investigated them. Say that, though I am 
extremely wicked, I should not dare to commit the 
adlions of which they accuse me. I ask you to do 
this if you think it expedient; not otherwise. 

If vour Reverence approves, you might also show 
the Nuncio the patents by which I founded, one 
of which contains a formal precept not to cease 
making foundations. When I asked our Father 
General not to make me establish any more con- 
vents, he wrote in reply that he wished me to 
found as many houses as I had hairs on my head. 
It is not right that so many nuns who serve God 
devoutly should be discredited by such accusations. 
Since, as I said, it is you of the Society who trained 
me and gave me being, it seems to me right that you 
should declare the truth, so that such a grave per- 
sonage as the Nuncio, who has come to reform our 
religious Orders and is not liimself a native of Spain, 
should learn who ought to be reformed and who 
ought to be taken into favour, and should punish 

^ Don Luis Manrique. 


the persons who have told him such falsehoods. 

Your Reverence will know what is best to be 
done. I ask of you for the love of our Lord and 
His precious Mother that as you have helped us 
ever since you knew us, you will do so now in our 
dire need. They will repay you generously, and 
your Reverence owes it to me for my good-will 
towards you and in defence of the truth, which 
you will make known in the way you see best. 

I beg your Reverence to keep me informed of 
everything, especially about your health. Mine 
has been very poor, for our Lord has tried me in 
every way this year, but I care little for myself. 
What troubles me is to see that these servants of 
God are suffering for my sins. May His Majesty 
be with your Reverence and protecfl you! Kindly 
let me know whether the report is true that you 
are to make a long stay in Madrid. 

To-day is the feast of St. Francis. 

The unworthy and loyal daughter of your 

Teresa de Jesus, Carmelite. 


Prefatory note. 

While Juan Jesus de Roca was in retirement at Madrid 
he wrote frequently to Sega, begging to be heard in 
defence of the Discalced. At last the Nuncio visited him 
at the priory and Fray Juan pleaded for the Reform 
and its foundress. At the name of St. Teresa, Sega ex- 
claimed angrily: 'Do not mention her name! She is a 
restless, gad-about, disobedient, contumacious woman 
who promulgates pernicious doctrine under the pretence 


of devotion. She leaves her cloister against the orders 
of her superiors and the decrees of the Council of Trent. 
She is ambitious and teaches theology as though she were 
a doctor of the Church in spite of St. Paul's prohibition.' 
The *rock of bronze' defended the Saint against each 
charge and convinced the Nuncio of her innocence. He 
then begged that the Discalced might be constituted as 
a separate province as the Caked would not govern them 
according to their Rule and wished to suppress them. 
' 1 give you my word not to subject you to the Mitigated,' 
answered Sega: Write to all your communities telling 
them to apply to me for what they want, for I myself 
will govern you in future.' (Reforma^ bk. iv, ch. xxviii, 
XXX. 2. Found. XXVIII, note 9.) This was probably the 
occasion on which he liberated Fathers Gracian, Mariano 
and Antonio. 

Unhappily the Nuncio's favourable state of mind was 
soon changed to anger and indignation. The Apostolic 
Visitors had decreed that when their term of office had 
expired the members of the Reform might meet in 
Chapter and elect a Provincial of there own. Relying on 
this, Fray Antonio de Jesus, who in the Chapter held at 
Almodovar 1576 had been made first Definitor and ap- 
pointed vice-gerent of Father Gracian in case of the latter's 
absence or revocation, summoned the Discalced priors 
and their socii to a Chapter to be held at Almodovar on 
October 7, 1578. Here Fray Antonio was elected Pro- 
vincial, which was considered both by the friends and 
enemies of the Reform as equivalent to constituting it 
as a separate province. Besides this, friars were appointed 
as messengers to the Holy See to negotiate the affairs of 
the Discalced. Saint John of the Cross went to the 
Chapter and did all that he could to persuade his brethren 
against taking such a course. Before the Chapter was 
dissolved. Fray Juan de Jesus Roca arrived from Madrid 
and vehemently urged the wrongfulness of the act. He 
told his brethren that they could not plead the decree of 


the Visitors on which they rehed because they had for- 
feited all right to a separate government when Father 
Gracian submitted to the Nuncio. He begged them to 
undo what they had done, but they, by way of reply, had 
him confined to his cell for a month so that he might not 
return to Madrid and denounce them to Sega. In fact, 
his remonstrances had no more effect than those made 
by St. Teresa when first she heard of the plan. (Letter 
of April 15, 1578. Found. ^ Introd. xlvii, ch. xxviii.) 

* Hardly was the Chapter over when the Nuncio heard 
of the proceedings. Not only did he annul the acts of 
the Chapter, (which had been held in virtue of former 
permissions granted by Ormaneto which had expired 
with his death, and had also been revoked by his succes- 
sor) but he declared Fray Antonio's election to be illegal 
and summoned him to appear in his presence with the 
other superiors. (Fray Antonio had not obeyed this order 
on November 13). Sega also immediately dissolved the 
separate province and decreed that the houses of the friars 
should be incorporated with those of the Caked of the 
provinces of Castile and Andalusia respectively, under 
the jurisdiction of Didacus de Cardenas and Juan Guti- 
errez. At the same time, the Nuncio forbade any one to 
change the rules, to molest the priors, or remove the 
officials from their charges. Sega issued letters patent to 
this effect on October 1 6, and on the same day ordered 
that a minute account of the whole affair should be 
drawn up for the secretary of state of Pope Gregory xiii. 
Sega also acted very severely towards several of the 
Discalced. The Provincials, especially Juan Gutierrez, 
not only carried out his orders but also disobeyed his 
decrees by molesting the nuns and friars, into whose 
houses they entered as into conquered citadels.' {Acta, 
Cap. Gen. Vol. i, p. 560). 

When Father Gracian and the other superiors appeared 
before the Nuncio he spoke sternly to them and refused 
to allow them to plead their cause. The Brief of Oct, 16 


so incensed the king and his Council that, without 
waiting for an answer to their appeal to Rome, he sent 
a royal provision to all the Discalced nuns and friars 
commanding them not to obey the Nuncio as he had not 
shown the powers that enabled him to interfere with the 
religious houses of Spain. 

Meanwhile, the Nuncio excommunicated the fathers 
who had taken part in the Chapter and sent St. Teresa 
back to Toledo, bidding her remain enclosed there. Fray 
Antonio was imprisoned at la Roda; Mariano was de- 
tained first at Atocha and then, as that place was near 
Madrid and it was thought that he might influence the 
king, of whom he was a favourite, he was removed to 
Pastrana. Fray Antonio and Fray Gabriel de la Assun- 
cion were relegated to the Franciscan priory of Madrid. 
Father Gracian, after having been confined in the Calced 
Carmelite priory in Madrid was sent to the Discalced 
priory of Alcala de Henares. The Reform was forbidden 
to admit novices and its ruin seemed inevitable. 

Two friars chosen by the Chapter of Almodovar were 
sent to Rome on the affairs of the Discalced: Fray Juan 
de San Diego, prior of the house of Mount Calvary, and 
Fray Pedro de los Angeles. The latter was distinguished 
for his austerity. 'You are going to Rome barefoot but 
you will come back shod,' St. John of the Cross told him. 
The prophecy was fulfilled. At Naples, on his way to 
Rome, Fray Pedro met the Vicar General CafFardi and 
delivered the documents to him instead of placing them 
in the hands of the authorities at Rome. They were never 
returned. Enervated by the luxury he enjoyed during 
his stay at the palace of the viceroy at Naples, Fray Pedro 
left the Reform for the Mitigation. On his return to 
Spain, he sold his white mantle at Granada, where it was 
bought by the Venerable Anne of Jesus, who sent him 
a message that he must look to his soul, for he would 
soon die. She refused his repeated requests for an inter- 
view, but one day, seeing the door of the convent chapel 


open, he went in to pray and was struck with such remorse 
that he wept himself blind and died three days afterwards, 
about three years after his return from Italy. The only 
result of his mission was to defer the necessary steps 
being taken for the Reform. 

Avila, October 15, 1578^ 


Death of Rubeo. Chapter of Almodovar, That the 
friars should not be sent to Rome. 

May the Holy Spirit be with your Paternity, 
my Father. 

ON seeing you delivered from those affrays, 
I was delivered from my trouble about the 
rest of the affairs, come what mav ! 

I was deeply grieved at the news they sent me 
about our Father General;* I feel very sad about it. 
On the day it arrived I could do nothing but cry 

' Fuente 215. The autograph is at the convent of Corpus Christi, 
Alcala de H^nares. 

"Rubeo or Rossi was born at Ravenna in 1507. He became a 
Carmelite at the age of seventeen, studied at Siena and Padua, took a 
doctor's degree, and taught at the Roman university Sapienza. As 
companion to the Father General Audet, he became thoroughl}' ac- 
quainted with the affairs of the Order and was unanimously elected 
General in 1564. Two years before, as Vicar General, he had been 
sent by the Pope to visit and reform every province and house of the 
Order. These faculties were confirmed and extended by Pius V. 
Rubeo's journey through France, Spain, and Italy took him two years. 
Philip, who had welcomed him at first, was displeased at the severity 
with which he treated the relaxed religious of Andalusia. Rubeo 
visited Avila in i 567 and was henceforth St. Teresa's firm friend and 
devoted champion. He declared that she did more for the Order in 
Spain than all the friars put together. Unfortunately, through no fault 
of hers, misunderstandings arose which were never cleared away before 
his death which occurred on Sept. 5, 1578. Found, ch. ii. 

Vol. HI. 12 


and I bitterly regret that we should have given such 
trouble to him who certainly did not deserve it. 
Had we gone straight to him, our path would have 
been smoothed for us. God forgive him who 
always prevented it, for I could have arranged it 
with your Paternity, though you gave little credit 
to my opinion on the matter. The Master will 
bring matters right, but I feel it keenly, and also 
what your Paternity has suffered ; for what you told 
me in the first of the two letters you wrote after 
your interview with the Nuncio, stabbed me to 
the heart. 

You must know, my Father, that I was ex- 
tremely distressed at your not having shown him 
your powers at once;' your adviser can have cared 
little for the trouble you would draw down on 
yourself. I am glad experience will have taught 
you in future to take the proper course as I have 
always advocated, instead of rowing against the 
stream. To tell the truth, obstacles have blocked 
our way. However, there is no more to be said 
about it, for God ordains such things so that His 
servants may suffer. 

I should like to write more, but this letter must 
go at nightfall and it is late in the evening now. 
I have sent a lengthy letter to the Bishop of Osma,* 
asking him to consult with the President and 
Father Mariano about the matter of which I wrote, 
and to let me know the result. 

I have just seen my brother who desires to be 
kindly remembered to you. All here think that 

* See Prefatory note to Letter ccxlii. 

* Alonso Velasquez, St. Teresa's confessor at Toledo, 


it would not be well to send friars to Rome, (es- 
pecially now that Father General is dead,) for the 
following reasons. First, that their going would 
not be secret, and before they left Spain perhaps 
they might be captured by the Calced which would 
expose our fathers to deadly danger, and their 
papers and money would be forfeited. Again, they 
do not know how matters are managed in Rome, and 
when they arrived, our Father General no longer 
being there, they would be taken up as recusants 
when they were seen wandering through the streets, 
and there would be no one to defend them, as I 
told Father Mariano. If, with all influences in our 
favour, we have been unable to free Fray John^ in 
Spain, what would it be in Rome? 

Every one here (especially my brother, who is 
much grieved at the way the Discalced are treated) 
opposes the idea of our sending friars to Rome, 
believing that some one should be sent who under- 
stands the law in such questions. Lorenzo considers 
this a very important point, as he knows the Miti- 
gated fathers well. The aflfair would be put entirely 
into the hands of the person mentioned in my 
letter. Docflor Rueda feels such complete confidence 
in him that he thinks no one else would be required. 

Let your Paternity examine the whole matter 
carefully, and if you and Father Mariano agree 
with what I say, despatch a messenger to Almo- 
dovar, telling them not to make arrangements for 
the fathers' journey to Rome. Will you send me 
word about it at once. The delegate who would 
be sent from here is thoroughly capable, but 

^ St. John of the Cross. 


would cost rather more. If the funds can be found 
now, each convent will give its share later on. 
We could borrow from the legacy left to Alcala 
and repay it afterwards, for I certainly cannot supply 
the money from Avila at present. I am telling 
Father Mariano so, as you will see by the enclosed 

Keep in good health, my Father: the Lord will 
bring all our affairs right. God grant we may agree 
this time and that nothing more may be done for 
the present to give these friars a chance of marty- 
rizing us. 

Your Paternity's unworthy subject, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

Things are in a terrible state* just now and the 
devil is helping the Calced. He did himself a good 
turn when he exchanged the Archangel^ for the 
temporizer who is there now. I do not know how 
such folly could have been committed, but I believe 
they would have done worse had Ardapilla been 
there. I realize now, my Father, what martyrdom 
you suffered amid such conflicfling opinions. They 
should have left you alone, for God was evidently 
guiding you. 

All your daughters here beg for your prayers. 
I am glad you ordered that the subjed: should not 
be mentioned. Let us adl with deliberation and 

* The rest of this letter is written by a secretary. 

' Don Covarrubias y Leyva, Bishop of Segovia, a staunch supporter 
of the Reform, as President of the Royal Council had upheld Father 
Gracian's authority throughout. He died at Madrid on September 27, 
I 577, and was succeeded as President by Pazos. St. Teresa here alludes 
to the documents having been given to the Council instead of to the 
Nuncio. Ardapilla probably stands for the Licentiate Padilla. 


carry out this plan about Rome. Time smooths 
difficulties and, as your Paternity says, things will 
be settled there in time. Only, I wish you were 
near me so that we could see one another from time 
to time; it would be a great consolation to my 
soul. However, I do not deserve consolation but 
cross after cross — as long as you have none, let them 
come and welcome. 

I am fairly well, though this head of mine is in 
a very bad state. 

May God be ever with your Paternity ! For 
charity's sake, do not tire yourself by writing much. 
I am very glad they are electing no Provincial: 
from what your Paternity says, it is extremely 
prudent, though when Fray Antonio told me they 
were bound to nominate one under pain of sin, I 
did not contradidl him. I thought all had been 
settled there but if they have to go to Rome to 
obtain the confirmation of the elections, they might 
also petition for the separate province. If they pass 
through Avila, let them give me an account of all 
that is to be done. 

To-day is Od:ober 15. 

I am your Paternity's subjed: and daughter, 
Teresa de Jesus 


Avila, November 15, 1578.* 


The Saint condoles with him on his imprisonment and 
begs him not to leave the Order. 

... God give you strength to be steadfast in the 
right amid such great peril. Blessed are such trials, 
however grave, when they do not turn us from the 
right path. I am not astonished that those who 
love your Paternity endeavour to free you from 
them and seek for the means, though it would not 
be well to forsake the Virgin in a time of such 
distress. I venture to declare that Dona Juana 
would not advise it, nor would she consent to such 
a change.* God preserve us from it ! Instead of 
avoiding trialsyouwouldplungeyourself into them, 
for with God's favour, ours will soon be over, but 
perhaps those of the other Order might last your 
life -time. 

The more I refled: upon the case of your being 

' Fuente, 216. Corrected from the copy at the National Library, 
Madrid. The original letter belonged to a gentleman of Santiago. 

* Father Gracian states in the Peregnnaciones (Dial, ix, p. 141) that 
a friend, (probably instigated by the Calced) told his mother that he 
had meditated leaving the Reform for some other Order on account 
of the persecutions he was suffering, and begged her to persuade him 
to do so. She sent word to her son: 'They tell me you thinl< of 
leaving our Lady's Order. If such a thought has ever passed through 
your mind, never speak or write to me again, nor count me as your 
mother, for he shall be no son of mine who, too cowardly to bear 
persecutions, deserts such a Mother as the Virgin Mary and her Order.' 
The Count de Tendilla threatened to stab him if he left the Reform. 
Father Gracian answered that he had no intention of quitting the 
Reform, but he had much difficulty in pacifying his mother. 



made Visitor again, the worse it seems. I should 
live in terror at seeing you involved in a thousand 
difficulties in countless ways. The power of making 
visits lasts no longer than eating a mouthful of 
bread, but we might witness your being constantly 
involved in danger. I entreat you, for the love of 
God, even if the Nuncio commands you. . . 


Prefatory note. 

The Count de Tendilla called on the Nuncio and begged 
him to allow the Discalced to state their case to him: on 
meeting with a refusal he lost his temper and spoke 
indignantly. Quitting Sega's presence, he went to 
Chumazero, the king's attorney-general, whom he per- 
suaded to use the civil courts in defence of the friars. The 
issue was a decree of the Royal Council suspending the 
Nuncio's orders until the friars had had a hearing. Copies 
of the decree were sent to all the houses of the Discalced, 
but all of them, with the exception of Granada, of which 
the Count de Tendilla was a benefactor, declined the 
king's protection in that form and submitted to Sega. 

Neither the Nuncio nor his emissaries nor the Mitigated 
Provincials and Visitors paid any attention to these 
provisions. Sega's deputies continued to visit the houses 
of the Reform, dispose of their superiors, change their 
constitutions and send exaggerated accounts of any faults 
they could discover to the king, the Nuncio, and the 
Royal Council. They also made vile accusations against 
the moral character of Father Gracian and the nuns, 
dragging even St. Teresa's fair fame in the dust. (Santa 


Teresa^ by Don Mir. Vol. iv. ch. ix. Found, ch. xxviii. 
note lO.) 

Avila, November, 1578' 

Advice as to his behaviour to the Caked. 

Jesus be with your Reverence, my Father. 

IN a letter received to-day from Don Teutonio, 
at Madrid, he tells me that the Nuncio did not 
leave. If so, unless yon are detained at Alcala by 
illness, it is inadmissible that you should seem to 
disobey him. You must know, my Father, that I 
think these fathers wish to be friends with us now, 
and until we see how God means to dispose matters 
it would be well to temporize with them as you 
have done hitherto. Certainly I do not blame the 
Nuncio, but the devil must have planted his 
batteries so cleverly that nothing would surprise 
me. Do not let your Reverence fear because no 
one dares defend you, for God is your proted:or, 
and since he has done us the favour of your con- 
trolling your temper until now, perfed: yourself on 
that point, and let that be your cross, which can be 
no light one. Believe me, you could not have borne 
it unless the Master had given you special grace. 

As for the Council's reply, there is nothing to 
hope for from that quarter. Do you not see it con- 
tains nothing but empty compliments? What need 
is there to send them the document from here, since 
they have a copy which they know is correcft.? The 
time has not come yet; let us wait awhile. God 

' f uente 117. Vol. v, No. 35 of first edition. 


knows better what He is doing than we know what 
we want. 

What do you think of the way they speak of us 
in the enclosed paper? I do not know why the 
Discalced try to disprove such calumnies. Our 
Father is adling wrongly: it derogates immensely 
from his dignity. For the love of God, show the 
paper to nobody. People would think us senseless 
to notice such scurrilities, or to take steps to clear 
ourselves : I think it would show great imperfection 
if we did anything but laugh at them. 

You must know, my Father, that all these letters 
and the many affairs at which I have worked quite 
unaided have ended by producing such noises and 
weakness in my head that I have been forbidden 
to write anything personally unless it is absolutely 
necessary, so I will say no more. I will only add 
that, as for obtaining what you speak of from the 
king, you must not contemplate doing such a thing 
until you have considered it well, for in my opinion 
you would lose much credit by it. God will settle 
the matter in some other way. May He preserve 
you for my sake. 

Your Reverence's servant, 

Teresa de Jesus. 


Avik, November, 1578* 
Advice as to his conduSi. 

Jesus be with your Reverence. 

OH ! How 1 wish this could be a long letter, 
for yours delighted me, but they bled me 
yesterday so that 1 could not write, and they have 
ordered that the operation should be repeated to- 
day. I did not know the messenger would start so 
soon and he asks me to be quick. The cupping has 
given fresh life to my head. I shall soon recover, 
please God! 

What cheers me is that, as you must remain at 
Madrid, you are staying with the Calced friars:* 
but be cautious, my Father, for they will weigh 
your every word. For the love of God, be very 
guarded and do not be outspoken. I quite believe 
what they say of Tostado: if he is wise he will 
not return without the consent of him who has the 
right to give it,' and he is trying to get the invi- 
tation from your Reverence. I never heard of 
anything so amusing. 

I have received the letters you mentioned having 

' Fuente, 218. The original belongs to the Carmelite convent, 

' The Nuncio, on hearing of the Chapter of Almodovar held by the 
Discalced, imprisoned Fray Mariano in the priory of the Calced at 
Madrid, but sent him soon after to that of the Discalced at Pastrana, 
being afraid of the friar's influence over the king. 

"The Nuncio Sega. In spite of all the troubles of the Reform, he 
was friendly with Fray Mariano. 



sent: our Father's came yesterday. As regards Fray 
Baltasar/ I certainly wrote to him more than once. 
As your Reverence is living with the friars, you 
will be in great favour at Madrid. Continue to a(5t 
as you are doing, and please the Nuncio; for in 
fad: he is our superior and every one thinks well 
of obedience, 

Tiiere is no time to say more. 

Teresa de Jesus. 


Prefatory note. 

While the persecutions raged St. Teresa had remained 
calm and courageous, and even laughed at the terrible 
charges made against her, saying that if she had not 
committed these crimes she was guilty of many others, 
and the people who accused her were holy men so that 
she must be in fault in some way. But on Christmas eve, 
when she expected better news, so sad a letter reached 
her from Father Gracian that she broke down. 'God 
give me patience!' she cried; then reflecting for a mo- 
ment, she exclaimed: 'Now, Lord, Thou art granting 
my desires for suffering.' She shut herself in her cell 
and wept and prayed till nightfall, refusing any food. In 
the evening. Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew knocked 
gently at her door and persuaded her to come to the 
refectory. There the lay sister saw our Lord take some 
bread, bless it, and put it to the Saint's mouth, saying: 
'Eat this tor love of Me.' During the long Office and 
Midnight Mass, the tears streamed from her eyes at the 
thought of the foul charges brought against those who 
* Probably Baltasar de Jesus. 


lived such lives of purity as the Discalced. (Depostion 
of Mary of St. Joseph.) 

Avila, towards the end of December, 1578.^ 


Thanks for his help. Notification of the Odiober Brief 
at St. "Joseph's, Avila. 

May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 


ENCLOSED is a letter for the Father Master 
Chaves,* telling him that you will acquaint 
him with the state or our affairs. Manage to find 
an opportunity of talking to him and giving him 
my letter, and tell him how those blessed fathers 
[bemlitos] treat us. I think this missive will have 
some etfedl, for I beg him to speak to the king 
and explain the injuries done to us nuns when we 
were subje6t to the Calced. God forgive them! for 
they give your Honour such work that I do not 
know how you have strength to bear it. I know 
that the cost must be heavy : it depresses me deeply 
that I cannot do what I wish on account of the 
many claims upon me here. Much as I should like 
to help to pay for the fathers' journey to Rome, 
I do not see how I can, as the other houses have to 
subscribe by my means. It will be no small thing if 
the sum is found. However, I should consider it 
all well spent, for if we were at peace I could carry 

' Fuente, 1 19. The original belonged to the Carthusians of Saragossa. 
^ Philip's confessor, formerly confessor to St. Teresa; he was a 


out my wishes with regard to him to whom we 
are under such great obHgations. 

This information will show you how little the 
royal provision avails us with these fathers. I do 
not know whether they would respe(5l even the 
king himself. As they are accustomed to do as they 
choose and matters are favourable to them here, 
I assure you that it would be the most dangerous 
risk possible to attempt to arrange affairs with 
them just now. You mention that the Discalced 
at Alcala and Pastrana submitted to the Calced, 
but as I do not know whether their answer was 
identical with ours, will you be kind enough to 
tell me, for our Father^ has said nothing to me on 
the subjedl. He cannot have been at Pastrana. 

I received all the papers you sent, but they 
arrived too late for the other houses. Will you let us 
know of what use they are to us unless the authori- 
ties order that our fathers should be driven out of 
their priories or take any other extreme measure. 
This morning has been a day of doom: all the 
lawyers, men of letters, and gentlemen present were 
horrified at the irreligious behaviour of the Calced 
friars. I was greatly distressed and would willingly 
have allowed them to hear . . . but we did not dare 
to speak. Believe me, they cannot truthfully assert 
that they saw us do anything amiss, as Pedro* was 
at the door and went to tell my brother diredlly 
the fathers came. I felt anxious until I saw Lorenzo 
arrive with the corregidor. However, their presence 
will benefit us little as people will probably put 

* Father Gracian. 

* The out-door porter already mentioned. 


more faith in the inventions of the Calced than in 
our truthfulness. Be charitable enough to send our 
Father a statement of all that happened for I have 
not time to write to him. Also kindly let me know 
whether you are both well. 

I sent another letter by mistake for the one from 
Valladolid which I asked you to read and forward 
to him. The one meant for you is still here. I 
asked him how the Visitation of the Calced friars 
succeeded and gave him an account of all that had 
passed. I have asked the nuns of Valladolid and 
Medina to write to you on the matter 

Let me know what you can about Fray Baltasar's 
interview with the Nuncio, also whether the 
Mitigated friars are entitled to notify to our fathers, 
as, according to the wording of the Brief, no one 
but the Provincial has the right to delegate such 
authority. So people declare here, but I am uncertain 
as to its being the case. 

Report says that I am to be transferred to another 
convent; if it should belong to the Mitigated, how 
much worse a life mine will be than that which 
they led Fray John of the Cross! I wondered 
whether an excommunication was to be fulminated 
against me to-day, as a small document came with 
the large one. I do not merit the grace of such 
sufferings as Fray John's. I was extremely glad 
that the father left so opportunely. . .* 

* The rest of the letter is missing. It is not icnown to whom the 
Saint was alluding. 



Prefatory note. 

The Nuncio went to the king to ask for an apology from 
the Count deTendilla. 'The count owes you satisfaction,' 
replied Philip, 'and I will see that he offers it, and will 
show him that no one in my kingdom is allowed to show 
disrespect to the Holy Father's representative with 
impunity. But,' he continued in icy tones: 'I am aware 
of the hostility shown by the Mitigated against the 
Reform which looks ill, as the Discalced lead austere and 
perfect lives. See that you favour virtue, for people tell 
me that you are no friend of the Discalced.' The Nuncio, 
who knew the inflexible character of the king, was much 
disturbed by his tone and manner, for now both king and 
court and council, as well as the people were against him. 
The count, who was absent from Madrid, wrote an 
apology containing an account of the wrongs suffered by 
the Discalced at the hands of the Mitigated. He directed 
it to Pazos who showed it to Philip by whom it was 
transmitted to Sega without a word. On the Count's 
return to court, he called on Sega who cut short his 
excuses by saying: 'I protest that I have meant to do 
right in this matter. To prove it, I shall be glad if the 
king will choose some persons to examine into the affair 
with me.' Philip, greatly pleased, chose four assessors : 
Don Luis Manrique, the royal almoner ; Canon Villa- 
vicencio, Augustinian, preacher to the court ; Fray 
Hernando del Castillo, Dominican ; and Fray Pedro 
Hernandez, Dominican, who, as already stated, the Duke 
of Alba had summoned to court to take charge of the 
affairs of the Reform. Of Don Luis Manrique it is told 
that when Sega said to him: 'You are rather the advocate 
of the Discalced than their judge,' Manrique replied : ' And 
your Eminence is more their fiscal-procurator than their 
judge.' The assessors requested the Nuncio to hand over 
to them all documents and informations written by the 


Mitigated against the Discalced for investigation. (Don 
Mir. Bk. IV. ch. x.) 

At the same time, the Royal Council declared that no 
decree of the Nuncio should be accepted by the authorities 
and tribunal until the case of the Discalced had been heard. 
With their concurrence, the final sentence was passed on 
Father Gracian on December 20, (to be carried out at 
once). By this he was to be absolved from all censure 
and to retire to the priory of Alcala de Henares, which 
he was not to leave without Sega's permission. He was 
to fast three times a week, take the discipline once a week, 
have no part in the affairs of the Discalced nuns and friars, 
and was forbidden to write to any one but the Nuncio and 
his father and mother. However, he was allowed to say 
Mass and preach. . . Joannes Baptista Caffardo (Vicar 
General of the Carmelite Order after the death of Rubeo) 
took the first opportunity of writing in a friendly manner 
to the Discalced who replied on December i, promising 
submission and obedience. {^A^a Cap. Gen. Vol. i. p. 561. 
Found. Introd. xlviii; ch. xxviii, 4, 5, and notes.) 

In both his Peregrin, and Adkiones to Ribera's Vida de 
Santa Teresa., Father Gracian says that though he could 
have cleared his character, yet rather than injure the 
prospect of the separation of provinces by the delay, he 
allowed himself to be condemned and punished for the 
crimes alleged against him by the Caked, merely telling 
the Nuncio that he was innocent and resigning his fate 
into Sega's hands. 

Avila, December 28, 1578^ 


Good ?iews about the Reform. Private affairs. 

JESUS be ever with your Honour, and may He 
make you as happy this Christmastide and new 

' Fuente 220. Vol. v. No. 51, first edition. Fray Andres says the 
original letter or an ancient copy was at the Discalced convent, Calatayud. 


year as you have rendered me with such good news ! 

The letter brought by Pedro Ries* made me 
feel very sad on Christmas day and the next day, 
but on St. John's feast, in the morning, another 
carter came with yours which cheered us extremely. 
God be praised for such a signal mercy! I assure 
you that the rest gives me little trouble now, 
though I should be very glad to see the two fathers 
set free.' I trust that having granted us this favour, 
God will bestow the others. May His Majesty 
obtain for us the separate province, as He sees its 

God reward you for having told the licentiate 
about the money and for all your other help. I 
should not mind a longer delay. This will suffice 
until we receive an answer. When you pay the sum 
let me know, and I will refund it at once without 

I beg your Honour to give the enclosed letters 
into the hands of the addressees; it is necessary. 
Always acknowledge the letters you get from me 
or 1 shall feel anxious, with good reason. Remem- 

^ The servant of the convent already mentioned. The letter contained 
an account of the slanders against the Discalced. 

* The two fathers were probably Gracian and Mariano. The latter 
had been sent first to the Dominican priory at Atocha, then to Pastrana 
by the Nuncio who allowed none of the Discalced to remain at court 
except Doria, who had not taken part in the Visitation and probably 
was not present at the Chapter of Moraleja. Doria was supposed by 
the Caked to be an easy-going man of limited abilities with whom 
matters could be easily settled. The politic Italian stayed at the Caked 
priory at Madrid, under the pretext of helping a relation at court who 
obtained permission for him from the Nuncio to communicate with 
the Discalced. Consequently he went to and fro between Madrid and 
Atocha to negotiate with Pedro Hernandez, and kept St. Teresa and 
the superiors of the Discalced informed as to what was being done. 
Vol. HI. 13 


ber that it is most important that all these missives 
should be delivered with caution. When these 
fathers of ours are free, the rest will trouble me little, 
for God will do better than we could, since the 
work is His. Remember me to Dona Ines and the 

It is Sunday, the feast of the Innocents. 
Your Honour's unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Avila, December 28, 1578^ 

Consoling her for Father Gracians imprisonment. 
The kings order that the councillors should inquire 
into the affairs of the Reform. 

. . . My Senora, you know that for a long while, 
his whole prayer, accompanied by ardent longing, 
has been to beseech God to send him crosses. I 
perceived that His Majesty was preparing him for 
coming trials: and what trials they have been! 
May God's name be praised! Our Father will find 
that his soul has made such progress that he will 
not recognize himself. He has caused us all to 
gain great merit. The thought of what you must 
all have suffered has been constantly before my 
mind, but you, too, must have profited by it. 

When once I see the others at liberty too — and 
they will be freed for they have fewer accusers 
than before — I shall be perfe(5lly contented, for, as 

' Fuente 221. The first two lines are missing. The original is at 
the Jesuits' church, Huesca. 


I said, I feel certain, on account of the many devout 
souls praying for it, that our Lord will watch 
specially over this affair — the most important one 
for us. He will do whatever tends most to His own 
glory and service. May His Majesty have you in 
His care and prote(5l you, also the senor secretary, 
whose hands I kiss with those of the senoras. 

The sisters here kiss your hands: they are very 
glad of what has been done, and I am still more 
glad of what I told you, though we shall all 
continue some penances for a time. Our Father's 
letters were always helpful to our souls; we used 
to read them aloud together as though they were 
sermons, but the devil is trying to deprive us even 
of that. However, God is over all ! 

To-day is the feast of the Innocents. 
Your Honour's unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Avila, towards the end of December, 1578^ 



Praise of St. yohn of the Cross as a direSior. 

... I declare to you that I should esteem it as a 
favour if my father, Fray John of the Cross, were 
here, for indeed he is the father of my soul and one 

' Fragment of an autograph letter found in an account of the virtues 
of St. John of the Cross among the archives of the Order, written by 
Magdalena del Espiritu Santo, his spiritual daughter and foundress of 
the convent at Cordova. St. John was then at the Priory of the Calvary, 
two leagues off, and used to walk to Veas once a week, whatever the 
weather was, to hear the nuns' confessions. 


of those from whom I have reaped most good by 
opening my heart to him. My daughters, imitate 
me with perfect frankness, for I assure you that you 
can look on him as standing in my place; you will 
be greatly pleased at the result for he is extremely 
spiritual, experienced, and learned. Those who 
were guided by him here miss him greatly. You 
should thank God for having brought him to your 
neighbourhood. I am writing to him, asking him 
to help you, as I know his great charity will lead 
him to do whenever you require it. . . 


Avila, towards the end of December, 1578^ 


77?^' Saint recommends the nuns to open their conscience 
to St. yohn of the Cross. 

... I am indeed surprised, my daughter, at your 
making such unreasonable complaints, considering 
that my Father, Fray John of the Cross, visits you, 
for I assure you that, since he left, I have found no 
one like him in all Castile, nor is there any one who 
inspires souls with such fervour on their road to 
heaven. You should all recognize that you possess 
a priceless treasure in that saint. Each nun should 
lay open her soul to him; she will discover how it 

' Fuente, 224. This fragment occurs in the information for the 
beatification of St. John of the Cross given by Mother Francisca dc la 
Madrc de Dios, nun of Veas. 


will profit her, and will advance rapidly in the 
spiritual life and perfection, for our Lord has given 
him special grace for such guidance. . . 


Avila, towards the end of December, 1578^ 


. . . 'The Saint sends St. yo/in of the Cross to confess 
the nuns. 

. . . Daughter, I will arrange that Fray John of 
the Cross shall pass through Caravaca. Look upon 
him as though he were myself and open your souls 
to him frankly. Rely on him, for his is a soul to 
which God communicates His spirit. . . 


St. John of the Cross consents to hear the nuns' 

. . . Daughter, Fray John of the Cross is going 
to Caravaca. Let your community open their souls 
freely to him as though he were myself, for he has 
our Lord's own spirit. . . 

^ Fuente 225. This fragment is given in the deposition made by 
Mother Ana de San Alberto for the beatification of St. John of the 
Cross. Caravaca is twenty leagues from Veas. 

^ The same as the preceding letter. In those troublous times, letters 
often went astray. Probably these were sent by different routes. 


Avila, towards the end of December, 1578* 


The Saint thanks her for having provided money to 
help the commission sent to Rome. 

MY daughter and my crown ! I cannot thank 
God enough for the favour He did me in 
drawing you to the religious life. For, as His 
Majesty, when He delivered the children of Israel 
from Egypt, set before them a column which 
guided andenlightenedthem by night and sheltered 
them from the sun by day, so He seems to have 
done for our Order — and your Reverence, my 
daughter, is the column which enlightens and 
defends us. All that you have done for these fathers 
has been most judicious and your devotion and 
generosity prove that God dwells in your soul. May 
the Master, for Whom you have done it, reward 
you and may He grant to these efforts the success 
befitting them! . . . 

* Fuente 227. The autograph does not exist, as during a dangerous 
crisis St. Teresa wrote to the Ven. Anne of Jesus telling her to destroy 
all she had written to her. This letter is quoted by Angelus Manrique 
in his life of the V^en. Anne of Jesus. ( Bk. in, ch. xiv, 3.) The latter 
had given 400 gold pieces towards the expenses for sending the two 
friars to Rome : the Count de Tendilla had done the same and Doria 
had subscribed 8000 reales. St. Teresa might well apply the words of 
St. Paul (Phil. IV, I ; and i Thess. ii. 19) to her whom she had from 
the first considered as her equal in the Order. 



A Vila, during the year 1578* 


The Saint begs her to bear patiently with the chaplain 
Garci Alvarez. 

. . . For love of our Lord, I entreat you, daughter, 
to suffer and be silent, and not to consent to that 
Father's* being dismissed, even though he should 
give you more trouble and annoyance than he has 
already, as his faults do not amount to an offence 
against God. I cannot endure that we should 
show ingratitude to one who has done us good. I 
remember how, when people tried to cheat us 
about a house they were selling us, he showed us 
how we were being tricked, and I can never forget 
this service and what trouble he saved us. He has 
always seemed to me to serve God sincerely and 
to be well-intentioned. I know very well that 
gratitude is no perfection in me — it must be my 
nature, for a sardine would bribe me. 

' Fuente 228. Ribera, Bk. iv, ch. 23. Yepes, Bk. iii, ch. 10. The 
beginning and end are missing. 

* Father Garci Alvarez had been put back as confessor to the nuns 
by the Provincial of the Mitigation. When the Caked came to the 
convent, Beatriz de la Madre de Dios and Margarita de la Concepcion 
again brought false charges against Mary of St. Joseph and Father 
Gracian, and even against St. Teresa herself The result was that Mary 
of St. Joseph was deposed from her office and Beatriz was made 
prioress in her stead. When Fray Angel de Salazar was made Visitor 
of the Discalced, he investigated the matter, proved the falsehood of 
the accusations and restored Mary of St. Joseph to her post. (See Letter 
of Dec. 13, 1576). For the help given by Father Garci Alvarez in 
choosing a house, see Found, ch. xxv, 5-7. 



Avila, the end of December, 1578' 


The Saint asks them to wait until the trials of the 
Reform are over. 

Jesus be with your Honours. 

(RECEIVED your letter. It is always a great 
comfort to me to hear from you and to learn that 
our Lord keeps you faithful to your good purpose. 
It is no small grace in this Babylon where what you 
hear is better calculated to dissipate the soul than 
to make it recoUedted. It is true that enlightened 
minds learn from the many changes that take 
place how vain and fleeting are all earthly things. 
Any one who did not understand our Lord's ways 
would be deeply grieved at the fortunes of our 
Order for more than a year past,* but seeing that it 
all purifies souls, and that God must, in the end, 
favour His servants, there is no cause for fear, but 
great reason to wish that our trials may increase and 
to thank God for allowing us to suffer for justice' 
sake. You, Senoras, must do the same, trusting in 
Him, and your wishes will be granted when you 
least expedl it. 

May His Majesty have you in His keeping and 
make you as holy as I ask of Him. Amen. 

' Fuente 229. Vol. i, No. 41. first edition. 

^ From this sentence it is inferred that the letter was written about 
the end of 1 578. 



Avila, either the beginning of 1579 or end of 1578 ^ 


Encourages him to suffer persecutions. 

... I consider that God is showing a great favour 
by giving strength to Paul to make these great 
resolutions in the midst of such tempests. An hour 
a month of such a favour is a great thing when 
there is so much to deprive him of his peace. Glory 
be to Him from Whom the gift comes ! 

Paul's fulfilment of that contract will content 
me, for after all, the other troubles will come to an 
end — nor would it matter much if they did not. 
Will your Paternity warn him that I shall keep that 
written promise with which to confront him if he 
breaks his word. 

It came in time to reassure my fears, for my one 
dread is lest Paul should in any way go against the 
will of God. Joseph has comforted Angela strongly 
on this point and assured her that Paul is doing well 
and acquiring more and more merit. . . 

' Fuente 230. This fragment of a letter is given by Father Gracian 
in his Peregrinacion (Dial, xvii, pp. 509, 5 10). He says that he wanted 
to make a vow of always doing what was most pleasing to God, in 
imitation of St Teresa, but she persuaded him merely to make a con- 
tract with her to that effect in order to avoid scruples. Joseph and 
Angela stand for our Lord and St. Teresa. 



Avila, the end of December 1578^ 
Advice and encouragement. 

. . . The intuition which Paul affirms he received 
of the greatness of Joseph is a very high one. How- 
ever, there are degrees of perfecftion in the works 
we accompUsh for Him, for as we can never judge 
of the purity of our intention, we must be as pru- 
dent in such matters as in all else, putting little 
confidence in ourselves. 

How you will laugh at this nonsense, my Father! 
you will think, that Paul is always before my mind. 
However, he might forget my recommendation 
with all his other cares and it is as well to remind 
him: at any rate, it can do no harm. 

. . . Oh! How well my Paul's name suits him! 
At one moment he is raised to heaven: at the next 
in the depth of the sea. I assure you that we may 
well glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . 

... I love them tenderly and am delighted when 
you praise them, but you show me gratitude as 
though / had done it. . . 

' Fuente 231. This letter is composed of several fragments published 
in Vol. VI, numbered 25 to 29. It is not known whether all were included 
in the same letter. The fragments are from notes taken by Sister Maria 
de San Jose, sister of Father Gracian. 




How to bear persecution. 

... In order to profit and advance by means of 
persecutions and injuries it is well to refled: that 
God has been ofFended by them before I have. 
When the blow strikes me. He has already been 
ofFended by the sin. The soul that loves its 
Bridegroom ought already to have pledged itself 
to be entirely His and to have no will of its own, 
and if He bears with the injury, why should we 
resent it? Our only sorrow should be that God has 
been offended, for the soul itself is not diredily 
affedled but is only reached by the sensitiveness of 
the body which richly deserves to suffer in this 

To die or suffer* — this should be our wish. 

No one is tempted more than he is able to bear. 

Nothing happens except by the will of God. 

•My father,' said Eliseus to Elias: *you are the 
chariot of Israel and the driver thereof.' ^ . . 

' The autograph was in the convent of Guadalajara in the 
eighteenth century. 

^ The Saint here, as elsewhere, writes: 'Die or suffer;' not as often 
given: 'Suffer or die.' 

^ Pater mi, pater mi, currus Israel et auriga ejus. iv. Kings, ii, 12. 

- 187 


Avila, about January, 1579^ 


Trials of Father Gracian 

... I am astonished at the letters from Alcala, 
especially at the one written by your Paternity: I 
am extremely annoyed. God help us, how little we 
know ourselves! I declare, as I wrote before, that 
I am so terrified at what has been done already 
that 1 do not like your being there, and I believe 
my fears will be justified. I would rather you went 
back to the *cats.' The threat is a good one. . . 

' Peregrin. Dial. xvi. p. 307. While Father Gracian was confined in 
the Discalced College at Alcala, the prior, Father Elias, a great friend 
of his, was taken ill and charged him to hold the community chapter 
occasionally. Three of the friars wrote secretly to the Nuncio accusing 
Father Gracian of exercising authority in the house contrary to Sega's 
decree. The latter was very angry and wrote to Father Gracian, 
blaming him severely. Father Gracian had been staying, by the Nun- 
cio's order at the priory of the Calced Carmelites in Madrid, where he 
had been very kindly treated. This is what the Saint means when she 
wishes he would return to the 'cats.' Father Gracian looked upon this 
as a prophecy of his joining the Mitigated later in life and of their 
treating him better than did Doria's party. 


Avila, January 31, 1579^ 



The Saint asks him to befriend the nuns at Seville in 
their persecutions^ and to deliver a letter from her to 
them. A situation is wanted by the letter-bearer. 


May the grace of the Holy Ghost be with your 
Paternity, my Father. 

WHAT does your Paternity think of the way 
in which this convent of the glorious St. 
Joseph is being looked after, and of the manner in 
which his daughters have been, and are now being 
treated, in addition to the very long period during 
which they have suffered spiritual trials and worries 
from him who ought to have comforted them?* It 
seems to me that if they asked for crosses from God, 
He has exceeded their requests. May He be praised 
for all things ! I really feel very little pity for those 
who went to Seville with me : sometimes I am glad 
because of what they will gain in this war made 
against them by the devil. But I do pity those who 
have entered from Seville, who, when they ought 
to be learning to be peaceful and to become familiar 
with the pra(5lices of the Order, are prevented by 
all this disturbance, which, as they are new to the 

' Fuente 232. The autograph belongs to the Carmelite nuns of Seville. 
* Probably Father Garci Alvarez. 



religious life, may do them much harm. May the 
Master bring things right ! 

I assure your Paternity that the evil one has been 
trying to disturb the community for a long while. 
I wrote to the Prioress advising her to consuh you 
about her troubles but she must have felt too shy 
to do so. It would have been a great comfort to me 
if I could have laid the whole case before you, but 
I am afraid to put it in a letter and should not 
have told you what I have, had not the messenger 
been thoroughly trustworthy. 

The lad came to ask me whether any one in 
Seville would be kind enough to recommend him 
to a situation, for, though a native of Avila, he 
cannot live there because the climate is too cold. 
He was in service with a Canon, a friend of mine, 
who assures me that he has a good characfler and 
is honest, can write well, and keep accounts. For 
the love of our Lord, I beg your Paternity, if you 
have the opportunity, to do this kindness to me 
and service to His Majesty. If requisite, you could 
mention what I have stated as I am certain the 
Canon would tell me the whole truth. 

I was glad when he applied to me as it was a 
comfort to write to your Paternity and I could ask 
you to let the former prioress' and the nuns from 
Castile have the enclosed letter from me. You 
will know already that she has been deposed from 
her office and replaced by one of the sisters who 
entered at Seville. She has suffered many other 
persecutions, and the Calced have even gone so 

^ Mary of St. Joseph. Beatriz de la Madre de Dios, who falsely 
accused her, was put in her office. 


far as to make her give up the letters I wrote to 
her, which are now in the Nuncio's possession. 
The poor nuns have been in great want of some 
one to console them. Theologians at Avila are 
astounded at what they have been forced to do 
through fear of excommunication. 

What I fear is that they may have laid a heavy 
burden on their souls. They cannot have understood 
what they said, for statements are made in the 
process which are utterly false: I was there at the 
time and nothing of the kind happened. But I am 
not surprised at the nuns' becoming bewildered, for 
one was kept under examination for six hours. Any 
one without much sense would have signed what- 
ever the fathers wanted. We learnt here to read 
before we signed, so that nothing could be got from 
our nuns. 

Our Lord has tried us in every way for the last 
year and a half, but I am perfedlly confident that 
He will come to the protecflion of His servants, 
both friars and nuns, that the devil's plots in this 
convent will be discovered, and that the glorious 
St Joseph will manifest the truth, and what kind 
of nuns they are who came from here. As for those 
from Andalusia, I do not know them, but I do 
know that their word has greater weight with the 
authorities, which has done much harm in many 

For love of our Lord I entreat your Paternity 
not to desert our sisters but to aid them with your 
prayers in their tribulation, for they have no other 
helper but God and no one on earth to whom they 
can turn for comfort. But His Majcst), Who sees 


what they really are, will succour them and inspire 
you with the charity to do the same. 

I enclose my letter to them unsealed, so that if 
they have been told to deliver up those I write to 
the Provincial,^ your Paternity may get some one 
to read it to them, for it might be a relief to them 
to see my handwriting. It is believed that the 
Provincial wants to turn them out of the house; 
in that case the novices would wish to accompany 
them. It is evident to me that the devil longs to 
do away with Discalced friars and nuns, and that 
this is the reason of such assaults, but I trust God 
that he will gain little by them. Let your Paternity 
remember that you have been their only protestor 
in Seville, and now, in the time of their direst need, 
you should help the cause of the glorious St. Joseph. 

May His divine Majesty preserve you for many 
years for the benefit of the poor, (for I know now 
how you helped those Discalced fathers) and may 
He increase your sanctity as I constantly ask of 

Your Paternity's unworthy servant and subjed:, 
Teresa de Jesus 

If it would not tire your Paternity you are 
welcome to read the enclosed letter to the nuns, 

* The Provincial of the Mitigated Carmelites of Andalusia was Fray 
Diego de Cardenas. The charges against the nuns were chiefly aimed 
at blackening the character of Father Gracian. 


Avila, January 31, 1579* 

Exhorts them to bear persecutions with resignation 
and joy. The Saint's grief at the calumnies uttered 
against Father Gracian by the two nuns. 


May the grace of the Holy Ghost be with your 

Charities, my daughters and sisters. 

[HAVE never loved you as I do now nor have 
you ever been so bound to serve our Lord as 
when He is granting you the great grace of sharing 
somewhat of His Cross and the extreme abandon- 
ment His Majesty experienced on it. Happy the 
day when you came to this place where such good 
fortune awaited you ! I envy you immensely : it is 
the fa(5t that when I heard of all these reverses 
(which have been fully described to me), of how 
they tried to drive you from the house, with other 
details, instead of regretting it, I felt immense joy 
within myself at seeing that, without your having 
crossed the ocean, the Master had enabled you to 
discover mines of eternal treasures. I trust in Him 
that these will make you very rich and you will 
share your gains with us here. I feel full confidence 
that, in His mercy. He will aid you to bear all 
your troubles without offending Him in anv way. 
Do not be distressed because you feel your trials 

' Fuente 233. The autograph belongs to the nuns of Seville. 

Vol. in. 14 


deeply, for our Lord wishes to teach you that you 
are not as strong as you thought you were when 
you longed for sufferings so ardently. 

Courage, courage, my daughters! Remember, 
God never sends any one trials too heavy to bear, 
and He is with those in distress. Since this is certain 
you need fear nothing, but rely on His mercy, for 
He will bring the whole truth to light and we shall 
discover some of the hidden plots with which the 
devil has been trying to upset everything, which 
caused me more pain than your present crosses. 

Prayer, prayer, my sisters ! And now let your 
humility and obedience shine forth. Let no one 
outvie all your Charities, especially the former 
Prioress, in obedience to her who has been appointed 
as your deputy-superior. 

Oh ! What a good opportunity for profiting by 
the good resolutions you made to serve our Lord! 
Remember, He often proves us to see whether our 
actions will carry out our resolutions and promises. 
Do honour to yourselves as daughters of the Virgin, 
and to your sisters, by the way in which you bear 
this severe persecution; do your best and the good 
Jesus will help you. Though He may sleep in the 
boat, when the storm increases He will quiet the 
wind. He wishes us to ask Him, and He loves us so 
that He is always seeking how to do us good. 
Blessed be His name for ever. Amen, amen, amen. 

All our communities are praying much for you, 
so I trust that, in His loving- kindness, God will 
soon bring matters right. Be of good cheer, for 
when we consider it, all we undergo for so good a 


God amounts to little, considering what He bore 
for us, for you have not even shed your blood for 
Him yet, and you are with your sisters, not in 
Algiers. Leave it all to your Bridegroom and you 
will see that, before long, the sea will swallow up 
those who war against us as it did King Pharoah, 
leaving God's people free and longing to suffer 
more, seeing what they have gained by it in the 

I have received your letter and wish that you 
had not burnt the one you wrote before, as it would 
have been useful. Theologians say that you might 
have refused to deliver up my letters, but it is not 
of much importance. 

God grant that all the blame may fall on me, 
though I have felt the penalties of those who suf- 
fered wrongfully as a heavy burden. 

What pained me was to see, in the process of 
information drawn up by the Father Provincial,* 
charges which I know to be utterly untrue, for I 
was at the convent at the time. For love of our 
Lord examine carefully whether any one made the 
statements through nervousness or by mistake, for 
nothing matters as long as God is not sinned against. 
But falsehoods and slanders too, grieve me deeply. 
I cannot believe the statements, for every one knows 
how upright and modest Father Gracian's be- 
haviour to us has been and what help he has given 
us to advance in our Lord's service. This being the 
case, it is very wrong to bring such charges against 
him, however insignificant. 

Have the kindness to say so to these sisters, and 

* Fray Diego de Cardenas. 


abide with the Blessed Trinity. May They have 
you in Their keeping! Amen. 

The community here send you very kind mes- 
sages. When the clouds have blown over, they 
hope to have a full account of the matter from 
Sister St. Francis. Remember me to the good 
Gabriela, whom I ask to keep happy, for I know 
how very keenly she must grieve over the way in 
which Mother Mary of St.Joseph has been treated. 
I feel no pity for Sister San Jeronimo if her desires 
are genuine: otherwise, I pity her most of all. 
To-morrow will be the eve of our Lady of the 
Candles (Candlemas Day). 

I should much prefer talking to Senor Garci 
Alvarez to writing to him, and as I cannot say 
what I wish in a letter, I am not sending him one. 
Remember me to those of the Andalusian sisters 
to whom you dare mention this letter. 

Your Charities' unworthy servant 
Teresa de Jesus., 


Avila, February 4, 1579* 

The Saint consoles her in her trials and the imprison- 
ment of her husbandy Senor Albornoz. 


MAY the grace of the Holy Ghost ever be 
with you and give you grace to profit by your 

' Fuente 234. On account of his son having married without the 
king's consent, the Duke of Alba was imprisoned. Dona Ines' husband, 
who was implicated in the affair, shared the Duke's punishment. 


trials! I have grieved over them and prayed about 
them to our Lord, though on the other hand I 
realize that they are favours such as His Majesty 
grants to those He loves dearly, in order to rouse 
us and make us indifferent to the changeful, fleeting 
things of this life, so that we may strive to win 
eternal life. 

What commotions and calumnies there have 
been this year! I was deeply grieved when first I 
heard of the imprisonment of Senor Albornoz, but 
on learning that it was connected with Don 
Fadrique's affair, I trusted in God that his trial 
would soon be over. I kiss the hands of Senor 
Albornoz. The time will come when he would 
not exchange the days he spent in prison fetters for 
all the gold chains in the world. God grant him 
good health, with which troubles can be better 
borne. I pity you less, because I believe our Lord 
has given you the strength to pass through heavier 
trials. May His Majesty grant you more grace 
every day and preserve you to us for many years. 
Amen. To-day is February 4. 

Your Honour's unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Prefatory note. 

Early in this year, Philip told the Nuncio that Father 
Gracian had been punished enough; the latter was there- 
fore pardoned and restored to his former dignity. The 
Discalced at once submitted their affairs to him and 
begged him to take steps to obtain the Brief and the 


erection of a separate province. Father Gracian accord- 
ingly sent to Rome Juan de Jesus Roca, the vahant de- 
fender of the Reform, and Fray Diego de la Trinidad, 
Prior of Pastrana. The latter, formerly a member of the 
Hieronymite Order, subsequently became Prior of Seville 
and Provincial of Andalusia and died in 1582. The two 
fathers, disguised as laymen, embarked for Naples in 
May. Father Gracian would have liked to go to Rome 
himself and found a priory there. 

Avila, February 20, 1579^ 

Advice as to founding a house in Rome and sending 
two friars there. The Saint begs Father Gracian not 
to go himself as he intended. 

... As we are anxious to settle matters, I do not 
wish to make any plans that cannot be properly 
carried out. We must consider carefully whether, 
though we are in a better position for doing so, it 
would be well to found a house in Rome until the 
Reform is more consolidated. It would be a terrible 
mistake on all hands if the Calced there, who are 
so near the Pope, should aft as our enemies. Also, 
if you send the letter to the kmg's canon there,* 
your Reverence should advise him as to who should 
be nominated as Provincial. 

I should not like you to go to Rome at present, 
as things are so well arranged that there seems no 
need for it, and we must not all remain here doing 
penance with no one to help us. If you must go, 
it would be fitting that you should do so for the 

^ Fuente 235. The first page is missing. This was part of a long 
letter belonging to the convent of Santa Ana, Madrid. (Fr. A.) 
* Canon Montoja, who resided in Rome. 


General Chapter, and if God grants us the favour, 
you would go as Provincial, when it would be your 
duty. Those who are starting now would wait for 
you there; then we should be represented by per- 
sons who would maintain our credit. May our Lord 
dispose of matters as will tend to His greater glory 
and may He increase your sanctity and preserve 
your Reverence to us ! 

I have not had time to say anything which would 
cause you fresh annoyance (and with good reason). 
I am afraid Father Mariano ' will be left unpunished 
because God considers that he is weak in courage. 
May His Majesty give us strength to die for Him, 
for this contest has certainly been one of His favours. 
To-day is February 28. 

Your Reverence's unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

But is not this just such a letter, full of advice, 
as an old woman with little humilitv would write ? 
God grant that some of it may be to the point! 
If not, let us be good friends as before. 

^ Fray Mariano had not taken part in the Visitation and was liked 
by the Nuncio. He was a great favourite of the King, who had lately 
sent him to Jerez to extract minerals from some waters there. 


Avila, March 12, 1579^ 

The Sainfs confidence in the success of the 'Reform. 
Letters of recommendation forwarded to Rome. 

May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with you. 

1AM sorry for your trouble about our affairs, 
but you must know that I do not let them 
depress me, for I realize that our trials come from 
God and that He watches over them with greater 
care than we could give. So whatever happens, I 
shall be content, having prayed about the matter 
with some saintly souls. Perhaps what seems to 
us most adverse to the divine glory may contribute 
most to it, so do not let these matters afFedt you: 
the world is not coming to an end yet. 

As soon as I see that our fathers are safe and 
that they are to be treated justly, there will be 
nothing to fear: yet even if they are treated unjustly 
we shall never be better off than now when we are 
suffering blamelessly. Moreover, they tell me that 
the Nuncio is a great servant of God : therefore by 
degrees he will investigate the truth, as will the 
other judges. Since we can neither interview our 
fathers nor send them letters, it is useless to write, 
though I should have liked to console them and 
let them know how I envy them. I received the 

' By kind permission of P. Gregoire, this letter has been translated 
from the Spanish first published by him. The original is at Brussels. 



letter you forwarded wVz Toledo and the one brought 
me by Pedro Rias, which was so disconsolate that 
it made me laugh and thank God for your charity 
in taking our affairs so much to heart. Some day 
we shall be able to help you in return. It was 
needless for the judges to declare that they would 
be impartial in their judgements, for they would 
be unjust if influenced by anything but the truth. 

Dona Maria de Montoja is mistaken in thinking 
that we ever supposed that the letters to be given 
to the Canon* would settle our affairs, for that 
must remain with God. But such testimonials give 
credit to the petitioners by showing that they are 
devout and are considered to be so in Spain, and 
the more such witness is borne of them the better. 

Doctor Rueda gave me these letters to be for- 
warded to His Majesty. Will you deliver them 
personally into his hands with my homage. I should 
much like to answer the Count,' whose hands I 
kiss repeatedly. We were very glad to hear that 
his son is well, and it is a great comfort to know 
that the Count is at court. 

Will you entrust the letter addressed to the Prior 
of St. Augustine's to some who will place it in his 
hands, letting nobody know that either you or I 
have anything to do with it. I think it can do no 
harm. As the Discalced Franciscan Father is a 
great friend of mine, kindly give the letter addressed 
to him to a trustworthy messenger. The other is 
for my brother. Please hand it to some one who is 
going to his neighbourhood, asking him to bring 

^ Doubtless Canon Montoja. 

* Probably the Count de Tendilla. 


the answer back to you to be forwarded to me by 
you. Forgive me, for with the exception of the 
last, the letters are of importance to our Order. I 
find that the carriers always deliver our letters to 
each other safely. We need try no new routes, for 
as these fathers have what they want they will not 
watch us so closely. Always seal your missives 

I think that when I see Father Gracian freed 
from being Visitor the rest will seem bearable. 
That was what kept me in perpetual torture. I 
should be content if a Visitor of any other Order 
were imposed on us as long as he was not one of 
those (Calced) Fathers of ours. 

May God prosper our affairs as He has the power 
to do, and may He watch over you and those ladies 
to whose prayers I earnestly commend myself. 

To-day is the twelfth. 

Your unworthy servant, 

Teresa de Jesus. 


Avila, some time before March 25, 1579^ 

ProspeB of brighter days for the Reform. Warning 
to Fray "Juan de fesus Roca to keep in hiding. The 
Saint writes to the Nuncio and the king. 

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! 

MY Father Mariano, the account given in your 
letter of the Nuncio's order that the Reform 

' Fuente Vol. iii. p. 229. Don Fuente does not consider this letter 
genuine because the style differs from that of the Saint. The 


should be destroyed gives me unceasing pain. You 
tell me that, at the instance of the Caked fathers, 
he has made provision to that effed: and that at 
Valladolid they tried to seize Fray Juan de Jesus, 
vs^ho arrived at court in a state of great depression, 
shared by all your Reverences, at seeing me virtually 

May God be for ever praised, since- it is His 
will! But now that I see the world and hell have 
risen against my sons, I feel such certainty that His 
Majesty and my Father St. Joseph will take our 
cause in hand that, from this day, my Father, you 
may hold yourself as the vidior, not the vanquished. 
Lucifer seeks nothing less than to destroy this little 
flock of the Virgin. But the result will not be what 
he exped:s: on the contrary, my son, those who 
now persecute us will favour us. So let your grief 
be changed into joy. I grieve because my sons 
suffer on account of a sinner like myself, and are 
being hunted and persecuted. This is why I grieve 
and sigh; for as to the rest, I am assured of vicftory 
since our cause is that of God. 

Will you ask Fray Juan de Jesus to return to 
Dona Maria de Mendoza's house at Valladolid and 
to remain there until I send him word. Kindly 
give him the enclosed letters and dired: him to 

original is said by the first editors to have belonged to Raymond Bru, 
Barcelona. It seems to have been written by a secretary in her own 
wording. The date and address are missing. P. Gregoire thinks that 
the letter is authentic and that it dates from the end of 1578 to the 
early part of i 579. The same may be said of the following letter which 
he has seen and of which he declares that the signature is undoubtedly 
that of St. Teresa. As a rule, the Ven. Ana de San Augustin was her 
secretary at Avila. 


travel via Baitrago, not Segovia, which will be 
safest. And will you, my Father, go at once to the 
king and deliver this letter from me to him. Explain 
the state of affairs to him as I am also doing : you 
will then see whether he has the service of God 
at heart. Be very humble in his presence, evincing 
no resentment against those who have given us the 
opportunity of gaining merit, for we ought always 
to show great patience. I warn you of this, lest 
the point should be touched upon, for in this way 
difficulties will be smoothed away. 

Will you wait three days before handing the 
Nuncio the other letter, so that the king may have 
had time to speak to him first. You will see how 
things go on, but have faith, my Father, and do not 
be weak enough to say that we can suffer no more, 
for with Christ we can do all things. Let yours be 
a living faith, for it is that which obtains great 
graces from God. I say this so that henceforth we 
may know that we should trust in God. 

Will you call on the Princess of Pastrana on my 
behalf; tell her that I carried out her wishes at once, 
that she is not to grieve because of my imprison- 
ment for I deserve far worse a fate, and that we 
shall soon see one another. I will keep the rest 
of my advice until we meet. 

My companion* has no appetite; will you pray 
for her. She asks you to remind Fray Juan de la 
Miseria^ to paint the Saint Joseph he promised her. 
Will you see to it for I should like every one to be 
as devoted to my Father, Saint Joseph. 

^ Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew. 

^ St. Teresa did not know that he had fled to Rome. 


I am well and stout, but so low-spirited because 
my life is all enjoyment without any penance that 
every one who sees me pities me. Will your 
Reverence pray for me and ask God to make me 
good. May His Majesty be praised in all and for 
all and may He bestow His grace and Holy Spirit 
on your Reverence. 

Teresa de Jesus. 


Avila, March 25, 1579^ 

yoy amidst trials. A vision foretelling the future 
success of the Order. 

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph be with the soul of my 
Father, Fray Juan de Jesus. 

I RECEIVED your Reverence's letter in this 
prison in which I live very happily, since I 
endure all my trials for my God and my Order. 
What grieves me, my Father, is the suffering I 
bring upon your Reverences: it is this which 
tortures me. Therefore, my son, neither you nor 
the other fathers must be sorry for me, because, 
like St. Paul in this (though not in sandlity), I can 
declare that for me prisons, and trials, and persecu- 
tions, and torments, and ignominy, and affronts, 

' Fuente Vol. iii p. 232. See note i of preceding letter. 


borne for my Christ and my Order are delights 
and favours. 

Never have I felt more indifferent to crosses 
than now. God succours the prisoners and afflidled 
with His aid and favour. I render Him a thousand 
thanks, as it is right that you should all do, for the 
mercy He shows me in my captivity. Is there, my 
son and my Father, — is there any greater joy, or 
pleasure, or sweetness than to suffer for our good 
God.? When were the Saints happy and satisfied 
with their lot except when they suffered for Christ 
their God? This is the safe, the most certain way 
to Him; in the cross must we find our joy and 
happiness. So, my Father, let us seek the cross and 
desire it: let us embrace our trials — and alas for 
the Discalced, alas for ourselves, if ever they fail 

You tell me in your letter that at the instance of 
the Father-General, the Nuncio has ordered that 
no more houses of Discalced friars are to be founded 
and that those already established are to be 
suppressed; that he is highly displeased with me 
and speaks of me as a restless, gad-about woman; 
that the world is in arms against me, and that my 
sons are in hiding in the caves, and mountains, and 
most secret places, lest they should be discovered 
and seized. This it is that touches me and that I 
grieve over: I sorrow because, on account of a 
wicked woman and a bad nun, my sons must suffer 
such persecution and trials, forsaken by all men 
though not by God, Who will never forsake nor 
abandon those whom He so dearly loves. 


To comfort my son and his' brethren, I will tell 
you something very consoling, but it must be kept 
secret between us two and Father Mariano, who 
would be vexed at others knowing it, and not 
himself. You must know, my Father, that while 
a nun of this convent* was at prayer on the vigil 
of the feast of my Father, St. Joseph, she saw him 
in a vision with the Virgin praying to her Son for 
the Reform. Our Lord told the religious that hell 
itself, besides many people in the world, were 
delighted at seeing our Order destroyed, (as they 
thought,) but at the verv moment when the Nuncio 
ordered its destruction, God confirmed its stability. 
Our Lord also bade the sister have recourse to the 
king, who would be a father to the Order. Our 
Lady and St. Joseph said the same and other things 
besides which cannot be stated in a letter. They 
also declared that, God willing, I should be freed 
from my imprisonment within twenty days.* Then 
let us all rejoice, for from this day the Discalced 
Reform will flourish. 

You, my Father, should stay in Dona Maria de 
Mendoza's house until I write again. Father Ma- 
riano is to take one of the enclosed letters to the 
king and the other to the Duchess de Pastrana. 
But be sure your Reverence does not leave the house 
lest you should be arrested. We shall soon see our- 
selves at liberty. 

^ The Saint herself. 

^ As Father Angel de Salazar was made Visitor of the Reform on 
April I, and his first act was to write a respectful letter to St. Teresa, 
setting her free to visit her convents, this prophecy may well have been 


I am well and in good condition, thank God, 
but my companion has no appetite. Pray for us 
and say a Mass of thanksgiving in honour of my 
Father, Saint Joseph. Do not write to me until I 
ask you. May God make you a saint and a perfed: 
Discalced friar ! 
To-day is Wednesday, March 25, 1579. 

I have already informed Father Mariano that 
you and Father Jeronimo de la Madre de Dios are 
to negociate our affair in secret with the Duke 
del Infantado. 

Teresa de Jesus. 


Prefatory note. 

After some delay, the body of assessors had sifted the 
true from the false statements, so that, on April i, 1579, 
the Nuncio revoked the rights he had conceded to the 
provincials and constituted Fray Angel de Salazar Visitor 
of the Reform by letters patent with most minute 
instructions regulating the favourable treatment of the 
Discalced. Fray Angel, being in failing health, could not 
visit Andalusia in person, so made Father Gracian his 
delegate there. [Found. Introd. p. li. ch. xxviii, note 12) 
Fresh petitions having been presented by the Count de 
Tendilla, (April 26,) the body of assessors declared that 
the Discalced ought to be separated from the Caked and 
constituted as a separate province. This sentence the 
Nuncio transmitted, with his good will and approval, on 
Nov. 1 1, to the secretary of state of His Holiness. 

Avila, the beginning of April, 1579* 


St. Teresa s delight at the prospeSl of seeing him 
soon. Father Angel Salazar nominated Vice-General 
of the Reform. That Mary of St. Joseph should be 
reinstated asprioress at Seville. Fray fuan de fesus^ 
journey to Rome, 


MAY the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 
Reverence, my Father, and repay you for 
comforting me with the hope of seeing you. It 
would indeed console me. I beg you, for love of 
our Lord, to arrange for your visit, for exped:ed 
pleasures are hardest to miss, and I believe that it 
would render God service. 

With this joy in prosped; I have borne bravely 
the elediion of the new superior. God grant he 
may enjoy the office for but a short time! Not 
that I wish him to die, for he is the most able 
among the Mitigated and will be very obliging to 
us, especially as, being so shrewd, he will know 
how matters will end. In a way, the choice is as 
distasteful to the Calced as to us. We who prad:ise 
perfediion could wish for no one more appropriate 
than the Nuncio, who has made us all gain in 

Thanks to our Lord, Fray Gregorio is already 
back in his own house ! I shall thank Him again 
if your Reverence can get the Prioress of Seville 
reinstated, for she is certainly the right person for 
the post. If not, Isabel de San Francisco would do, 

' Fuente 236. The autograph is at the Carmelite convent, Henares, 
The last part is missing. 

Vol. III. JL5 


for the present prioress is ridiculous and will ruin 
the house. May God guide the choice as serves 
Him best and may He reward your Reverence for 
your care of those poor strangers!* It must be a 
great relief for them to be free from the Provincial 
of the cloth so that they can w^rite and receive 
letters. I sent them one by the Prior of las Cuevas; 
I should not be sorry if it fell into the hand of the 
Provincial as I intended when I wrote it. 

Our traveller* has got ready very quickly: the 
more I see of him, the more confidence I feel in 
his success. We had a discussion because I wished 
a duplicate copy made of the letter to the king to 
be sent by the first courier who starts to Canon 
Montoya, with a letter I am addressing to his 
mother, asking her to forward it. I am telling him 
that the royal letter will either be given to him at 
the same time or delivered later on by two fathers 
who are on their way to proffer their obedience to 
our Father the Vicar-General.* I think that in so 
important a matter it is best to send two copies of 
the letter by different routes, as we are uncertain 
whether our traveller will reach Rome safely, and 
it would be terrible for us, in the present condition 
of affairs, to wait for a second journey. Moreover, 
since the Canon has taken up our cause, it would 

^ The Castilian nuns of Seville. Beatriz de la Madre de Dios was 
then prioress. 

■' Evidently Fray Juan de Jesus (de Roca) v/ho visited the Saint at 
Avila before starting for Rome. See Prefatory note of the letter dated 
Dec. 28, 1578. The two Discalced fathers bore with them the letters 
of submission signed by the members of the Reform. They also took 
with them letters of recommendation from Philip II to the Holy See, 
besides petitions and other important documents. 

* Cafardo had been Vicar-General smce the death of Rubeo. 


be well not to set him aside, for as time goes on 
he will prove a good friend to us in many ways. 
The affair is not so easy to manage that such pre- 
cautions are needless. I believe it would be best 
to leave the business to him, and to let the two 
fathers go straight to the Vicar-General. I feel little 
confidence in the secret's being kept, and if the 
fathers mention it to one another and the Vicar- 
General hears of it, he would probably be annoyed 
at their not having had recourse to him first. 
Nothing of the kind would happen with the Canon. 

Fray Juan asks what reason there would be for 
his going to Rome if Canon Montoya takes the 
matter in hand. The excellent reason is that per- 
haps there may be need of both of them. 

Let us hope that Fray Juan will find these mat- 
ters settled when he reaches Rome. However it 
will be no small advantage that the superiors there 
should meet with more observant and strict religious 
than they have seen before. The two fathers could 
also justify us to the Vicar-General. He thinks that 


Avila, April, 1579^ 


Concerning the two nuns who had caused the scandal 
at Seville. 

... I am amazed and grieved at these two souls : 
may God convert them ! It seems as though all the 

^ Fuente 237. The accusation had been laid before the Royal 
Council: the defence of Father Gracian and Mary of St. Joseph was 


furies of hell had met at the Seville convent to 
deceive and blind people both within and outside 
it. I assure your Paternity that, from the moment 
I heard of the trial, my one fear was of that which 
has come to pass — that some calumny should be 
brought against Paul. That unprincipled deputy- 
Prioress had always fostered certain grave slanders, 
and this dread has beset me for days. O Jesus, how 
it has distressed me ! No trial through which we 
have passed is of any account compared with this. 
God has indeed taught us how little we should de- 
pend on creatures, however good they may be, and 
that we ought to be wary and less simple. God grant 
that this may suffice for Paul and myself ! . . . 


Avila, April 21, 1579^ 


'Joy at the prospeSi of a speedy meeting. Profession 
of his sister Maria de San Jose. The nuns oj Seville 
and Father Alvarez. 

Jesus be with your Paternity, my Father. 

1HAD written the enclosed letter when yours 
arrived. May God have given you as happy an 
Easter as I wished and as your daughters prayed 
for here ! God be praised for so arranging matters 

undertaken by Father Nicolas Doria. The two accusers were Beatriz 
de la Madrc de Dios and Margarita de la Concepcion. 

' Fuente 238. As the letter is addressed to 'My Father Paul, in the 
grotto of Ellas,' Father Gracian does not seem to have been liberated 
by the Nuncio at this date. 


that there will be an end of your long absences, so 
that poor Angela will be able to speak of her soul, 
for since you have been away she has never been 
able to obtain relief from any one else. We have 
indeed had to contend with troubles in every way. 
I think that you must have had the larger share 
since our Lord has so quickly rewarded you by 
allowing you to help so many souls. 

Dona Juana* has just written to me concerning 
our Sister Maria de San Jose, but does not mention 
you. Although she says she was pressed for time, 
I complain of this omission. I told the Prioress of 
Valladolid to profess your sister as soon as her year's 
noviciate had expired. She answered that she had 
never thought of taking any other course until I 
wrote postponing the profession. In fa(5l, it appeared 
to me that the delay mattered little if it meant that 
your Paternity would perform the ceremony, but 
the present arrangement is best. Since we have 
such certain hopes of a separate province, I agree 
with the Prioress that all will be well. 

My brother kisses your hand. Little Teresica is 
very happy and as childlike as ever. 

I feel rather relieved about Seville, as the Calced 
can no longer interfere with that community. The 
Archbishop ' writes saying that the Discalced fathers 
were in a very difficult position when the documents 
arrived and were delighted to get them. They 
hear the nuns' confessions, and the Father-Vicar, 
Fray Angel, tells me that Father Nicolas will go 

^ Father Gracian's mother. His sister Maria de San Jose was pro- 
fessed in May, at Valladolid. 

^ Don Cristobal de Rojas y Sandoval, Archbishop of Seville. 


there in a month's time to restore active and passive 
voice to Mother Mary of St. Joseph and put her 
back in her proper rank and to hold an election. 
From what Father Nicolas u^rites, I gather that the 
sisters are very prudent w^hich vv^ill set a good 
example to the Order. He must see me before 
going to Seville, so that I may the better understand 
what has passed there and may give him some 
advice for Mother Mary of St. Joseph, in case she 
should be re-eled:ed prioress. Father Garci Alvarez 
no longer visits the convent: he says he has been 
forbidden by the Archbishop. May God bring the 
matter right and soon give me the opportunity of 
fully discussing many matters with your Paternity. 
I feel sure that you must be in great favour with 
Father Joseph*: that is the important thing. I am 
amused at hearing that you wish for more crosses: 
for God's sake leave us without them, for you do 
not bear them alone ! Let us rest for a few days. I 
know that a person who has once enjoyed them, 
realizes that there is no more nourishing food for 
the soul, but not being sure whether these trials 
would extend to others besides him who asks for 
them, I cannot desire them. I mean that there 
ought to be a great difference between enduring 
suffering ourselves and seeing our neighbour suffer. 
This question must be explained to me by your 
Paternity when we meet. May our Lord enable us 
to serve Him well in whatever way He wishes,and 
may He preserve your Paternity to us for many 
years and make you as saintly as I ask of Him ! 

* Our Lord. 


I wrote to Valladolid, telling the prioress that 
she need not write to Dona Juana for the payment 
of your sister's dowry, as it was not to be sent until 
after profession, and even that was left undecided. 
Since the nuns received her without a portion, they 
cannot complain if it is not given, and in other 
convents the sisters ask God for what they need. 
I said no more and sent the prioress your letter 
addressed to Dona Juana. The matter is satisfa(5t- 
orily arranged for the present. I should not like 
your mother to mention the affair to Fray Angel, 
close friends as they are, as there is no need for it 
at present. Your Paternity knows the way of the 
world and how easily friendships are dissolved. I 
think that in one of your letters you gave me to 
understand that this had already happened but you 
may have been alluding to something else. In any 
case, will you caution Dona Juana. Abide with 
God, and do not so negled: me as to forget to pray 
for me to His Majesty, but when you bear other 
souls in mind, remember that vou have to render 
an account to God of mine. 

This is the last day of Easter week. 
Your Paternity's unworthy servant and daughter, 
Teresa de Jesus. 
Will you tell Dona Juana the date of the pro- 
fession, as I have no time to write to her. I so 
dread speaking of the matter I mentioned that I 
rarely allude to it, nor shall I in future. I have 
answered my daughter, Maria de San Jose. It 
would be a great comfort to have her with me, but 
our Lord will allow me no solace. 


Avila, May 2, 1579^ 

'Journey of Fray 'Juan de Jesus Roca to Rome. The 
Nuncio's four assessors. 

May the grace of the Holy Ghost be with your 


Ihave received your letters and Joseph Bullon's:* 
our Lord be his guard! for it is trying to see 
him go so far away, but as the necessity is great, 
it must be endured. We all owe much to him: his 
virtues and talents deserve respecfl. May God 
prosper him. I entreat you to tell me when and 
how he starts. I cannot endure the suspense until 
he leaves this country, considering how he is 
travelling, lest any misfortune should happen to us : 
at such a jun(fture it would be terrible. 

God reward you for your good tidings! I assure 
you that since those two senores and my friends 
the Dominican fathers have been appointed asses- 
sors,' all anxiety about our affair has left me as I 
know them personally. I feel certain that, with 

' Fuente 239. Vol. v, no i 5. The autograph cannot be found. 

' Fray Juan Jesus de Roca, took the title of Jose Bullon, a family 
name. He and his companions went to Rome disguised as solicitors 
bent on obtaining a dispensation for the marriage of Don Francisco 
Bracamente. The latter, a gentleman of Avila, presented Fray Juan 
with a costume, sword, mule, and 400 ducats. The two friars spent 
a year in Rome collecting all the evidence and documents required. 

^ The Dominican assessors were Fray Hernando de Castile and Pedro 
Hernandez. See letter of Dec. 28, 1578. Pref note. 



four such men, what they settle will be for 
the honour and glory of God, which is our sole 

What troubles me now is the case of those 
fathers, for such vile accusations are very painful 
to nuns who wear the same habit. May God 
remedy the matter and prote(5l and repay you for 
your good-will and kindness to this Order, for 
which I give our Lord sincere thanks. Where 
charity exists, His Majesty finds work for it. May 
He watch over you and Dona Maria and make 
you both very holy, as I do not negled to ask of 
Him, wretch though I am. 

To-day is May 2. 

Your unworthy servant, 

Teresa de Jesus. 


Avila, May 3, 1579* 


Congratulations on the community s being freed from 
the dominion of the Caked and the cessation of their 
persecutions. Advice as how to treat the two sisters 
who brought about the troubles. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 

Reverence, my daughter. 

[RECEIVED the letters from you and my 
daughters the day before yesterday. O Jesus! 
What a comfort it would be to be with you now, 
as it would have been in the past, so that I might 
have shared the abundant treasures our Lord lav- 
ished on you! May He be praised for ever! Amen. 

Great as was my affecflion for your Reverence 
and the rest, it has doubled now, particularly for 
you who have borne the brunt of the troubles. But 
it is true I was specially pleased at hearing that you 
had been deprived ot your voice and office, for 
though I realize that my daughter Joseph is very 
faulty, I know that she fears God and would never 
have done anything which deserved such punish- 

I sent a letter to your community by my Father, 

' Fuente 24.0. At one time this letter was not supposed to be 
authentic but the autograph in St. Teresa's handwriting has been dis- 
covered in the Carmelite convent of Boadilla del Monte. 

'This is the address, but the letter is specially meant for Mary of 
St. Joseph. 



the Prior of las Cuevas, to be delivered as he 
thought best. Did he receive it and the other one 
addressed to himself? Also, to whom did he give 
charge of your letters? I wish to know whether I 
must rewrite it. When Father Nicolas heard of 
what had happened to his brother's letter, he tore 
it up. You owe much to him, but you have made 
a more favourable impression on him than on 
Father Garci Alvarez. I am sorry that the latter 
does not say Mass at your convent now, but the 
loss is yours, as it used to give him great trouble. 
We certainly owe much to him, but I do not know 
how to bring him back. If the Archbishop would 
not bid him return when asked by the Prior of 
las Cuevas and Father Mariano, I know of no one to 
whom he would listen. I was annoyed at Father 
Mariano's notes. How could he think of introducing 
such a thing into your house, much less of carry- 
ing it out? The fa(5t is, the devil is so furious with 
us that he has tried to injure us in every way, es- 
pecially . . . ' the greatest trial of all. 

It seems now as though our Lord were about to 
curtail his liberty and I hope that by degrees He 
will bring the truth to light. Small regard has been 
paid to it in your convent. I was deeply grieved 
at hearing what charges had been brought in the 
deposition, many of which I knew to be absolutely 
false as I was there at the time to which they re- 
ferred. What I have discovered since about these 
nuns has made me thank God heartily that He did 
not allow them to invent anything worse. 

^ A few words here are Illegible, 


These two souls distress me greatly*: we must 
all ask God specially to give them light. Ever since 
Father Garci- Alvarez behaved in the way of which 
you know, I have dreaded what has come to pass. 
Your Reverence may remember that I wrote to 
you twice, saying that I thought the mischief came 
from inside the house. I named one of the culprits 
but did not susped: Sister Margarita, who was on 
her guard. To tell the truth, I was never satisfied 
with the former nun though I sometimes thought 
it was a temptation coming from my evil nature. 
I mentioned the matter to Father Gracian as he 
had so much to do with her, in order that he 
might watch her. Therefore, I am not much sur- 
prised at her behaviour: not that I thought she was 
bad but that she was subjed: to illusions, had astrong 
imagination, and was the sort of person to be tricked 
by the devil as she has been. He knows well how 
to take advantage of people's chara6ters and want 
of sense. In fad, we ought not so much to blame 
her as to feel genuine pity for her. In her case, I 
must beg your Reverence and the nuns to have 
the charity to do as I asked them, which I believe 
is the best course to take. Let them thank God 
for not permitting the demon to tempt any of them 
so terribly, and let them think, as St. Augustine says, 
that in the same position we should have done 
worse if tempted as they were. 

My daughters, you must not lose what you have 
gained: remember how St. Catharine of Siena* 

■" Sisters Beatriz de la Madre de Dios and Margarita de la Concepcion. 

* Andrea, a sister of penance, was dying of so terrible a cancer that 

no one but St. Catharine would nurse her. In return for the Saint's 


treated the woman who defamed her characfler. 
Let us fear, yes, let us fear, my sisters, for if God 
withdrew His hand from us, what sin might we 
not commit? Believe me, that sister had neither 
the imagination nor the brains to invent such tales, 
so the devil gave her a companion, whom he 
certainly must have taught what she said. God be 
with her! 

First of all, I wish you to pray fervently and 
constantly for her, in facfl, if possible continually, 
as we are doing here, asking God to favour us by 
enlightening her, so that the devil may allow her 
to escape from the hallucination under which he 
holds her. I look upon her as partially insane. 
People are to be met with (although not in our 
convents) whose imagination is so strong that they 
fancy they see whatever their mind pid:ures to them. 
The bad spirit must have a hand in it. I fear he 
must have made this sister believe she saw what 
he thought would be most likely to ruin your house. 
In that case, she would not be so much to blame 
as we suppose. If a madman really feels convinced 
that he is God the Father, nothing will drive the 
idea out of his head. My daughters, you must 
manifest your love for God by showing as much 
compassion to this nun as though she were the child 
of your own father as she is of our true Father, to 
Whom we owe so much, and Whom the poor little 
creature desired to serve all her life. Pray, sisters, 

charity, the sick woman brought shameful charges against her, but 
St. Catharine only treated her more tenderly than before. At last her 
accuser repented and besought her pardon. St. Catharine said she bore 
her no grudge, the devil having deceived her, and thanked Andrea for 
reminding her to be more watchful over herself. 


pray for her, for many a saint falls and returns to 
the right path. Perhaps she needed this to humble 
her. If God grants us the grace of showing her she 
was wrong and if she retracts her words, we shall 
all have gained by her sufferings, as even she may 
do, for He knows how to draw good out of evil. 

My second request is that, for the present, you 
must not dream of her leaving your convent: it 
would be a serious mistake and inexpedient in 
every way. You think that you would avoid diffi- 
culties by it, but they would increase. Wait awhile; 
this is not the time for such a change, for many 
reasons I could state: I am surprised that they 
should not have occurred to your Reverence. Think 
the matter over and God will reveal them to you. 
Trust in Him and in us, who are considering more 
fully what is best for the house. Do not mention 
the subject at present or even think about it if you 
can help it. 

The third thing I ask of you is not to show any 
dislike to the sister but to be kinder to her than 
ever. Let all be pleasant and sisterly to her and to 
the other nun. Try to forget the past and think 
how they would like to be treated, were they in 
the same position. Be sure that this soul will be 
cruelly tormented, though no one may know of it, 
for the devil will be furious at not having succeeded 
better. He may make use of her to commit some 
crime that would destroy her soul and her reason; 
perhaps the latter could easily be done. This is what 
we must all bear in mind and not what she has done. 
The devil may have made her believe that she was 
benefiting her soul and rendering God great service. 


Never mention the matter before her mother*^ 
whom I pity sincerely. Why did no one tell me 
how she bore it and what she said to her daughter? 
I wanted to know that, and whether she understood 
her intrigues. 

I am afraid the evil one may tempt the two 
sisters in another way by making them fancy they 
are disliked and ill-treated. I should be exceedingly 
annoyed if any grounds were given for it. A letter 
has reached me already stating that the Fathers of 
the Company (of Jesus) think it wrong that she is 
being harshly treated. You must all be very cautious. 

My fourth request is that neither this sister nor 
any other nun is to be allowed to talk to persons 
outside the convent except in the presence of a 
second nun, who is to be on her guard, neither 
must the community confess to any priest except 
a Discalced friar. Let them choose whichever 
they like, as the Father Vicar-General has given 
the friars leave to hear your confessions. Be careful 
that the two sisters do not plot together secretly. 
Do not be severe with them in any way, for we 
women are weak until God brings us back to the 
right path. It would not be a bad plan to put 
Beatriz into some office in which she would have 
nothing to do with outsiders, for solitude and 
reflection on the past would harm her greatly; so 
let those who see that they can benefit her, keep 
her company sometimes. 

I expedt that Father Nicolas will call on us 
before going to Seville. I hope he will come soon 

^ Juana de la Cruz, who entered the convent as a lay sister. (^Found, 


as we can discuss the matter more fully. For 
charity's sake, do as I ask you. In any case, those 
who sincerely long for sufferings bear no grudge 
against people who injure them, but love them 
better. This will prove whether their trial has 
improved the nuns. I trust that our Lord will soon 
set things right and restore the convent to its 
former state, in fad:, to a better state, for His 
Majesty always repays a hundred-fold. I beg all of 
you again most earnestly, not to mention the past 
to one another, for it could do no good but very 
much harm. 

.You must behave most prudently in future for, 
as I said, I dread lest the devil may play us the 
trick of persuading poor foolish little Beatriz to 
leave the convent. I am not without the same 
misgivings about Sister Margarita, but she has more 
sense. Be very watchful, especially at night, for the 
evil one is trying to injure the reputation of our 
convents and sometimes renders possible what 
seemed impossible. 

If the two sisters ceased to be friends, or quar- 
relled we might get to the root of the matter and 
there would be some chance of convincing them 
of their mistake. Your Reverence will understand 
that the closer friends they are, the more they will 
scheme together. Prayer can do much: so I hope 
that the Master will enlighten them, for they grieve 
me greatly. 

It would not be a bad plan to have an account 
written of the whole affair: it would serve as a 
warning for the future since, on account of my sins, 
we have not learnt from other people's experience. 


But if Sister San Francisco is the historian, she must 
not exaggerate but make a perfedlly simple state- 
ment. My daughter Gabriela must copy it out. 

I should like to write to the whole community, 
but my head is not fit for it. I send you all many 
blessings. May you be blessed by our Lady the 
Virgin and by the most Holy Trinity ! The whole 
Order is indebted to your nuns, especially to those 
not yet professed; they have given ample proof of 
being its loyal daughters and I beg the other sisters 
to pray that they may indeed be so in the future. 
Let all who wrote to me take this letter as their 
answer. Although addressed to Mother Mary of 
St. Joseph and the Mother Vicaress, it is meant for 
every one. 

I wish I could have written to my Sister Jero- 
nimo.^ Tell her she need grieve more for loss of 
credit to the convent through Father Garci Alvarez' 
having left it than for his reputation, for he is well 
known in Seville. It is on the unfortunate strangers 
that all the blame will fall, for people will think 
that though he may be partly at fault, the nuns 
cannot be exempt. As I said, I know that he bears 
a good character, and as for the rest, he is saved 
much trouble. Decidedly we cannot exaggerate 
what he has undergone for us and what we owe to 
him, which God alone can repay. Remember me 
very kindly to him, I should have written a long 
letter to him, had my head been equal to it. How- 
ever, as I could not say what I wish in pen and ink, 
I am not writing to him, though I should have 
the right to complain, for though other people 

^ A cousin of Father Garci Alvarez. 
Vol. III. 16 


knew what great evils these hlessed women [bendi- 
tas) were charging the convent with, nothing was 
said to me. It would not have been much if I had 
asked you to tell me, from time to time, what was 
being done, considering that I had to bear the brunt 
of it, instead of your waiting until the matter was 
remedied by those who bear little love for us, as all 
the world knows. However, after all, truth may 
suffer but cannot perish, so I hope God will make 
it more evident. 

Remember me to the good Serrano: I hope the 
time will come when we can repay all we owe 
him. Give very friendly messages from me to the 
saintly Prior of las Cuevas. Oh, that I could spend 
a day with him! May God have you all in His 
keeping for me and make you as holy as I wish! 

The sisters here have wept over your troubles 
more than I have, and earnestly beg for your prayers. 
I will write again soon. As for Mother St. Joseph's 
affair about which you ask me to pray, perhaps 
it will be settled before this letter reaches you.' 
You are doing well now: do not be in a hurry. 
There is no need to have the eledlion before we 
send you word from here : we are not neglecting it. 

If Father Mariano is at Seville, show him this 
letter and ask him to return it. I am not writing to 
him as I do not think my letter would reach him. 
Remember me kindly to Fray Gregorio: I should 
very much like to hear from him. I do not know 
what to say about Mass; do not be hasty about it. 
If there is no one to say it, do not die of grief: be 

*The reinstatement of Mary of St. Joseph as prioress. 


content with having Mass on Sundays until God 
provides it more often. It will give you a chance 
of gaining merit. 

I am fairly well. Father Julian de Avila has felt 
your trials keenly.^ I believe that if he thought he 
could help you, he would gladly go to Seville. He 
asks your prayers earnestly. God give you strength 
to suffer more and more, for you have not yet shed 
your blood for Him Who gave all His for you. I 
say this because we have not been idle here. 

To-day is the Feast of the Cross." 

The unworthy servant of your Reverence, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

Oh, how my brother has sympathised with your 
troubles ! I had to console him. Pray for him, for 
you owe it to him. All the advice given ,in her 
letter by the Mother Vicaress, Isabel de St.Jeromino 
seems to be very sensible, and shows more courage 
than Mother Saint Joseph possesses. 

Remember me to Sister Beatriz de la Madre de 
Dios and tell her I am glad she is free from work, 
for she told me in one of her letters how much 
that office gave her. Say many kind things from 
me to Sister Juan de la Cruz. 

^ Having assisted at the foundation of the convent of Seville, Father 
Julian took a special interest in it. 
'" The Invention of the Cross. 


Avila, the end of May, 1579* 


A request for two hundred ducats for the Discalced 
fathers who had gone to Rome. Dowry of Father 
Gracians sister, Maria de San "Jose. 


May the grace of the Holy Ghost be with your 
Reverence, my Mother, and with all mv dear sisters ! 

I WISH to remind you that, as far as I can remem- 
ber I have never asked you either to admit a 
novice without a dowry, or to grant me any other 
favour of much importance. This has not been 
the case with other convents, for one has received 
as manv as eleven penniless nuns and is none the 
worse for that — in fa(fl, it is the most flourishing. 

I want to ask you for something which vou are 
bound to give for the good of the Order and for 
several other reasons. Though it is to your own 
advantage, I choose to take it as a personal favour 
and you must consider it as done to me, for I am 
very anxious lest what is important for the service 
of God and our peace, should fail for want of funds. 

The enclosed letters from a Discalced father, 
the Prior del Calvario, now in Rome, will show 
how urgently he begs us to send him two hundred 

' Fuente 241. The autograph belonged to the Valladolid collection 
but was given by the nuns to the community at Calahorra. This letter 
is addressed: 'to the Mother Prioress and my sisters and daughters of 
Mount Carmel in the convent of Valladolid.' 



ducats at once. The Discalced friars, having no 
superior, can do nothing. They could give so little 
help to Fray Juan de Jesus and the Prior of Pas- 
trana, who have also gone to Rome (though I 
have not heard w^hether they have yet arrived), 
that the latter took with them a hundred and fifty 
ducats from our house at Veas, besides the sum I 
had already furnished. It is a great favour from 
our Lord that some of our convents can supply 
their needs. After all, it is only once in a lifetime. 

Father Nicolas writes from Madrid saying that 
he has found some one who, out of regard for him, 
will advance the two hundred ducats on the dowry 
of Sister Maria de San Jose if the convent will 
give him a receipt for the sum. That will suffice, 
even though there should be delay in repaying him. 
I think this is very fortunate and beg you as a 
charity to send for a lawyer when you receive this 
letter. Let him draw out the form of her profession 
as though she were already professed in a business- 
like manner (as otherwise nothing can be done) and 
forward it to me at once with the bill of promise. 
The two documents must be drawn out separately 
and not on the same sheet of paper. You see the 
importance of there being no delay. 

If you think that it is a large sum and wonder why 
the other convents do not take their share, I assure 
you that each one is doing all it possibly can, and 
those, like this community, who can give nothing, 
give nothing. We all wear the same habit because 
we help one another; for whatever belongs to one, 
belongs to all, and she gives much who gives all 
she can. You would be astonished if you knew how 


heavy the expenses are. Sister Catalina de Jesus 
could tell you. If the convents do not provide the 
money, I can earn nothing with my maimed hand, 
though it costs me far more to colledt and beg for 
contributions — indeed, it is a torment I could 
undergo for no one but God.* 

Besides this, I have still to ask for another two 
hundred ducats promised to Canon Montoya, who 
has kept us alive. God grant that sum may suffice 
and that no more money may be needed! However 
it is a great mercy that money can purchase us such 
peace. What I have already asked you for is indis- 
pensable: the gift for which I am about to beg I 
leave to your good will, though the request seems 
to me reasonable and one of which both God and 
the world would approve. 

As you are aware, you received Sister Maria de 
San Jose without a dowry for the sake of her 
brother. Father Gracian. I have learnt that her 
mother (who was very short of money) postponed 
her daughter's entrance into your convent until 
arrangements had been made that she should have 
four hundred ducats. Dona Juana thought that you 
would extend the charity you had shown Father 
Gracian and that she would be able to settle her 
own money difficulties with the dower money, for, 
as I said, she stands in need of it. 

I am not astonished at her feeling its loss, though 

* The studied, strained style of this letter shows what an effort it 
cost the Saint. However, the money was sent gladly and without delay, 
as the next letter testifies. As regards the treatment of the two offen- 
ders, Fuente says : that not only for its sublime charity, but for the 
wisdom and human prudence of the Saint's advice, this letter is, in 
^is opinion, one of the most interesting of the collection. 


she is so good- hearted that she is always expressing 
her gratitude to you for what you have done. The 
enclosed letter from the Father Master Gracian 
will show your Reverence that a hundred ducats 
is to be discounted on account of the expense to 
which the girl has put her mother, so that your 
account should come to three hundred ducats. You 
must reckon little on what the sister will inherit, 
as her parents' income consists solely of what the 
king allows them — not a regular salary — and will 
cease when the secretary dies. Should any property 
remain, it will have to be divided among so many 
children that, as Doila J nana wrote to say, it is not 
worth reckoning. I do not know whether I have 
kept her letter: if I find it, I will send it to you. 
In short, the receipt ought to be for at least three 
hundred ducats. In my opinion, you would do well 
to acquit her of the whole four hundred ducats, as 
she will none the less send you the other hundred 
when she has them. Even if she did not, she has 
earned them well by the terrible trials she has passed 
through on account of her son in one way or another 
ever since the day he began his visitations, not to 
mention what we owe to Father Gracian. Many 
a dowerless nun has been received into the Order 
with much less reason than we have for taking one 
for his sake. 

The nuns at Toledo asked neither for bed, 
trousseau, habit, nor anything else with his sister 
who entered there, nor was anything given her, 
and they would have been very glad to receive 
Sister Maria de San Jose on the same terms if she 
had chosen their house. God has bestowed such 



characters and talents on this family that the nuns 
prefer them to other girls with dowries. As I said, 
you must do as you judge best about the hundred 
ducats, but there is no choice about the other sum 
as the necessity is urgent. 

When once our affairs are settled, an examina- 
tion must be made as to what each house has con- 
tributed and the surplus money returned to those 
who have given more than their proper share, which 
will be your own case. Let us help one another 
now as far as we can. I ask the Mother Prioress 
not to oppose the sisters' wishes, for I feel sure that 
they are no less loyal daughters of the Order than 
other nuns who are doing their utmost. May God 
make them as holy as I pray of Him ! Amen. 
Your servant, 

Teresa de Jesus. 

In any case, tell Sister Catalina de Jesus to read 
this letter before all the sisters, and I shall be greatly 
displeased if she omits a word. The same is to be 
done with the enclosed letter from Rome. 


Prefatory note. 

Fray Angel de Salazar had told Saint Teresa to go to 
Malagon where the nuns were in trouble and to take 
the office of prioress there, but was persuaded by Father 
Gracian to choose another nun for that post. However, 
he desired her to go to Malagon, calling on the journey 
at the houses ot Medina, Valladolid, Alba, and Salamanca. 
It was at the request of Bishop de Mendoza and his 
sister who were in trouble that she was sent to comfort 
thern at Valladolid. The patent to be confirmed was for 


the foundation of the house at Villanueva which took 
place on February 21, 1580. Saint Teresa was now a 
confirmed invalid of sixty-four years of age, with a 
crippled arm. 

Avila, June 9, 1579^ 


Thanks for money for the cause of the Reform at Rome. 
The Saint's intended visit to Valladolid and Salamanca 
and the foundation at Villanueva. Casildas relatives 
refuse to pay her dowry. 


MAY the Holy Ghost be with your Reverence 
and repay you and all the sisters for the happy 
feast [buenas Pascuas) you have given me by sending 
the quittance so willingly. It came just in time, for 
the messenger from Madrid had not started to re- 
turn there, which, as the fathers had written urging 
me to be prompt, 1 look upon as the greatest good 
fortune. 1 assure you that had the money been sent 
for my own food, I should not have felt more 
grateful. You have behaved like generous souls 
and done a signal favour. May the Holy Ghost 
reward you! 1 can promise you that God will give 
you far more in return. Read this part ot my letter 
to the community: I send the kindest messages to 
all of them. I told those at Madrid what you said, 
so that they might know what they possess in you. 
I have written much to-day, and it is so late 
that I can say little more. In the first place, for 

' Fuente 342. Tiie autograph belongs to the Seville collection. (Fr. A.) 


charity's sake take care of your health, so that I 
may find you well if God lets me visit you, as the 
Father Vicar, Fray Angel, hints in his letter that 
I may hope to do. It would be for so short a time 
that I should not like it as I should be going many 
leagues out of the way only to have the pain of 
leaving immediately. He writes: *I think that you 
would deserve well if you called at Malagon, 
where I would confirm in writing the patent I have 
given for the convent, by which you would gain 
more merits than if you founded it. On your way, 
you could call on those senores to console them as 
they ask of you.' He encloses the bishop's letter 
and requests me to start for Salamanca diredlly 
afterwards to buy the house for the nuns there. 

You must know, my daughter, that they stand 
in the greatest need of it, yet they are as silent as 
the dead, which lays a still stricter obligation on 
me. See what a poor old crone I am, yet I am to 
start at once for Malagon! I assure you it makes 
me laugh, yet I have courage for more than that. 
May God prosper the plan! Perhaps our despatches 
may arrive before I have done with Salamanca, in 
which case I could stay with you a little longer, as 
some one else could settle affairs at Malagon. 

Many persons susped: that perhaps the Calced 
friars would be glad to have me at such a distance, 
and grounds for the idea are not wanting. No doubt 
his Paternity* would not be sorry at my removal 
from the neighbourhood of the Incarnation. Indeed 
time is needed for the affairs of the difi^erent con- 
vents, and people will have no chance of finding 

" Fra^- Angel de Salazar. 



fault with my journey as though there were no 
genuine reason for making it. May the Master 
diredl matters in the way in which I can serve Him 
best ! 

Father Angel bids me look on this as merely the 
preliminary sketch, because he must consult Fray 
Pedro Hernandez before anything can be done. He 
will explain matters more fully on writing to the 
Bishop. He wishes to please those senores in every 
way^ and is so exceedingly kind-hearted that he 
really cannot tell when to say no. 

He has approved of the college for Discalced 
friars' but not of the convent for nuns. The decision 
was not his own — Fray Antonio de Jesus and the 
Prior of la Roda thought the convent undesirable, 
much to my delight, for I have refused it several 
times on account of the eight beatas there, as I 
should prefer making four foundations. 

Fray Pedro Hernandez strongly insists on our 
founding no more houses, even though we should 
obtain the authorization, until we have a separate 
province. For this he gives strong reasons, as people 
have written to tell me. As the Nuncio is so irri- 
tated, and others are prejudicing him against us, it 
might do harm : we must consider well before we 

I am vexed at all this commotion about Casilda's 
dowry: it will result in her getting nothing at all. 
In my opinion they ought merely to have given 
you the two thousand five hundred ducats they 

^ The college of Salamanca was founded by Father Gracian on 
June I, I 581. The convent was that of Villanueva. See Found, ch. 
XXVIII, note 14. 


promised, or at least two thousand. What is the 
use of such a disturbance ! So small a sum should 
never cause such disputes. . . "* 


Avila, June 10, 1579^ 

T^he Saint's wish for a separate province. 'Journey 
of the ^ poor old crone' to Malagon. Her loneliness. 
Payment of money by Valladolid nuns. 


MAY the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 
Paternity, my Father, and may He have granted 
you this Whitsuntide all the graces and gifts you 
need to serve Him as you ought, in return for His 
having chosen you to help His people at such cost 
to yourself. Thank God for it! There certainly is 
much to reflect on and write about this history. 
Though 1 do not know the details about the con- 
clusion, it must have been very satisfactory. At all 
events, if God allows us to have a separate province, 
none in Spain will have been granted with such 
deliberation and authority, which implies that He 
has destined the Discalced for a greater work than 
we imagine. May His Majesty spare Paul to us for 
many years that he may enjoy our prosperity and 
may work while I watch him from heaven, if I 
deserve to get there! 

* The rest of the letter is missing. 

' Fuente 243. It is believed that the original was at Alcala. 


They have sent me the receipt from Valladolid. 
I am exceedingly glad that the money is being 
forwarded. God grant the business may be settled 
quickly, for though our present Superior* is very 
good, he is not the man to clench the matter satis- 
factorily : in fa6l, he is only a substitute. 

The enclosed letter will show your Paternity 
what is required of the poor old crone. It may be 
only suspicion, but it appears to me as though these 
brethren of mine were more anxious about getting 
me at a distance than about the needs of Malagon. 
I felt rather hurt though I do not mind going to 
Malagon. But I should not like to be made prioress, 
as I am not fit for it, and I should be afraid of 
failing in our Lord's service. Will your Paternity 
beg Him that I may always be perfedl in that, and 
then let come what may, for the more work, the 
greater gains. 

In any case, will your Paternity tear up the 
enclosed letter. It is a great comfort that you are 
well, but I should not like you to be where you 
are now in the hot weather. Oh! My soul grows 
lonelier every day away from your Paternity, though 
it always seems to be near Father Joseph* — and so 
life passes, with no earthly joys but in ceaseless 
torment. You ought not to belong to this world 
after the reasons for detachment God has given 
you, and the many means of keeping your mind in 
heaven. In fa(5l, the more I think over this trouble 
and the means God has taken to overcome it, the 
more I am lost in wonder. If He is pleased that 

■ Fray Angel de Salazar. 
' Our Lord. 


these xA.ndalusians should be corre<fled in any way, 
I should look upon it as a special grace that it was 
not bv your hands, as it would not be right for 
vou to treat them severely though it would have 
benefited them. This has always been my wish. 
I was much pleased with what Father Nicolas 
wrote on the matter; I send you his letter. 

All the sisters here beg for your prayers. They 
are deeply grieved at the thought of my leaving 
them: I will let you know what happens. Of vour 
charity, pray much for me. You will remember 
the complaints made about my journeys and who 
were their authors.* What a life I lead! However 
that is of little consequence. 

I wrote to the Father Vicar yesterday, stating 
that my inability to lead the community life would 
be a drawback to my being made Prioress, other- 
wise I should have no objection to be there: I 
would go to the end of the world under obedience. 
Indeed, I believe that the harder the work, the 
better I should be pleased at being able to render 
any trifling service to this great God to Whom I 
owe so much. I certainly think we serve Him better 
when we adl solely out of obedience. As for my 
Paul, I should be pleased to do anything that gave 
him pleasure. 

I could tell him many things that would please 
him, but am afraid to trust them to a letter, especi- 

* It was Fray Angel de Salazar himself, who was now sending 
St. Teresa forth on this journey under pain of excommunication, who 
had blamed her for travelling in the past, declaring it was contrary to 
the decrees of the Council of Trent and that she must not leave her 
convent to make foundations. (See letter to Father Gracian, Oct. 21, 


ally those relating to my soul. I enclose these 
verses from the Incarnation to make you laugh — 
though there is more cause for tears at the present 
state of the house. These poor nuns try to cheer 
each other. They would be very sorry if I left 
Avila, as they still have hopes (which I share) that 
matters may come right with their convent. 

The sisters at Valladolid were happy to send the 
two hundred ducats, and so was the Prioress. She 
would have borrowed them if need be, and has 
given me the quittance for the whole four hundred. 
I was highly gratified, as she is really fond of 
amassing money for her house. But I wrote her 
such a letter ! I was amused and astonished at seeing 
how Dona Juana understood her chara6ter, for she 
wrote telling me that she felt misgivings because 
the Prioress had forwarded the money without a 
word. To tell the truth, I have always found Mother 
Baptist very well disposed as regards Maria de San 
Jose which proves her liking for your Paternity. 

May God have you in His keeping, my Father! 
Amen, amen. 

Remember me kindly to the Father Re6lor and 
to the father who wrote to me the other day. Yes- 
terday was the last day of Whitsuntide. I have not 
come to my last day even yet! 

Your Paternity's unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Avila, June i8, 1579* 


The Sainfs journey to Salamanca. Don Andrea de 
Xtmene and Isabel de yesus. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 


TO-DAY, the feast of Corpus Christi, I received 
from the Father Vicar, Fray Angel, the en- 
closed letter for your Reverence and a formal order 
to go to your convent. God grant you have not 
managed the matter! I am told that it is the request 
of Don Luis Manrique. But, if it will help to settle 
your affairs peacefully, I am quite willing, and I 
only wish that I could go to you at once, but his 
Paternity has told me to visit Valladolid first. 
Doubtless he could take no other course; most 
certainly I had nothing to do with it, for, between 
ourselves, I have done all that was lawfully possible 
to avoid the journey, as it seemed to me unnecessary 
at present. However, he who holds the place 
of God knows best. His Paternity tells me to 
shorten my stay at Valladolid, but even then, I must 
be there the whole of next month, and God grant 
that may suffice. 

I do not think the delay will be of much con- 
sequence to you. Keep the visit a secret from Pedro 

' Fuente 244. 



delaVanda* for he would kill us all with his arrange- 
ments, and it is best that he should make none. 

If anything happens, you can write to me at 
Valladolid. Your letters have not arrived and the 
student's father is searching everywhere for him. 
Do not be distressed about me, for I shall be in the 
neighbourhood of Father Baltasar Alvarez. I am 
glad to hear that the Bishop of Salamanca is well 

Tell Sister Isabel de Jesus* that I am deeply 
grieved to hear of her illness. I have written to the 
Prioress of Segovia telling her to ask Senor Andres 
de Jimena to come here at once if he wishes to 
speak to me: I do not know whether he will. The 
Father Vicar has written authorizing me to settle 
the matter. I hope the senor will not fail to come, 
for, with God's grace, we shall not quarrel, as I 
only wish to serve and please Him. 

Tell my dear Isabel de Jesus that I do not want 
to find her an invalid: I wish her health of body, 
and am content with the state of her soul. Kindly 
tell her this. The messenger is waiting so I can say 
no more, except to beg God to proted: you and to 
ask to be remembered to all the nuns. 

To-day is the feast of Corpus Christi. 
The servant of your Reverence, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

' See letters of August 2 and October 6, 1573. 

^ Isabel de Jesus was the novice whose song threw St. Teresa into 
an ecstasy. Don Andres de Jimena, her brother, had taken the house 
for the convent at Segovia. {Found, ch. xxi, 2-4.) The business he had 
now to arrange may have had something to do with the gift brought 
by his sister to the convent of Salamanca. See letter to her written at 
the beginning of 1572. 

Vol. III. 17 


Avila, June 21, 1579^ 


The Sainfs visits to Valladolid and Medina. Casildas 

Jesus be with your Reverence. 

MUCH as I tried to despatch this letter quickly, 
it will be late in leaving, as there is a Mass of 
obligation to-day and I have had a visit from Father 
Nicolas, whom I was very glad to see. 

I am forwarding your letter to our Father Vicar 
and stating the apparent advantages and reasons for 
his granting you the permission, also why you did 
not receive Ana de Jesus. I always feel misgivings 
about those large fortunes, though from what you 
tell me about the girl, she seems really called by 
God. May it render Him good service. Amen. 
Greet her warmly from me, and say I am very glad 
that I shall see her soon. 

I am exceedingly sorry to hear of Dona Maria's 
illness. God grant her health, as I beg of Him; for 
when I am separated from her, I realize how ten- 
derly I love her. 

You must know that on the feast of Corpus 
Christi I received a formal order to visit your 
convent under such pains of censure and disobedi- 
ence as to ensure that the Bishop's wish and the 
request he made of his Paternity should be carried 

' Fuente 24.5. 



out. Therefore, I intend leaving here a day or two 
after St. John's feast. 

Will you be kind enough to forward to Medina 
a letter that our Father Vicar is writing to you, as 
I must see it when I arrive there. Tell the sisters 
of that convent not to make a ceremony of my 
reception. I ask the same of your Reverence, for 
I assure you it mortifies instead of pleasing me. 
This is the facfl, for I feel confounded at thinking 
how undeserving I am, and the more they do, the 
more deeply I feel it. Remember, you must do as 
I wish unless you wish to humiliate me severely. 

I do not answer your other questions, as, God 
willing, I shall see you soon. By order of our 
Father Vicar I shall not stay more than three or 
four days at Medina, as I am to call there again 
on my way to Salamanca. He says my visit to 
Valladolid must be a short one. Kindly tell these 
plans to Dona Maria and the Bishop. They have 
reason to be pleased at our Father's having been 
put in his present position, as he naturally wishes 
to please them. This is why he has overcome the 
many obstacles to my journey. Your Reverence 
also has gained your end. God forgive you ! Pray 
that my visit may result in your being less bent on 
getting your own way.* This seems to me impos- 
sible, but God can do all things. May His Majesty 
make you as good as I beg of Him. Amen. 

I have not given your message to the nuns yet. 
As for Casilda's affair, settle nothing until I see 

^ Mary Baptist was very fond of giving advice to St. Teresa. On one 
occasion, the Saint, turning to Father Gracian, said laughingly: 'Jesus! 
How much she knows! It makes me feel a fool. I blush at being so 
ignorant and good for nothing!' 


you. When we know what her mother intends 
giving her, we can tell his Paternity. Since her 
attacks of tertian ague are not severe, we need not 
trouble about them. Remember me to her and 
the rest. 

To-day is Sunday within the 06lave of Corpus 
Christi. The bearer of this letter arrived at five 
o'clock in the morning and is being sent off a little 
before mid-day. 

The unworthy servant of your Reverence, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Avila, June 24, 1579^ 


Praise of Father Nicolas Doria. The Saint bids her 
accept the office of prioress and discusses the convent 


MAY the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 
Reverence, my daughter. I do not know why 
my daughters at Seville are silent when I am con- 
stantly wishing to hear from them. I assure you 
that / am not silent regarding your interests. I 
must tell you that Father Nicolas, who is now 
Prior of Pastrana,* has paid me a visit, much to my 
relief, and I thank God for having given such a 
member and so good a man to the Order. His 

' Fuenle 246. 

" Fray Doria had been nominated prior in place of Fray Diego de 
la Trinidad, who had gone to Rome. 


Majesty seems to have chosen him to re-establish 
your convent, considering the labour and fatigue he 
has undergone for your sakes. Pray much for him, 
for it is a debt you owe. 

As for you, my daughter, give up this ridiculous 
perfection of objed:ing to be re-eled:ed as prioress. 
It is childishness and nothing else, after w^e have 
all been wishing and striving for your replacement. 
The matter is not your Reverence's private concern 
but that of the whole Order. It would contribute so 
much to God's service that I wish to see the affair 
settled, as well as on account of the honour of the 
community and of Father Gracian. Even though 
you had none of the qualities requisite for the 
office, nothing else would be suitable: how much 
more when *for want of good men'* as they say. 

If God grants us this favour, you are to be silent 
and obey without a word or you will make me very 
angry. You have said enough to show us that you 
do not desire the post, and in fadt there is no need 
to tell any one who has borne it that the office is a 
heavy cross. God will aid you and the storm has 
passed for the present. 

I am very anxious to know whether these two 
nuns* are conscious of their fault or if they oppose 
you in any way, and how they behave, as I feel bur- 
dened concerning their souls. Be kind enough to 
give me a detailed account of the matter. Will you 
send your letters by the Archbishop to Roque de 
Huerta; he will forward them wherever I may be. 

^ The Spanish saying: 'For want of good men, my husband was 
made Mayor.' 

* Beatriz de la Madre de Dios and Margarita de la Concepcion. 


Sister Isabel de San Pablo* will tell you all the 
news at the end of this note, as I have not time for 

Remember me affecftionatelv to my daughter 
Blanca. I am exceedingly pleased with her and very 
grateful to her father and mother for all their good- 
ness to you : thank them for me. I assure you that 
I am astonished at the account of what has passed 
in your convent, and I wish you would tell me the 
whole truth clearly and exadlly. Above all, let me 
know how the two sisters are going on for, as I 
said, I am very anxious about them. Remember 
me very kindly to all the nuns: let the deputy 
prioress consider this letter as addressed to her. I 
commend myself earnestly to my Gabriela's prayers. 
I cannot understand how Sister San Francisco got 
through all her difficulties. 

I am summoned to see Father Nicolas and am to 
leave for Valladolid to-morrow. Our Father Vicar 
General has sent me an order to go there immedi- 
ately, and from thence to Salamanca. There is little 
need for me at Valladolid, but Dona Maria and the 
Bishop asked for me. However, I am really needed 
at Salamanca where the nuns are in a very unhealthy 
house and have much to suffer at the hands of their 
landlord.* The life he leads and has led them be- 
sides the fresh quarrels he picks with them every 
day have tried them severely. 

Will you all beg our Lord that a good house 
may soon be purchased cheaply for them. 

May His Majesty have you in His care for my 

* Niece of St. Teresa, who wrote the latter part of this letter. 

* Pedro de la Vanda. See Letter of June 18. 


sake, my daughter, and let me see you again before 

To-day is June 24, 1579. 
I start to-morrow and am too busy to write to 
my daughters or to say more. Let me know 
whether they received a letter from me. 
The unworthy servant of your Reverence, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Date uncertain, 1579^ 

... I feel great shame and confusion, my daugh- 
ter, at learning what those senores said of us Car- 
melite nuns. We lie under a stringent obligation 
to be what they described, lest we should make 
them false witnesses. . . 

^ Fuente 247. A fragment of a letter written to Mary of St. Joseph, 
given by her in her Ramillete de m'lrra. She says that St. Teresa, hearing 
that the General and the Calccd fathers were bringing unjust charges 
against the Discalced nuns to the Holy Father and cardinals, obtained 
testimonials in their favour from the bishops and other persons ac- 
quainted with their convents. These documents were sent to Rome. 
The most favourable were from the faithful defender of their cause, 
Don Alvaro de Mendoza. Velasquez declared that the nuns of the 
Reform were mirrors of perfection for Spain. It is to these statements 
that the Saint refers. 


Prefatory note. 

St. Teresa set out with her attendant, Blessed Anne of 
St. Bartholomew, on June 25. Her travelling companion 
was a priest who disliked her extremely and took every 
opportunity of annoying her, but her generosity and 
meekness won his heart before the journey was over. 
She went several leagues out of her way when she left 
Avila to call at a priory where the community were 
strongly adverse to her. No one came to greet her when 
she arrived, but she went to the religious, and by her 
gracious manners made them her friends so that they 
accompanied her part of her way when she left. The 
Saint called at Medina but her stay must have been very 
short as she reached Valladolid on July 3. She remained 
there for a month. 

Valladolid, July 7, 1579^ 


'Journey to Valladolid. Sister Maria de San Jose 
and a novice. PauPs journey to Rome. An interview 
with Father Nicolas Doria. The Licentiate Godoys 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 

Paternity, my Father. 

I ARRIVED at Valladolid four days ago, in good 
health, thank God, and not at all fatigued, as the 
weather was very fresh. 

I am astonished at the joy shown by the nuns 
and senores at seeing me, I cannot tell why. All 

' Fuente 248. 



here commend themselves to your Paternity's 
prayers. The prioress says she does not write to 
you as she is too fond of gossip to talk with a 
mute.* I found Sister Maria de San Jose' very well: 
she is contented, as the nuns are with her. It was 
a pleasure to see that and the flourishing condition 
of these convents, considering the poverty in which 
they were founded. May God be for ever praised ! 

A good novice with talents and a fortune of nearly 
twenty thousand ducats has taken the habit here, 
but we think that she will give comparatively little 
to the house on account of her strong affed:ion for 
her sisters. However, she will bring a fairly good 
dowry, so that, with what the prioress already has 
in hand, the community will almost have enough 
for the settled income which they all desire. 

As for Paul's journey to Rome, it is a dream 
which need not be discussed or even thought about, 
but I fear that, if he is made Provincial, he will be 
bound to attend the General Chapter. Take no 
notice of the father who so strongly urges you to 
go there without saying why, or how you should ; 
but thank God for having so arranged matters that 
the journey is not necessary. We do not need a fresh 
trial now to remedy the old ones, nor do I wish your 
Paternity to harbour the idea for a moment. 

Father Nicolas spent three or four days with 
me at Avila. It was a great consolation to find there 
some one with whom you could discuss the affairs 
of the Order and who could help you, for I feel 
satisfied with him and it has pained me deeply that 

' The Nuncio had forbidden Father Gracian to write to the nuns. 
^ Father Gracian's sister. 


you should be so unaided in the Order. He cer- 
tainly seems to me shrewd, sensible, and devoted to 
God's service though he does not possess the charm 
and sweetness God has given to Paul, for few 
receive such gifts. But Father Nicolas certainly is a 
man of talents, very humble and penitential, sin- 
cere, and capable of gaining the good will of others. 
He will thoroughly understand Paul's worth and 
is firmly resolved to follow his lead in everything. 
It was a great comfort to me, for if Paul agrees with 
him and you are both of one mind in future, it will 
be most advantageous in many ways, and an im- 
mense relief to me.* For, whenever I think of what 
you have suffered from those who should have 
helped you, I feel it as one of my heaviest trials. 
So, my Father, do not let your Paternity hold aloof 
from him, for unless I am much mistaken, he will 
prove extremely useful in many ways. We discussed 
and planned numerous affairs. God grant the time 
may come when they can be carried out, and this 
sheep-fold of the Virgin, which has cost Paul so 
dear, may be set in perfed: order. 

Our Lord be praised that your Paternity is in 
good health. Do me the kindness of keeping away 
from Alcala as much as possible while this heat 
lasts. I cannot say how long I shall remain here, 
as I have been put in charge of the business at 
Salamanca. I am content to be here, but I can say 
with truth that I am not discontented anywhere. 
Yet I shall do my best not to remain over this 
month, for I dread lest, by ill luck, some one should 

* The antagonism between Falhers Doria and Gracian steadily 
developed until it resulted in the latter's expulsion from the Order. 


purchase the house offered us at Salamanca, which 
is most suitable though dear. However, God will 
provide for us. 

Lest I should trouble your Paternity, I have 
never liked to tell you how insufferable the nuns 
of Alba find the daughter of Godoy the lawyer.* 
I have done my best to give her every chance, but 
it is impossible to endure her. Being deficient in 
intelled;, she cannot be reasoned with and must be 
very discontented, for she screams loudly. She 
declares it is because she feels sick: I do not believe 
it. I asked the Mother Prioress to write me an 
account of some of the many causes of complaint 
she has against the postulant, so that I could show 
her letter to the lawyer. She sent me the note I 
enclose. On second thoughts, I considered it best 
not to show it to him but merely to inform him 
that his daughter is unsuited to us. I am exceed- 
ingly sorry, as we owe much to him, but she could 
not be kept in any of our convents. 

I shall soon be going to Alba and will investigate 
the matter, but I think that will be of little use, 
for, from their statements, she must be far from 
being in her right mind. As she stands in awe of 
her father, she would be best with him. I have not 
seen him yet: he wrote to me at Avila asking me 
to allow his daughter to remain at Alba until some 
other home was found for her. We shall agree to 
his request. I always dreaded taking her on account 
of the pain her dismissal would cost him. Every- 
thing possible has been done for her: God grant 
that he may recognize this. 

^ A lawyer of Valladolid who was a benefactor of the Discalced convent. 


Remember me very kindly to Fray Bartolome:* 
I was delighted with his letter: I hope he will not 
be tired of showing me such charity, though I 
am too tired to write to him on account of the 
number of ladies who have visited me. The Con- 
desa de Osorno called yesterday. The Bishop of 
Palencia'' is here : both you and all of us owe much 
to him. I ask for the prayers of the Father Red:or.* 
May God have you in His care and make you 
persevere in the sandlity I ask for you. 

To-day is July 7. 

Your Paternity's true daughter, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Valladolid, July 18, 1579^ 


Godoy the lawyer and his daughter. ProjeSf of a 
foundation of friars at Valladolid. A message for 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 

Paternity, my Father. 

GODOY, the lawyer, has been to see me since 
I last wrote to you. He seems to me an ex- 
cellent man. We fully discussed the subje6t of his 
daughter. Thank God, a community of Bernardines 

'' Father Gracian's companion and secretary. 
' Don Alvaro de Mendoza. 

'* Fray Eliasde San Martin, Rector of the Discalced college at Alcala. 
' Fuente 249. The autograph is venerated at the Cistercian College, 
Alcala. (Fr. A.) 


(who liveatValderas, I think), are wilUng to receive 
her, so we arranged that when I go to Alba I am 
to investigate the matter and if I still consider her 
unsuited to us he will take her to the other convent. 
I was delighted at the news, for I regretted her 
dismissal, yet from what has been told me, I think 
it best for her to leave at once, lest she should lose 
the opportunity that offers. Her father behaves like 
a Christian. For the last few days he has been suf- 
fering from tertian fever : though it is a mild form, 
it is painful. Will your Paternity pray for him. 

You must know that the Abbot* here is a great 
friend of the Bishop of Palencia. I have had an 
interview with him and we are on good terms. 
There is already another provisor. If God gives us 
the funds, we can certainly get permission to found 
at San Alejo's.' The prioress is ill: she came to see 
me and keeps firmly to her purpose. Being in danger 
of death, she had named Godoy the lawyer as her 
executor and signed all the documents relating to 
the matter. May God dired: the projed:, as He has 
the power to do, and as I heartily desire! 

My dear Sister Maria de San Jose is well and is 
loved by the whole community : she is a little saint, 
as is Casilda. All the sisters, particularly the Mother 
Prioress, beg for your prayers. My health is fairly 
good; Valladolid suits me. I shall do my best to 

^ The Bishopric of Valladolid was not yet established; there was only 
a collegiate church dependant on the Bishopric of Palencia. The abbot 
was Don Alonso de Mendoza. His Procurator, instigated by the Caked, 
had impeded the foundation by the Discalced, who had gone to law 
on the matter. 

^ A hermitage in the charge of a devout woman whom St. Teresa 
called the prioress. The Discalced founded a priory there in 1581, 


start soon as 1 am anxious about Salamanca, but 
my stay will be prolonged until next month. 

I must tell you about a temptation concerning 
Eliseus* that I had yesterday which still besets me. 
It seems to me that he is careless sometimes about 
telling the whole truth regarding certain matters. 
Though I know that it is in things of little moment, 
yet I should like him to be very careful on the point. 
Will your Paternity, for charity's sake, insist upon 
the matter, for I do not think that absolute perfediion 
can exist without such care. — See how I interfere in 
such matters as though I had no other work! Will 
your Paternity be careful to pray for me, as I stand 
in great need of it. And now, abide with Him, for 
I have written to other people and I am tired. 
To-day is July 1 8. 
Your Paternity's unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

Remember me to the Father Redtor and to Fray 
Bartolome. I beg you for the love of God to let 
me know how your health is during this heat. 


Prefatory note. 

On June 28, Fray Angel de Salazar had issued a patent 
stating that by order of the Nuncio he had examined the 
process drawn up against Mary of St. Joseph by Fray 
Diego de Cardenas, and having found that the charges 
were groundless, in accordance with the wish of the 
Seignory, he now replaced her in the office of prioress, 
commanding her to accept it at once under pain of ex- 
* Father Gracian. 

Valladolid, July 22, 1579^ 



Congratulations on her re-eleBion as Prioress. 
Confessors to be chosen from the Disc alced fathers. 
Enrique Freyle's daughters. 


THE grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 
Reverence, my daughter! What good reason I 
have for calling you so, for though I felt great love 
for you, it has increased so much that I am aston- 
ished at it, and long to see you and embrace you 
tenderly. Praise God from Whom all good 
comes, and Who won you the vicftory in so fierce 
a struggle. I do not ascribe it to your virtue but 
to the constant prayer made for you in our convents 
of Castile. May His Majesty enable us to make 
Him a fitting return for His favours. 

From the letters sent me by the Father Provin- 
cial from the nuns, and from yours delivered by 
Father Nicolas, I learnt that your Reverence had 
been reinstated in your office. I was extremely 
glad, for no other means could have restored peace 
to souls. You must be patient: since God has 
given you such a desire for suffering, be glad to 
welcome it in this way, for I realize that yours 
will be no light cross. Were we to choose the trials 
we wanted and set aside the rest, we should not be 
imitating our Bridegroom, Who, keenly as He felt 
the ordeal of His Passion, ended His prayer in the 
Garden by saying: Fiat voluntas tua. We must 
* Fuente 250. 


always do this will and let Him choose for us. 

I have asked Father Nicolas to advise you as he 
thinks best; as he is very prudent and knows you 
personally, I submit my opinion to his. I only ask 
that, so far as possible, as regards your soul's di- 
rection, your Reverence and the nuns should avoid 
consulting any one but our Discalced fathers. Do 
not be concerned if they fail you at times, or if you 
do not receive Holy Communion so frequently, for 
it is more important that we should not suffer from 
our former difficulties. Should the community or 
any of the nuns wish for a change occasionally, do 
not oppose it. 

I am so pressed for time that I did not intend 
to write to you. Remember me very affectionately 
to all the sisters and thank them on my behalf for 
the good judgement they have shown, and for try- 
ing to please me. May the Blessed Virgin repay 
them, bless them, and make saints of them. 

I do not think that you can refuse to admit 
Enrique Freyle's* eldest daughter, as you owe 
much to him. In this case you must follow the 
advice of Father Nicolas, to whom I refer you. The 
youngest cannot possibly be received at present, 
both on account of her age and because it is not well 
to have three sisters of one family in any convent, 
much less in ours, in which the communities are 
limited. Put the question off by objed:ing that she 
is too young, but do not displease the parents. 

" A rich Portuguese living at Seville. His wife had given generous 
alms to the nuns there. Three of their daughters became Carmelites. 
The first, Blanca de Jesu Maria, professed in 1578, went to Lisbon, 
was made prioress there and died in 1638. Her two sisters were Maria 
de San Jose and Isabel de Santa Febronia. {CEuvres iv, p. 1 1 7.) 


It would be well for you to repay my brother 
when you are able, as I know he is in need of 
money, having had a great many expenses lately. 
You know what you owe him. Oh! How he has 
felt your trials! God give you such rest as will 
please Him. Write and give me all the details, 
especially about those two poor foolish little sisters,' 
about whom I am greatly concerned. Be kind to 
them, and do all you can to make them realize 
their fault. 

God willing, I shall leave here on Saint Anne's 
day, and I shall stay a few days at Salamanca. You 
can send me letters by Roque de Huerta. All the 
sisters here commend themselves earnestly to the 
prayers of yourself and the community. You are 
deeply in their debt. 

We owe thanks to God for the state of all these 
convents. Will you pray for Malagon, also for the 
business which takes me to Salamanca, and do not 
forget those who have helped us, especially in our 
recent troubles. 

To-day is the feast of the Magdalen. 

I am so busy that I do not know how I have 
managed to write this letter, which I have had to 
set aside several times. This has prevented my 
writing to Fray Gregorio as I intended. Will you 
do so instead, giving him very kind messages from 
me as I am exceedingly pleased with him because 
he has taken a large share in the battle, as he will 
in the spoils. Send me news about our kind father, 

^ Sisters Beatriz and Margarita. 18 


the Prior of las Cuevas, so that I may know what 
to say to him about our affairs. 
The servant of your Reverence, 

Teresa de Jesus. 


Valladolid, July 22, 1579^ 


The Saint sends him a copy of * The Way of Per- 
feBion ' and the * Life of St. Albert.' ProspeB of war 
between Spain and Portugal. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit ever be with 

your Grace, Amen. 

AS I sent a long letter to your Grace last week 
when forwarding to you the little book,* this 
is but a short note, written because I forgot to ask 

' Fuente 251. The autograph belongs to the Discalced Carmelite 
convent, Murcia. (Fr. A.) 

* The copy of the IVay of Perfection now at Toledo. As Don Teutonio 
wished to have some alterations made in it, the Saint re-wrote it. He 
granted permission for its publication in I 580, but it was not brought 
out until 1583, a year after her death, thus fulfilling her prophecy to 
Father Julian that there would always be trouble and delay in pub- 
lishing her books but that he would witness after her death what good 
would be done by her writings. 

St. Albert was a Sicilian Carmelite of the thirteenth century. The 
Spanish translation of his work was made by Fray Diego de Yanguas. 
(See Introduction to The Way of Perfection, Stanbrook edition, and Don 
Teutonic's preface there given.) M. Morel-Fatio states that the Arquivo 
bibliog^raphico of Jose Dos Santos V.I. mentions: La Fida y milagros de 
el glorioio padre sant Alberto, de la sagrada religion de nuestra Senora del 
Carmen. Fa esta obra dirigida a la niuy religiosa senora madre nuestra 
Teresa de Jesus: fundadora de las descalsas Carmelitas: A cuya instancia se 


you to have the pamphlet, The Life of St, Albert 
which is enclosed in the book, printed together 
with it. This would be a great comfort to all us 
nuns, as we only have it in Latin. It has been 
translated, (for love of me), by a Dominican father, 
one of the best theologians of these parts and a 
great servant of God. As he had no idea it was to 
be printed, he has neither obtained nor asked for 
his Provincial's permission. However, that can be 
of little consequence, supposing that your Grace 
approves of it and orders that it should go to the 

In my letter to your Grace, I stated that our 
affairs were prosperous and that I have been told 
to go to Salamanca, where I expedt to remain for 
a few days : I shall write to you from thence. For 
the love of our Lord, do not omit to tell me about 
your health, if only to compensate for my loneliness 
when I no longer find you there. I also beg you 
to let me know whether there is any prosped: of 
peace,' for as I wrote to you, I am deeply distressed 
at what I hear about our side. If on account of my 
sins, the negotiations should end in war, I fear that 
it would be most unfortunate for your country, and 
could not fail to be very hurtful even to ours. 

escribe. . . Jno de i 582, so that the book was probably published before 
the Saint's death. 

^ Several persons claimed succession to the throne of Portugal on 
the death of Cardinal Henry. Among them was Don Teutonic's 
nephew, the Duice of Braganza, whose wife was Doiia Catalina, Don 
Manuel's grand-daughter; another claimant was Antonio, Prince of 
Crate, illegitimate son of the Cardinal's brother; a third was Philip II 
of Spain whose first wife was Maria of Portugal, and who was grand- 
son on his mother's side to Emanuel the Fortunate and nephew of 


They say that it is the Duke of Braganza who 
causes the dissension : which, setting aside the many 
other reasons, grieves me exceedingly as he is a kins- 
man of yours. For love of our Lord, since you must 
have great influence over him, persuade him to 
come to an agreement. Accounts say that our king 
is doing all he can to bring this about, which is 
strongly in favour of his cause. Picture to yourself 
the great evils that may result, as I said, and let your 
Grace look to the honour of God, as I believe you 
will, regardless of all else. 

May His Majesty diredl the matter as we entreat 
of Him. I assure your Grace that I feel it so 
poignantly that I would rather die than witness it, 
if God allows things to come to the worst. May 
He deign to preserve you to us for many years for 
the good of His Church, granting you the sandtity 
I ask for you and grace to smooth away these dif- 
ficulties, which would render Him great service. 
Every one here says that our king is in the right, 
and that he has neglected no means of making sure 
of it. May the Lord enlighten men to see the truth 
without so many lives being lost in battle ! Now 
that Christians are so few, it would be deplorable 
that they should kill one another. 

All the sisters here, your humble servants, who 
are known to you, are well, and appear to be making 
progress in perfediion. They are zealous in praying 

John III. The Pope supported Philip's right which was made good 
by the victory of the Spanish army under the Duke of Alba against 
the Prince of Crato. Portugal remained under Spanish rule for sixty 


for your Grace, and I, wretch though I am, do so 

To-day is the feast of the Magdalen. 
Written in the Carmel of the Conception at 

Your Grace's unworthy servant and subje(5t, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Valladolid, July 25, 1579.^ 

The Saint begs him to forward letters to Don Lorenzo 
and Father Gracian. 

Jesus be with you! 

1 RECEIVED your letter and am much obliged 
for your kindness in writing to me. Those 
brought you by this messenger are for my brother. 
Should he not be at Madrid, I have asked him to 
apply to you for them. Will you be good enough 
to open the letter addressed to him, take out that 
enclosed for our Father Master Gracian, and after 
inquiring as to his whereabouts, tell this messenger 
to deliver the missive to him wherever he may be. 
He is possibly either at Toledo or at Alcala: I 
believe he is at Alcala. The letter concerns an 
important matter and is sent for no other reason. 
For love of God, forward it immediately, because, 
as I said, it is of great consequence, and Father 
Gracian cannot fail to be either at Toledo or at 
Alcala. As I am only writing on this account, I 

' Fuente 252. 


will merely add that I pray God to be with you 
and to have you in His keeping. 

Yesterday was the feast of the Magdalen. 
Your unworthy servant, 

Teresa de Jesus. 


Valladolid, July 25, 1579* 

Good health of Father Gracian. Two angels at 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 

1HAVE been so busy ever since the messenger 
arrived who is taking you this letter, that I 
thought I should not have been able to send you 
these few lines, lest I should omit other business 
which was absolutely necessary. 

Dona Juana tells me that you are ill with an 
eruption on the skin, and that the dod:ors wish to 
bleed you, but this friar* declares that you are very 
well and in good condition, which has relieved my 
anxiety. The heat must have affected you, as I 
feared it would. For charity's sake, stop in Alcala 
as short a time as possible. 

I am in fairly good health and am to leave here 
next Thursday for Salamanca. I am very happy 
at seeing the way in which our Lord is directing 

' Fuente 253. 

■^ The bearer of the letter. 


matters : may He be for ever praised, and may He 
at length permit your Paternity to speak, if only 
as a relief to you in your many trials! 

I have written to you twice since I have been 
here. Our Sister Maria de San Jose is in good 
health — she is an angel. Everything prospers with 
this convent, and the postulant who has entered 
will provide an annual income. She too is an angel, 
and is very happy. May our Lord be with your 
Paternity, for my head is extremely tired. 

I assure you that I laugh at their giving you a 
penance which affords rest to you and leaves us to 
fight the end of the battle. May God grant us the 
victory, and give you good health, which is the 
important matter. 

The Mother Prioress earnestly begs for your 
prayers: she says she does not intend to write to 
your Paternity until you have answered her: she 
is more resolute than I am. 

To-day is the feast of St. James. 

The servant and daughter of your Paternity, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Fragment of a letter to Father Gracian, probably written 
towards the end of July, 1579^ 

His need of sleep. 

... I assure you that Joseph* is right in allowing 
you to sleep. I am very glad for ever since your 

' Fuente, 254, The autograph belongs to the Seville collection 
(Fr. A.) 
' Our Lord. 


Paternity left me I have begged and entreated Him 
to do so, as you seemed to need it. At first I thought 
He had done it for my sake : in fad: I really believe 
He did, as I asked Him so earnestly. Perhaps sleep 
will enable you to get through your w^ork. But, 
after all, you have very little rest, for as you go to 
Matins and rise early, I do not know how you can 
obtain enough. . . 


Prefatory note. 

On July 15, a document signed by the Nuncio and the 
four assessors was presented to Philip, begging him to 
obtain from Rome the erection of a separate province for 
the Discalced. Philip approved and the missive was for- 
warded to the Holy See by Sega on November 1 1. Fray 
Juan de Jesus Roca and his companion had reached 
Rome safely after a trying journey during which they 
had been alternately tempest-tossed, becalmed, and 
threatened by Turkish pirates. Here they disguised 
themselves as secular lawyers living in fear and trembling, 
for Tostado was in the city and large numbers of the 
Mitigated had assembled to elect Rubeo's successor. 

Valladolid, July 26, 1579* 


Good news from the Council at Madrid and from 
Rome. Arrival of the two friars in Italy. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit ever be with 

your Honour, Amen. 

YOUR letter, with its good news about his 
Majesty's decision, consoled me greatly. May 
God preserve you and the assessors to us for many 
years! You must know that when I heard from 
you that Dona Maria de Montoya* was at Valla- 
dolid, she had already left for court. I was extremely 
sorry not to have known in time, being most 
anxious to meet her. Will you kindly let me know 
about the money matters, as I am concerned about 
them. May our Lord prosper the affair as you 

The bearer of the letter consoled me by telling 
about our travellers to Rome, as I felt very anxious 
on their account. Thank God for having saved 
them from such dangers and bringing them safe 
to port! Though Father Nicolas informs me of 
what is happening, I am glad to hear of it from 
you as well, for such good news never wearies, 
however often it is repeated. May our Lord permit 

' Fuente 255. The original, which is much deteriorated, is in the 
Carmelite convent, Teruel. 

^ Probably a sister of Canon Montoya, who was in Rome helping 
the Discalced, 



us to attain our wished for end soon, and may He 
bestow His holy grace upon your Honour! 
To-day is July 26. 

Your servant, 

Teresa de Jesus. 


Valladolid, July 27, 1579^ 

A chalice. Francisco de Cepeda. Good news from 
Seville and Rome. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 


THIS relation of ours really tired me very much 
by his visit. Such is life! Since those who are 
separated from the world have to show so much 
regard for it, you will not be surprised to hear that, 
long as I have stayed in this house, I have not 
been able to talk to the sisters (privately, I mean), 
though several of them desire it extremely. 

God willing, I start without fail next Thursday.* 
I will leave a note, however short, to be given you 

' Fuente 256. In the middle of the eighteenth century, the original 
belonged to Dona Catalina Felix Pacheco y Ortega of the Villa de 
San Clemente. 

'St. Teresa left Valladolid on July 30. Her companion, Blessed 
Anne of St. Bartholomew, was taken so ill with fever the night before 
that the Saint said she would choose some one else. The lay sister was 
so distressed that, after praying for her cure, the holy mother aroused 
her from sleep and bade her rise, when she was found to have com- 
pletely recovered. They started next morning, went for three or four 
days to Medina, for a week to Alba, and thence to Salamanca where 
they remained for about ten weeks. 


by the messenger who is accustomed to take you 
the money. They tell me that they have three 
thousand reales ready for you, much to my joy, 
also a very handsome chalice: indeed there is no 
need of a better one. It w^eighs twelve ducats and 
one real, I believe, and the workmanship costs forty 
realeSy which comes to sixteen ducats minus three 
reales. It is of solid silver and I think will please 
you. The nuns showed me a chalice they have 
here of the metal you mentioned. Though it has 
only been used a few years and is gilt, it already 
shows what it is, as the foot has turned black inside, 
which is disgusting. I at once decided not to buy 
one of the sort; it seems to me that as you take 
your own meals off a silver service, you could not 
possibly get a cheaper metal for God. I did not 
expedl to get so fine and cheap a chalice, but that 
huckster of a prioress^ made arrangements with a 
friend to purchase it as though it were for this 
convent. She wishes to be very kindly remembered 
to you, but does not write as I am doing so. We 
ought to thank God for the state in which she keeps 
this house and for her talents. 

My health is as good here as at Avila, and even 
better. It is wiser to take no notice oi what you 
mention. It is better for melancholia (for it can be 
nothing else) to take this form than a worse one. 
I was glad to hear that Avila* is not dead: in fad:, 
as he is an upright man, God has been merciful 
enough to let him fall ill in a place where he would 
be carefully looked after. 

' Mother Mary Baptist. 

* Probably Father Julian de Avila, 


I am not surprised at your being annoyed, but 
I am surprised that you, who are so desirous of 
serving God, should take so light a cross for a heavy 
one. You w^ill say that you dislike it because it 
prevents your serving God better. O brother, hov\^ 
little we understand ourselves! for all this consists 
in a little self-love. Do not be alarmed at Fran- 
cisco's* vagaries: they are natural to a boy of his 
age. But even were this not the cause of them you 
must not exped: every one to be as pundlual in his 
duties as yourself. Let us thank God that He has 
no other faults. 

I shall not remain at Medina for more than three 
or four days and less than a week at Alba. The jour- 
ney from Medina to Alba will take two days, after 
which I shall start at once for Salamanca. By the 
enclosed letter you will learn how the prioress was 
reinstated at Seville, to my great joy. If you wish 
to write to her, send your note to me at Salamanca. 
I have told her to pay the money she owes you by 
degrees as you require it. I will see that she does this. 

Fray Juan de Jesus has reached Rome. Our 
affairs are prospering here and will soon be settled. 
Canon Montoya*^ came here to bring the Cardinal's 
hat to the Archbishop of Toledo. Our affairs are 
in the Canon's hands and he will not fail us. 

Will you pay a visit for me to Francisco de 
Salcedo and tell him my news. I am very glad to 
hear he is well enough to say Mass. God grant he 

* Lorenzo's eldest son. 

* The Licentiate Diego Lopez de Montoya was Canon of Avila 
and Assistant General of the Inquisition. The Archbishop of Toledo 
yvAs Don Gaspar de Quiroga. 


may recover. The sisters here are praying for him. 
God be with you! 

You can speak with perfect frankness to Sister 
Maria de San Jeronimo if you Uke. I wish some- 
times that Teresita were here, especially when we 
are in the garden. May God make saints of both 
of you. Remember me affedlionately to Pedro de 

Yesterday was the feast of St. Anne. I remem- 
bered that you are very devoted to her and either 
intended to build, or have already built a church 
dedicated to her, of which I am glad. 
Your Honour's servant, 

Teresa de Jesus. 


Salamanca, October 4, 1579^ 

Purchase of a house at Salamanca. 'The Saint objeSis 
to the Seville nuns' changing their residence. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 

Paternity ! 

ANGELA has not been able to free herself 
entirely from her suspicions. It is not surpris- 
ing, for she finds no comfort, nor will her affections 
allow her to find comfort elsewhere. As she says, 
she has many trials, is weak by nature, and is 
grieved at finding her attachment unreturned.* 

' Fuente 257. The original letter is at Jaen. 

^ The Saint is speaking of herself and complaining of Father Graician's 


Kindly tell that gentleman that, though he may 
be naturally forgetful, he ought not to be so in 
this case, for when love exists, it does not slumber 
so long. 

However, we will change the subjecft. I am 
very sorry to hear how exhausted your head is. 
For the love of God, moderate your work, for 
unless you attend to the matter in time, you will 
find all remedies unavailing. Master and control 
yourself, and learn from other people's experience, 
since God's glory is concerned, and you know how 
necessary your health is to us all. 

I thank His Majesty heartily that our affairs 
are so prosperous that, with His mercy, we may 
look upon arrangements as concluded, and so es- 
tablished as to show clearly that the work has been 
done by God. Setting aside the importance of the 
matters themselves, I am delighted on account of 
your Paternity as you will now see the fruit of your 
labours for which you have certainly paid dearly. 
But it will be a great joy to you to be in perfedl 
peace and most beneficial for your successors. 

O my Father, what a trouble this house is to 
me! Even though the matter was settled, the devil 
managed to keep us out of the house, which is the 
most suitable in all Salamanca, and the bargain was 
a very good one for the landlord. It is impossible 
to trust the sons of Adam! The owner himself 
offered us the place: he is an upright gentleman, 
looked upon in Salamanca as the most honourable 

neglect in answering her letters. Angela is the Saint ; the cabalkro is 
Father Gracian. 


man in the city, whose word is as good as his bond. 
He had not only given his promise, but had signed 
the agreement in the presence of witnesses, having 
himself brought the lawyer with him, yet he has 
broken off the contracft. Every one is astonished 
except certain gentlemen who persuaded him to 
this course for the sake of their own or their rela- 
tives' interests. They had more influence over him 
than the many friends who objected, especially one 
of his brothers who had shown us great kindness 
in the matter and who is much pained by the affair. 
He had placed the matter in our Lord's hands, so 
what has happened must be best for us. The trouble 
is that nothing else at all suitable can be found in 

If only these nuns had such a convent as the 
Seville sisters have, they would think they were in 
heaven. I am deeply grieved at the folly of the 
prioress, who has greatly lost credit with me. I 
fear that the devil has begun his work on that house 
and wants to destroy it completely. 

I assure your Paternity that I was highly pleased 
by the letter from the young lady which you sent 
me by Dona Juana. If you are satisfied, I shall be 
glad to receive her as she wishes, for I had already 
heard much in her favour. She must be admitted 
at Seville when God wills, for I cannot endure the 
foxiness shown by the community, and that prioress 
is more astute than befits her state. Indeed, as I 
told her at Seville, I fear she has never been frank 

^ The nuns did not succeed in obtaining another house until after 
St. Teresa's death. Anxiety on their account was her chief trouble on 
her death-bed. 


with me. I assure you that I had much to bear from 
her there. As she has written several times since 
saying that she repented, I thought that she had 
improved as she acknowledged her fault. To tell 
the poor nuns that the house is very unhealthy, is 
enough to cause them to believe that it makes 
them ill. I have written her some terrible letters, 
and I might just as well have struck an anvil. The 
enclosed letter from Father Nicolas will show the 
state of affairs. For love of God, if you think you 
have more influence over her, tell one of the friars 
to write to her. I think we ought to send some 
nuns there who possess the sound judgmentrequired 
in such important business. Will your Paternity 
ask Father Nicolas to write at once to Father Prior 
requesting him to decline discussing the subject 
with her, for he must be much to blame. I feel 
certain that they are mistaken in attributing their 
ill-health to the house itself, and the one they think 
of taking would be far worse, being on the bank 
of the river, they tell me. Besides, it has not the 
fine views to be seen from their present convent, 
which are a great recreation for the nuns. In fa<ft, 
it is the best house in Seville, and the envy of this 
comrhunity. May God bring the matter right. 

*Fray Nicolas gave me a kind message from you, 
but I hope you will remember to pray for me 
which your many duties might make you forget. 
My health is fairly good. The Prioress and sisters 
earnestly beg your prayers. May God have you in 

* Fuente was the first to publish the latter part of this letter begin- 
ning with this paragraph. 


His care for me and let me see you soon. It is past 
three o'clock in the morning. 

To-day is the feast of St. Francis. 

Your unworthy servant and daughter, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Toledo, November 19, 1579^ 


The Saint asks her to defer entering the Order until 
the foundation is made at Madrid. 

May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with you. 

I DID not expe(fl to be able to write to you, and 
as the Mother Prioress has already done so, I 
will only say that Father Nicolas has set his mind 
upon your entering no other convent but the one 
which, God willing, we hope will soon be founded 
in Madrid. Should you have the patience, after 
waiting so long, to wait a little longer, it is most 
important that you should tell no one of your 
decision or of the projected foundation. 

You must know that the nuns of Salamanca have 
already consented to receive you; I tell you this 

' Fuente 259. Don Cayetano de Arriaga of Burgos had the original 

■ Dofia Isabel Osorio, a lady of Madrid, does not appear to have 
become a nun. Her sister, Ines de la Encarnacion, was professed at 
Toledo in i 580. She was noted for her perfect obedience and died in 
1635, having worn the habit for 55 years. [CEuvres, iii, p. 437. See 
letter of April 8, i 580). St. Teresa had left Salamanca for Avila early 
in November and in spite of her illness had set out for Malagon. She 
took five days to reach Toledo, 

VqI. III. 19 


because you have the certainty of entering there 
should there be any doubt about the other; but 
Father Nicolas thinks that, for many reasons, it 
would render greater service to God if you helped 
this new foundation, and that is the one objed: on 
which we are all bent. Father Nicolas will soon 
return from Seville and by that time you will have 
decided as to which you prefer. May His Majesty 
so guide you that you may be contented, and may 
He use your soul for His greater glory and honour ! 

I was delighted at witnessing the contentment 
of our sister, who is yours also. We shall be con- 
tented if you are as good, for she is an angel. She 
was very glad to be with me. 
To-day is November 19. 

Your unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

Letter from Father Gracian to the 'Duchess of Alba, 

at Uzeda. 

Alcala, December i, 1579.* 

Jesus, Mary! 
Your Excellency, 

As soon as I arrived at Alcala, 
I placed in the hands of assessors the documents which 
proved that I had not exceeded my powers. These gentle- 
men did not think it necessary to show the papers to the 
Nuncio or to restore complete liberty either to Father 

' By kind permission of P, Gregoire we give the following impor- 
tant letter first published in Lettres de Sainie Tkirese., 2nd. ed, 


Antonio' or to myself until the principal evidence had 
been sent to Rome. However, thank God, this docu- 
mentary evidence is now already on its way and is in 
thoroughly trustworthy hands. That is all 1 know. In 
consequence ot the bad weather, Mother Teresa of Jesus 
was ill when she reached Toledo, as she had travelled 
through the mountain pass. She wrote, telling me that 
her indisposition was of little consequence, but 1 shall 
feel anxious until I hear of her recovery. 

When I reached this priory, I found the Reverend 
Father Rector at death's door with a pain in his side. 
However, God willed that he should live and also wills 
that, besides the convalescents, we should have four reli- 
gious ill m bed and should moreover suffer great poverty. 
May His Majesty be praised! Amen. I desired Pangue 
to ask you to be good enough to give us a little coal to 
warm the invalids in the wintry weather, and as I know 
that you are not annoyed when the poor beg for alms, 1 
venture to remind you of it. 

1 am very glad to hear that His Grace the Duke^ is 
better. We never forget here to entreat our Lord to 
grant you the grace and favour you both desire, which 
we all need and pray tor daily. 

Alcala, December i, 1579. 

The chaplain and servant of your Excellencies, 
Fray Jeronimo Gracian de la Madre de Dios. 

' Fray Antonio had at first been confined in the priory of the Dis- 
calced Franciscans at Madrid with Fray Gabriel de la Asuncion. As 
the latter, being Prior of la Roda, was wanted there, the Nuncio sent 
him back, accompanied by Fray Antonio, at the end of 1578. {Found. 
ch. viii, 17.) 

^ The Duke of Alba being still in prison, the Duchess was staying 
at Uzeda in order to be near him. 


Malagon, December 3, 1579^ 

T^he Saint asks her to enter the convent to be founded 
at Madrid which her dowry would help to stablish. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 

Honour, and make you as great a saint as I daily 

beg of Him. 

FATHER Prior de la Roda* brought me two 
letters from you : one must still be at Toledo. 
I thank our Lord for your wish to forsake the 
world, for such disillusion can only come from 
heaven. I trust in His divine mercy that you will 
render Him great service, responding to such good 
desires by actions worthy of a true daughter of the 
Virgin, our Lady and Patroness. I certainly would 
not impede for a day so strong a vocation. I will 
state the motive of my letter frankly, since you 
are now our sister and my senora. 

You must know that for several years many 
people have begged me to found a convent at 
Madrid, but I was so fatigued during my eight 
days' sojourn there on my way to Pastrana by the 
visits of the great ladies of the city, that I refused 
my consent.' But now, after all our troubles, I see 

' Fuente. 260. The original belongs to the Capuchins of Toledo. 
St. Teresa had reached Malagon on Nov. 25. 

^ Fray Gabriel de la Asuncion. 

^ This was in May, 1 569. The foundation was not made at Madrid 
until six years later, in 1595, after St. Teresa's death. 



that it would be well for our other houses to have 
a convent there, and I have been persuaded to agree 
to it. The great drawback is that I am assured the 
Archbishop would refuse permission unless the 
convent were founded with a yearly income. 
Although there are several ladies there who have, 
for many years wished to enter, and who could 
well afford the money, they are not free to give it 
until they are in the convent. Father Nicolas and 
I thought that, as you could be of great help to us 
perhaps you would wait a few days. God willing, 
I believe it will not be a longer delay than you 

Will you pray about the matter? Should you 
prefer another plan, I give my cordial approval: 
let me know and you shall enter whenever you 
choose, but this would endanger the prospe<ft of 
the foundation at Madrid, and I think it would be 
a great thing if you could be the means of for- 
warding so good a work. May our Lord dispose 
of it for His greater glory. 

Father Prior arrived so late at night that I could 
speak little to him on the subject. I will discuss it 
to-morrow and let you know his opinion, but I am 
writing to you to-night as I shall be very much 
occupied about an affair of which he will give you 
an account. 

I am fairly well, glory be to God, though I was 
tired when I arrived and have had more to fatigue 
me since. May it render service to His Majesty, 
and may He give you many years to be spent in 
serving this great God and Master of ours ! 

Kindly remember me to Father Valentine. I 


pray for him every day, and beg him to repay me, 
though I should be richly repaid, wretch that I 
am, by a very short prayer of his. 

To-day is December 3. 

Your Honour's unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

Remember that what I have said to you is private, 
for I cannot recoiled: having spoken so freely to 
any one. 

Fortunately, we have had a long interview about 
your affair to-day; the decision remains unchanged 
I enjoyed meeting his Reverence very much. He 
will give you an account of it. You will let me 
know what you have arranged with Father Prior, 
which I am sure will be for the best. 


Prefatory note. 

St. Teresa found the house at Malagon which was the 
gift of Luisa de la Cerda, in so unfinished a state that 
the builders said it would take six months to finish. 
However, she insisted upon its being ready by Decem- 
ber 8, and herself worked harder than any one. Things 
were soon set right in the community by the new prioress, 
Jeronima del Espiritu Santo who took the place of Ana 
de la Madre de Dios. Another reason for the Saint's 
visit to Malagon was to examine the spirit of the Ven- 
erable Ana de San Augustin, a young nun, whose super- 
natural state of prayer, together with the visible persecution 
she suffered from the devil, made the nuns anxious to 
consult the holy Mother. Saint Teresa was perfectly 
satisfied with her spirit and was divinely guided to choose 


her for the new foundation at Villanueva. While at 
Malagon, the Saint had an attack of paralysis, which 
confined her to her bed. 

Malagon, after December 8, 1579^ 


T^he nuns of Malagon move into another house. State 
of the community. Responsibility of the Saint and 
Father Gracian, The new prioress, 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 


1MUST tell you that as I had already reached 
Malagon when Paul's letter came, I did not stay 
longer at Toledo as he bade me. It has been for 
the best, because the nuns entered their new house 
on the feast of the Conception. I had spent a week 
here which was quite as tiring as my journey, for 
there was much to do and I wore myself out with 
my efforts to manage the move on so auspicious a 
day. Yet after all, my health is better than usual. 
I am very sorry for your trouble: I can do no more. 
The change of houses was a very joyful cere- 
mony, as we walked in procession with the Blessed 
Sacrament which was transferred to the new con- 
vent. The nuns were delighted: they seemed just 
like little lizards coming out into the sun in summer 
time. They certainly have suffered in their former 
dwelling, and though nothing here is finished ex- 
cept eleven cells, they could live in the house very 

' Fuente 261. The original letter belongs to the Carmelite convent 
at Alcala de Henares. The end is missing. 


comfortably for several years even if no more were 

my Father! how urgently my visit was needed, 
not only on this account — though their move 
would probably have been deferred otherwise — 
but for the other matters. God could have remedied 
them, but, for the moment, I can see no other way 
in which the spell could have been broken. The 
nuns realize now how they have been mistaken. 
The more I learn of the government of the Vice 
Prioress,* the better I understand the rashness of 
entrusting any office to her. 

The poor Licentiate/ seems a very religious man 
and I think is less to blame than the person who 
dragged them all with her into sedition and love 
of change. He is very willing to follow my advice 
about affairs here and shows a humility and sorrow 
for having given any occasion for what happened 
which edify me deeply. Paul and I are much at 
fault: tell him to take it to confession as I have 
done, for we gave too much licence in some ways 
and ought not to have put such trust, in fa(ft any 
trust at all, in persons so young, however saintly 
they might be, for being inexperienced, thev do 
great harm in spite of a good intention. We must 
know better how to ad: in future, my Father. 

1 trust in our Lord that all will remain settled 
and in good order. The prioress* we brought here 

' Ana de la Madre de Dios. See letter of May 8, 1578. 

' Don Caspar de Villanueva. 

* Jeronima del Espiritu Santo (Acevedo), born of a noble family of 
Zamora, was sister to Guiomar del Sacramento and Beatriz de Jesus. 
Hers was a strong character : clever, tactful, and kind. She was chosen 
to introduce the Discalced nuns into Italy by Nicolas Doria who sent 


is full of the fear of God, prudent, and so skilful 
in governing that the sisters all love her dearly. 
She begs earnestly for your Paternity's pravers and 
is your very loyal daughter. I think we could have 
chosen no one else so suitable for that convent. 
God grant it may always be so. The other prioress* 
seems to have done her work extremely well. 

The harm a prioress can do to a house is terrible, 
for though the sisters witness things that scandalize 
them (of which there have been many here) they 
think it would be against obedience to consider 
them wrong. I assure you, my Father, that the 
Visitor ought to be very vigilant lest the devil 
should evolve great evils from small ones. 

May God have Fray German in heaven ! He 
had good qualities, but lacked the light to under- 
stand perfection in a higher sense. From the way 
in which our Lord conducfts matters. He seems re- 
solved that certain things should not remain hidden. 
God grant I may not have been to blame for having 
insisted on taking Fray Felipe to the nuns as their 
confessor ! And God grant, too, that he was not to 
blame in defending the sisters, for the Father Vicar, 
who did as I wished, must have suffered severely in 
consequence, as he told some one who visited him 
when he was ill that it was I who had made him 
take to his bed. But it seemed to me that nothing 
would suffice except to bring the sisters another 
confessor, and there was no one else but Fray Felipe : 

her in i 590 to Genoa to make a foundation : from this convents were 
founded throughout the country. Four years later she returned to 
Spain, was made prioress at Madrid, and died at Arrenas in 1599. 
{(Euvres iii. 467.) 

^ Mother Brianda de San ]o%L 


yet I felt misgivings about the whole affair. If I 
have done wrong, write and tell me your opinion, 
for I have no satisfactory adviser here. 

A few days ago I gave Fray Gabriel a letter for 
the Father Redor, at Alcala, so that you might 
have news of me, as I did not dare to write to you 
diredly, though I believe I might have done so 
safely. That father came here and not . . .^ 


Prefatory note. 

On Nov. iij the Nuncio had transmitted the sentence 
of the assessors that the Discalced should be separated 
from the Caked and erected as a separate province with 
his good will and approval to the Secretary of State of 
His Holiness. On the fifteenth of the same month, a 
Chapter of the province of Castile was held at Moralejar, 
in which a share and voice were assigned to the Discalced 
priors and their socii^ and provision was made for their 
houses. When the Chapter was over, (on the twentieth 
of the month,) Angelo de Salazar forwarded a minute 
account of it to Juan Baptista Caffardo, the Vicar Gen- 
eral. (yAEla Capit. General. Vol. i, p. 562). Fray Angelo 
secretly opposed the separation of provinces. St. Teresa 
never trusted him entirely, as although he was learned 
and conscientious, he halted between the two parties and 
never frankly took her part. At the Chapter, Fray Gabriel 
de la Asuncion, Prior of la Roda, had been named de- 
finitor. The despatches from the king, the Nuncio, and 
the four assessors had already been sent to Rome. 
''The end of the letter is missing. 

Malagon, December 15, 1579^ 


Foundations at Villanueva and Arenas. 'The des- 
patches sent to Rome. Velascds daughter as novice. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 


FATHER Prior of la Roda came here; I cannot 
tell why, though he wished to discuss the 
foundation of a convent at Villanueva de la Jara, 
I have thoroughly investigated the matter and find 
that it would be the most foolish thing in the 
world to think of such a projecfl. Fray Antonio de 
Jesus has decided that it is to be done. I have 
appealed strongly to his conscience and Fray Ga- 
briel's* about it, but cannot say what they will 

Fray Antonio wishes to settle about Dona Isabel 
Osorio, whose sister he sent to Toledo,' but Father 
Nicolas and I have already made arrangements 
with her. Fray Gabriel showed in a better light 
than ever, evincing a simplicity on certain points 
that astonished me. He has been made definitor as 
a great compliment to the Discalced, the Father 
Vicar tells me : at least, he hinted at this motive. 
I really cannot see how it can harm the Calced, 

' Fuente 262. The autograph belongs to the Discalced Carmelite 
convent, Saragossa. It begins here. The first part, which is missing is 
supplied from the copy at the National library, Madrid. 

' Fray Gabriel de la Asuncion. 

' In6s de la Encarnacion. 




nor how Fray Gabriel can be blamed if he has been 
eleded, that the thing should be kept so secret. 
Don Luis Manrique informed Fray Gabriel that 
the despatches have been forwarded to Rome. I 
asked him whether they were to be held back for 
the general Chapter, but he said that by the King's 
request they were not to be delayed. The father 
was only here for one day ; he thought I was at 
Toledo, and, not finding me there, came here. 

I am amused at Paul's pride: what a time for 
it! He need not fear that it pains me or that it 
hurts himself: he would be foolish, and that he is 
not. Has he forgotten the well with aquedudts 
that refilled it as it was emptied?'* I remember 
our pleasant journey together from Toledo to Avila,^ 
which did not tire me in the least. Happiness is a 
great thing and Paul's letter seems to bring me rest 
amidst my work: will your Paternity thank him 
for it. 

I do not think I can stay here for the whole of 
January, though the place suits me well enough as 
I am not so beset with letters and business matters. 
The Father Vicar is so anxious about making the 
foundation at Arenas and meeting me there, that 
I exped: he will tell me to settle things quickly 
here. In fadt, the greater part of my work is done. 
You could not believe how much I owe to him: 
his kindness to me is extreme. I assure you that I 
shall still feel very grateful to him, even after his 
time of office has expired. 

* This seems an allusion to the basin filled from aqueducts in the 
Interior Castle, Mans. iv. ch. ii. 

■'The return from Toledo to Avila in 1577 with Father Gracian 
and Fray Antonio. 


Read this letter from the good Velasco.*^ If his 
sister is not very much in earnest about becoming 
a nun, yet wishes to enter the convent, be cautious 
about concluding the arrangement, because I should 
be exceedingly sorry to hurt Velasco's feelings as 
I like him very much and am most happy at his 
filling his present post. I believe that we owe all 
our advantages to him, to the Father Master Fray 
Pedro Hernandez, and to Don Luis.'' May God 
bless your Paternity, my Father, and preserve you 
for many years to come. Amen. 

To-day is December 12. I wish you a happy 
Christmas* and growth in sanctity. 

Your Paternity's loyal daughter and subjed:, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

"Juan Lopez de Velasco, a native of Vinuesa, court chronicler of 
Philip II and secretary to the treasury. By the king's order, he assisted 
at the Chapter of the separation of provinces held at Alcala in 1581. 

'' As already stated, Pedro Hernandez and Luis Manrique were two 
of the assessors. 

* Pascuas de Dios : feast of God Himself. 


Malagon, December i8, 1579^ 

Affairs at Malagon. Improvement m the condition 
of the Order. 

May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 

1SENT your Paternity a long letter but a few days 
ago via Toledo, so this will be but a short note. 
Besides, I was only told late this evening that the 
messenger, Antonio Ruiz' son-in-law, was to start 
to-morrow before daybreak. 1 wish he had brought 
me some lines from your Paternity though he 
cheered me by news of your good health and of 
the fondness of the people of Alcala for your ser- 
mons. He spoke of the one about St. Eugenius. 
Blessed be God from Whom all good comes! He 
bestows a great favour on those whom He destines 
to sanctify souls. 

I forgot to mention that Ana de Jesus* is very 
well and that the other nuns seem peaceful and 
contented. I do not allow a certain person either 
to speak to them or to hear their confessions. 
Otherwise, 1 am very polite to him, as is proper, 
and 1 often talk to him. He preached here to-day. 
He certainly is a good man and would not wilfully 

' Fuente 263. The autograph is venerated in the convent at San 

■ A nun at Malagon who was out of her mind (letter to Gaspar de 
Villanueva, July 1577) 



injure any one, but I am convinced that it is best 
for our Discalced nuns not to talk to those outside 
the house though they may be saints. God will 
instrud: the sisters and experience has taught me 
that, with the exception of hearing sermons, fre- 
quent intercourse, even with Paul, does them more 
harm than good and to a certain extent diminishes 
the respect due to such persons. O my Father, what 
troubles I have gone through on this account! 

Oh, how well I remember what I suffered on 
Christmas Eve, a year ago, when I read your letter 
to me!' Thank God, times have improved. Never, 
however long I live, shall I forget the anguish I 

My health is no worse than usual; indeed I have 
felt better lately. The new house is very comfort- 
able; it will be excellent when finished, and even 
now affords us ample room. 

The Prioress and nuns earnestly commend 
themselves to your Paternity's prayers, and I beg 
for the Father Redior's.* As it is very late at night, 
I will only say that I should spend a happy 
Christmas-tide if I could hear the sermons you 
will preach. God grant your Paternity a happy 
Christmas both this year and for many more. 

To-day is the feast of Our Lady of the O,^ and 
I am the daughter and subjed: of your Paternity, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

^ See Prefatory note to Letter to Roque de Huerta,end of Dec. i 578. 
* Father Elias de San Martin, Rector of the college at Alcala, 
^ The feast of the Expectation of our Lady, kept in Spain on 
December 19 with great solemnity, so called because the antiphon of 
the Ma^nijicat begins with the words: Firgo virginum. 


Fragment of a letter probably written at Malagon at 
the end of 1579.^ 


The Saint's delight at being unknown and unnoticed. 

... I assure you that this place possesses advan- 
tages for which I have longed for many a year. 
Though I naturally feel lonely at being without 
my usual comforter, my soul is at rest and there is 
no more memory of Teresa of Jesus than if she did 
not exist. This would prevent my wishing to leave 
the spot unless I were told to, for I used to be 
annoyed sometimes at hearing such foolish remarks 
as that I was a saint — if so it must be a half and 
half one ! * They laugh when I tell them they should 
make another saint, as it costs no more than giving 
any one the title. . . . 

'Fuente 264. Fragmentof a letter published by Ribera,Bk. iv,ch. xv, 
and Yepes Bk. iii. ch vii, in their lives of St, Teresa. 

*'//tf de ser sin pies ni cahex.a' — *It must be one with neither feet 
nor head. 



Malagon, December 21, 1579* 


Affairs of the convents of Malagon^ Seville, and Veas. 
The foundation at Madrid. The Prior of Pastrana. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 
Reverence ! 

SERRANO* came to-day, the feast of Saint 
Thomas. Your letter was very welcome as I 
wanted to know about your journey. Thank God 
for such goodness to us! May He prosper your 
return, though you will not enjoy it so much, for 
pleasure lightens toil. I thought you would have 
received my two letters, or at least the one I wrote 
almost dirccflly after you left, on St. Catharine's 
day. Both were addressed to the care of Senor 
Francisco Doria.' 

God willed that we should enter the new house 
on the feast of the Conception, though it cost me 
very hard work for there was much to do to get 
it ready, so that I was extremely tired during the 
eight days I stayed there before the nuns arrived. 
However, I hold my labour well spent, for though 
much is wanting, they find it very comfortable. 

' Fuente, 265. At one time this letter was considered of doubtful 
authenticity, but the autograph in St. Teresa's handwriting belongs to 
the Carmelite nuns at Ubeda. 

* A benefactor of the Seville Carmelites. 

^ A brother of FrayJDoria. As canon of Toledo, he testified for 
St. Teresa's canonisation. 

Vol. III. 20 


God has arranged the rest better than I deserve. 

I am astounded at the havoc the devil has wrought 
through misgovernment, and at the fear, or rather 
the spell, under which he held the nuns. They are 
certainly all good souls, desirous of perfection, and 
most of them, indeed, nearly all, were greatly dis- 
tressed at what was wrong but did not know how 
to remedy it. They are now thoroughly undeceived, 
and I feel certain that no one wishes for any change, 
even for Brianda's sister,* who is delighted at not 
coming here. 

I assure your Reverence, my Father, that we 
must examine carefully as to whom we entrust such 
charges, for the nuns are so submissive that their 
chief trouble was a scruple at considering that their 
superior's a6tion was wrong — as it was. They are 
delighted with their new prioress,* in which they 
are right. I believe that all the sisters are glad, 
except two or three who regret the loss of their 
former confessor. I told them at once that no one 
had leave to confess to him, of which most of the 
rest were glad. I managed to keep the matter 
private, but spoke very plainly to him. I feel sure 
that he is sincerely religious and has had no ill-will 
in the matter. As he lives at a distance and has 
other work, the change was made unnoticed. I 
invite him to preach to us, and I see him from 
time to time. All is now straightforward, glory be 
to God! 

My only trouble is that the community are 
deeply in debt. All the money has been squandered 

* Maria del Espiritu Santo. 
^ Jeronima del Espiritu Santo. 


on account of the long period of mismanagement. 
The sisters knew it must be the case, but the su- 
perior told them very little : having been professed 
so recently, she probably knew no better. Such 
obstinacy in following one's own opinion does 
much harm. 

Will your Reverence advise the prioress* who is 
about to be reinstated in her office to study care- 
fully what are her obligations towards the Order, 
to fulfil them, and to keep the Constitutions, and 
then she cannot go wrong. Otherwise, God makes 
the best of friends become our accusers. Superiors 
must not suppose that they can make and unmake 
rules in their houses like married people. Kindly 
show her this letter. I felt annoyed at times with 
her and the other nuns I took to Seville from here, 
because they told me nothing. However, there was 
little to relate at first compared with what occurred 
later on. 

If any nun at Seville should wish to confess to 
some other priest than the usual confessor appointed 
by your Reverence, let her be given the permission 
if he is one of the fathers from los Remedios^ chosen 
by yourself. The nuns here have had much to 
suffer on this point, their souls having been bound 
down in a way that was hard to bear. They tell me 
here that the Seville sisters have written advising 
them to insist on having Brianda as prioress: that 
this course had been successful at Seville, and would 
be here. Will your Reverence give the prioress a 
good penance, for she ought to have known that 

* Mary of St. Joseph, at Seville. 
^ Priory of the Discalced at Seville. 


I am not such a bad Christian as to have taken so 
serious a decision without grave reason, nor should 
I have paid so high a price for the house had I 
considered it w^orthless. I forgive them for the 
opinion they must hold of me: may God forgive 
them too! If His Majesty had not willed that I 
should see it would be bad for them, I should have 
tried to bring; back the former Prioress to Mala- 
gon, as I restored the Prioress at Seville. I assure 
your Reverence that if Mother Brianda returned, 
it would completely destroy the peace of the house, 
not to speak of other drawbacks. In such a weighty 
matter, those at a distance should not condemn one 
who would forfeit her own peace for the comfort 
and good of a single soul. 

I heard some days ago that the fathers at Pastrana 
were ill :' they ought to be well again by this time. 
Your Reverence should not trouble about it, nor 
allow it to prevent your doing what is requisite at 
Seville. The matter that remains to be seen to after 
Kingtide will require great discretion, and if God 
should bring the reply from Rome, it would not 
be fitting that you should be unable to get here in 
good time. 

Fray Gabriel, Prior of la Roda, came to see me 
before the feast of the Conception. He gave me 
to understand that he came to arrange about Doiia 
Isabel Osorio's proje(5l. As Dona Luisa' told me 
that the Archbishop'* would not license the foun- 
dation at Madrid unless the house had an annuity, 

"^ Father Doria was prior of Pastrana. 
^ Dofia Luisa de la Cerda. 
'"Of Toledo. 


I am delaying the entry of Doiia Isabel until I see 
whether she could help us in the case. I do not 
know how it could be managed, even though she 
gave us all her fortune, for as she could not do so 
until she entered, we should have to find some one 
who would stand security for the sum meanwhile. 
We will discuss the matter when you come here. 

I was amused at Father Gabriel's confiding to 
me as a secret that the despatch had been sent to 
Rome. He stated that it had already gone, that 
he had learnt of it from Don Luis" and that he 
feels sure that as the petition comes from the king 
himself, it will be answered promptly without 
waiting for the General Chapter. God grant it may ! 
I pretended that it was news to me. He declared 
that he was very glad, as well he might be ! I will 
tell you the rest when we meet. 

The Prioress of Veas sent me some letters for 
Casademonte, asking him to what address she is to 
forward the hundred ducats which she has in hand, 
so we need trouble no more about that afi^air. 

I am delighted at your tidings of the Archbishop,'* 
but you have ad:ed very wrongly in omitting to 
give him kind messages from me. Please do so at 
once. You can assure him that I pray for him 
specially every day when I receive Holy Commu- 
nion. May His Majesty have your Reverence in 
His keeping and bring you here in good health! 
Never fear that I shall let you leave us soon. 
Mother Prioress asks to be remembered to you, 

" Don Luis Manrique, one of the four assessors. 
'^ Don Cristobal de Rojas, Archbishop of Seville, 


and the nuns are looking forward to your visit. 
The unworthy servant of your Reverence, 
Teresa de Jesus. 
Father Felipe makes an excellent confessor. Give 
Fray Gregorio kind messages from me and his sister. 
She is extremely good and cannot contain her hap- 
piness. Consider whether it would not be well 
for the prioress here to be novice-mistress: there 
have been so many changes that it would be an 
advantage for the sisters' affediions to be concen- 
trated on the prioress. One of the nuns could help 
her to teach them. As regards spiritual matters, 
such as prayer and temptations, recommend her not 
to exad: more than the nuns are inclined to say, 
according to what you made them sign: this is 
important. I am very glad that Father Prior of las 
Cuevas is satisfied: truth is a great thing. Remem- 
ber me kindly to him. 


Malagon, towards the end of the year 1579^ 


Four fragments of letters relating to the convents. 

... I assure your Paternity, (and for love of God 
never forget it, unless you wish to see our convents 
ruined) that as the price of everything is steadily 
rising, a community requires an income of about 
three hundred thousand marav^dis to keep it from 
poverty. If, with the sum to be given it, people 

' Fuente 266. These fragments seem part of the same letter, which 
appears to have been written in 1579. They were printed in Vol. vi, 
First edition. 


believe that the house has an income of its own, 
no doubt the nuns will die of hunger. . . 

... 1 wish to state that, by my will, houses 
founded in poverty should not have an income, for 
I know, and have learnt by experience, that in all 
such cases, if the nuns are faithful to God, they 
will always possess the greatest liberty oi spirit. 
But if they are unfaithful, let them die out, for 
there are enough relaxed convents already. . . 

. . . God forgive those who have opposed the 
making of new foundations, which was the remedy 
for all the evils. Until our convents are solidly 
established, there cannot fail to be many draw- 
backs, but His Majesty will put all things right. 
Meanwhile, your Paternity must be very cautious 
about admitting postulants unless there is urgent 
need of them and they would be of great help to 
the community. The welfare of our houses consists 
entirely in their not having too many religious to 
support. Unless we are very prudent on this point, 
we shall find ourselves in inextricable difficulties. . . 
... It would be far better not to make foundations 
than to receive people suffering from melancholia* 
who ruin the house they enter. . . . 

"' St. Teresa had a horror of melancholy and often used to exclaim: 
^Dios me libre de Santos encapotados:' — ' God deliver me from sour-faced 


Malagon, towards the end of 1579^ 


Concernmg the Reform. 

. . . Your Honour need not have paid so much 
attention to my words, for I know little about 
lawsuits and wish that all may be at peace. But I 
believe that if this suit is permitted, it will provoke 
further animosity, and it is enough that the Count 
de Tendilla should be of the same opinion. . . . 


Date uncertain 1579* 

Enclosing some letters for other people. 


May the Holy Spirit be with you and reward you 
for the charity you have shown me to-day. 

1 HOPED to have seen you— not to complain, for 
there is no cause for complaint, but for my own 
consolation. Be sure not to forget me in your 
prayers, though the poverty of those I offer for you 
in return lays me under still greater obligations 
to you. 

I beg you to deliver the enclosed letters with the 

' Fuente 268. Published among the fragments of Vol. vi. First ed. 

' Translated by the kind permission of P. Grcgoire from Vol. in. 
o{ Lettres de Ste. Therese, p. 565. The autograph belongs to the Dis- 
calced nuns of Chiaia, Naples, 



greatest caution to Father Larez:* some of them 
concern a most important affair. May the Lord 
be with you. 

Will you ask our Father Provincial to send those 
I forward to him for Medina by a most trustworthy 
messenger; or there would be a risk of much 
trouble for us and hindrance to the service of God, 
as they concern the matter of which I spoke to 
him the other day. Otherwise, let them be returned 
to me, that I may send them. But if they are 
despatched, let them be directed to Father Ordonez 
so that they may be delivered immediately. 
Your servant, 

Teresa de Jesus. 



Asking leave for the admission of a daughter of An- 
tonio Gait an into the convent of Alba. 

.... Antonio Gaitan has been here. He came 
to ask me to receive his little daughter* into the 
convent of Alba: she must be about the same age 
as my Isabelita. The nuns tell me she is a dear 
little creature. Her father will pay for her board 
and lodging, and, later on, will leave her all his 

- The name is not clearly written : it might be Bancz. 

' Fuente 270. Published among the fragments of Vol. vi, first ed. 

^ She entered the convent and was professed at Alba in 1585 under 
the name of Mariana de Jesus. The year after St. Teresa's death, the 
Discalced resolved no longer to admit girls who were not old enough 
to be novices. 


property excepting what is entailed. They say the 
sum will amount to six or seven hundred ducats, 
or even more. Nothing could repay him for what 
he has done for that convent, or indeed, for his 
services to the whole Order, so 1 beg your Pater- 
nity to be kind enough to send the permission at 
once. I assure you that these little angels edify and 
amuse us, and I consider that it would be beneficial 
rather than hurtful to have one, (not more), in 
each convent. . . . 


Malagon, before the middle of January, 1580* 



Past trials at the convents of Seville and Malagon. 
Father Soto and Father Doria. New foundations. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 
Reverence, my daughter! 

IN my letter to my Father, Fray Nicolas, I spoke 
at length on certain points which I will not men- 
tion here, as you are to read it. Your own was so 
kind and humble that it deserves a long answer. 
As you wish me to write to the good Father 
Rodrigo Alvarez,* 1 will do so, but my head is 
not equal to much more. Serrano says he will deliver 
these letters to a trustworthy messenger. God grant 

' Fuentc 273. The original letter is in the V'alladolid collection, 
^ Rector of the Jesuit college of Seville. 


he may ! Though I enjoyed seeing him, I was sorry 
that he returned here. You need not have reminded 
me of his services to us in our trouble: I am too 
grateful to forget them. I will manage to persuade 
him to go back to Seville, for it is a great thing to 
have somebody one can trust there. 

I am not so ill in Malagon as elsewhere. I was 
much grieved at what Sister Gabriel told me about 
your health. Had your heart been of stone, the 
many trials through which you have passed would 
have injured it. I hope I did not contribute to them. 
Your Reverence must forgive me, because I am so 
anxious that any one I love dearly should never do 
amiss that I am unbearable. The same thing hap- 
pened with Mother Brianda, to whom I wrote 
terrible letters, with but little result.* I really think 
that, in one way, the devil managed to do more 
harm at Malagon than at Seville. It lasted longer 
and gave graver scandal outside the house, and it 
is doubtful whether matters will go on as well in 
future as yours. I believe not, though things have 
been rectified and peace restored within the convent. 
God set the affair right: may He be praised for it, 
though the nuns were little to blame! I am most 
annoyed with Sister Beatriz de Jesus,* for she has 
never spoken to me on the matter, even now 
when she is aware that all the nuns tell me about 
it and that I know all. She seems to possess little 
virtue or discretion. She must think she is perform- 
ing an ad: of friendship to the sisters, to whom she 

■' Neither Mother Brianda nor Mary of St. Joseph preserved the 
'terrible letters' addressed to them. 

■* The nun who had been president at Malagon. 


is deeply attached, but true friendship would not 
hide faults that could be cured without great 
difficulty. For the love of God, let your Reverence 
be most careful never to do what would cause 
scandal if it were known. Let us get rid of those 
'good intentions' which cost us so dear. As for that 
Father of the Society's having dined in your parlour, 
tell it to nobody, even our Discalced fathers, for 
the devil, being what he is, would stir up com- 
motion among them. 

You must not fancy that it cost me little to bring 
the Re(5lor to better terms with us, as all the 
fathers of the Society at Avila are now. I had 
great difficulty about it and even wrote to Rome, 
from whence, I believe, the matter was re(5tified. 
I was very grateful to that saint. Father Alvarez 
and to Father Soto.* Remember me kindly to the 
latter and tell him that I think he proves his 
friendship rather by actions than by words, for he 
has never w^ritten to me or even sent me a message. 

I cannot think how your Reverence can allege 
that Father Nicolas has disparaged you to me, for 
you have no warmer partizan in the world. He told 
me the truth, so that I should understand what 
harm was being done in the house and not be 
misled. O my daughter! how needless it is to 
make so many excuses as to what regards me! I 
can truly say that it matters nothing to me whether 
the nuns care for me or not as long as I know that 
they fulfil their obligations. You mistook my 
motive. It seems to me that, when I show so much 

^ An excellent priest of Seville who succeeded Father Garci Alvarez 
as confessor to the Seville nuns. 


solicitude and love for the sisters' affairs, they are 
undutiful if they do not trust to me but let me 
weary myself in vain. My feelings vv^ere so deeply 
hurt that I should have liked to leave the matter 
alone, for it seemed to me, as w^as the faft, that I 
could do no good. But my affection is so strong 
that when I found my words had any effedl, I 
could not resist speaking again. However, let us 
say no more about the matter. 

Serrano tells me that you have received another 
postulant. If, as he thinks, you are twenty in 
community, your number is complete and no one 
can authorize you to take more. The Father Vicar 
himself has no power against the decree of the 
Apostolic Commissioners.* For the love of God 
be careful on this point, for you would be aston- 
ished at the harm that comes from having a large 
community in our houses, even though they have 
an income and the means of living. I do not know 
why you pay such heavy interest every year when 
you could settle the debt. I was very glad to hear 
of the sum sent you from the Indies: thank God 
for it! 

As regards the choice of the subprioress, as 
your Reverence has not health to come to choir 
regularly, you need some one who can take the 
Divine Office. Though Sister Gabriela seems 
young for the post, that matters little : she has been 
professed for many years and has the virtues that 
are required. If she is not verv suited for the 
parlour, San Francisco could accompany her there. 

* Fathers Pedro Hernandez and Francisco de Vargas, Dominicans, 
nominated as Visitors in i 570 by St. Pius V. 


At least Gabriela is obedient, and would do nothing 
against vour wishes. Besides, she has good health, 
which San Jeronimo has not, and it is important 
that the subprioress should not miss choir. As a 
matter of conscience, the office could best be laid 
on Gabriela. As she led the choir in the time of 
that miserable deputy-prioress,^ the sisters know 
she is competent and will be the more ready to vote 
for her. Ability is of more consequence than age 
in a Subprioress. 

I have written to the Prior of Pastrana about the 
novice mistress: I quite agree with what you say. 
I should not like the community to be large, for, 
as I said, it is a drawback for every one and is al- 
ways the sole reason why religious houses become 

As you have the means with which to assist the 
Order I should be very glad if you would pay your 
debt to my brother with the money that comes 
from Toledo. He is in real need, is always borrow- 
ing in order to pay the yearly sum of five hundred 
ducats for the property he bought, and has lately 
sold something which would fetch a thousand ducats 
in Seville. He has mentioned your debt several 
times, and I think that he has the right to reclaim 
his money. Perhaps, if you cannot repay all at once, 
you might send him part of the sum. You will see 
what can be done in the matter. 

It is a great thing that the holy Prior of las 
Cuevas should supply you with bread. With such 

' Negra v'tcaria — wicked vice-prioress. This appears to have been 
Beatriz de la Madre de Dios, who after having expelled Mary of St. 
Joseph from her post by slandering her, was made prioress in her stead. 


an alms, the nuns of Malagon could overcome their 
difficulties. I do not know what will become of 
them: all the religious have been received without 
a dowry. 

The Archbishop' is very anxious to realize the 
project about Portugal. I intend to put off going 
there. If possible I will write to him now. Will 
you see that the letter is forwarded by a trustworthv 

For the sake of her own soul, I should be glad 
to know that Beatriz^ had repented and withdrawn 
her statement to Garci- Alvarez, but I very much 
fear that she does not understand her fault and that 
God alone can convince her of it. May He make 
your Reverence as holy as I ask of Him, for bad 
as you are, I wish I had others like you, as if a 
foundation were to be made, I could find no one 
suitable for prioress, though there ought to be 
some one. No one has had any experience and what 
occurred here alarmed me very much. The devil 
entraps us by good intentions into doing his work, 
so we must always be cautious and hold fast to 
God, trusting little to our own wits. Otherwise, 
however clever we may be, God will leave us to 
ourselves and we shall make mistakes when we 
fancied we were most sagacious. 

Now that you understand the matter, you can 
learn experience from what has happened in this 
house, for I assure you the devil was certainly 
trying to play some trick, and I was astonished at 
your taking the part of the nuns in your letter. 

" Don Teutonic de Braganza, Archbishop of Evora. 
* Beatriz de la Madrc de Dios, of Seville. 


What were you thinking about? And San Fran- 
cisco too! Good heavens! What foolish things 
were said in that letter for the sake of getting your 
own way! God give us light, for without that we 
have neither strength nor mind for anything but 
evil! I am glad your Reverence is completely un- 
deceived, as it will help you in many ways. 
Mistakes secure success by giving us experience. 
God watch over you. I did not think I could have 
written so long a letter. 

The servant of your Reverence, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

The Prioress and nuns beg earnestly for your 


Malagon, January, 1580.^ 


Congratulations to the newly professed and the re- 
eleSled Prioress. Messages to Be atriz and Margarita. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 
Charities, my sisters and daughters ! 

Your notes gave me great pleasure: I should 
have liked to write a long letter to each nun 
in return, but time failed me for I am overwhelmed 
with work,, so vou must excuse me and take the 
will for the deed. I should very much like to make 
the acquaintance of the newly entered and pro- 

' Fuente 271. The original letter, which belonged to the Valladolid 
collection, was given to the newly founded convent at Santiago in 1 748. 


fessed* and I am extremely glad they have made 
their espousals. May His Majesty make them such 
as I wish and ask of Him, that they may enjoy His 
Presence in the eternity which has no end. 

Tell Sister Jeronima, who signs herself "dung- 
hill", that I trust God this humility does not consist 
in words alone. Say to Sister Gabriela that I received 
the " St. Paul" which is very good : being tiny like 
herself, it is to my taste. May God make her great 
in His sight! He really seems to love you better 
than us, as He sends you such severe trials, unless 
you lose the merit of them through your own fault. 
May He be praised for all things. How well He 
has diredied the election! It is a great comfort to 

Experience has taught us here that God seems 
to give more help and love for the house and nuns 
to the first prioress in a new foundation than to her 
successors, so that she benefits the sisters' souls 
more. In my opinion, unless there is any notable 
defe(fl in the prioress who starts a house, she should 
not be changed, as there are more obje<flions to it 
than the nuns can understand. May God give you 
light to do His will in all things! Amen. 

I ask of Sister Beatriz de la Madre de Dios and 
of Sister Margarita what I have already asked of 
the rest: to speak no more of the past except to 

^ The nuns professed at Seville in i 579 were Maria de Jesus (Ruiz), 
Ines de San Eliseo (de Morales), and Maria de San Pablo. The first 
and last named helped to make the foundations at Granada and San 
Lucar. Sister Ines took part in that made at Lisbon. Her dislike for 
being put in any important office was so great that when she heard 
that she was to be elected as prioress, she asked our Lord to take her 
from this world-beforehand. Her prayer was granted. {(Euvres, iv, 318, 


Vol.111. 21 


Our Lord and their confessor. If they have been 
mistaken and given their information with a w^ant 
of the truth and charity that God requires of us, 
let them be careful in future to be open and 
truthful. Thev should make what satisfaction is 
due, otherwise they will not be at peace and the 
devil will never cease tempting them. If they 
content our Lord, there is no need to think any 
more of the matter, for the devil was so furious, 
and strove so fiercely to prevent the good beginnings 
at your convent from developing, that the only 
wonder is he did not do more harm in every way. 

God often allows the soul to fall to make it 
humble. If with sincerity and self-knowledge it 
returns to the right path, it makes greater progress 
in our Lord's service, as we see in many of the 
saints. So, my daughters, as you are all daughters 
of the Virgin, and sisters, try to love one another 
very much and take care that no one suffers. I 
speak to all of you. 

I have been careful to pray specially for those 
who think I am displeased with them. My greatest 
sorrow has been (as it would be in future if they 
disobeyed) that they have not done what I now 
ask of them for the love of God. My dear Sister 
Juana de la Cruz* has been often in my thoughts; 
I believe that she must have continually gained 
fresh merits. As she chose the title of *the Cross' 
it has been a blessed lot for her. Let her pray to 
our Lord for me and not suppose that all the rest 
are doing penance for her sins — or for mine which 

' Juana de la Cruz, a lay sister, mother of Beatriz who gave so much 


are much greater. I ask all your Charities to re- 
member me in your prayers: you owe it to me far 
more than these nuns do. May our Lord make 
you as holy as I desire. Amen. 

Written in the year 1580. 
Your Charities' servant, 

Teresa de Jesus, Carmelite. 


Makgon, January 13, 1580^ 

Affairs of the Seville convent. Project of a foundation 
at Villanueva de la yara. Concerning the nomination 
of the Provincial. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 


THREE or four days ago, I received a letter 
from your Reverence dated December 30. 
Serrano had already brought me the others to 
which I wrote a very long answer, as I did to the 
Mother Prioress. I also wrote to Father Rodrigo 
Alvarez. They were all put into Serrano's hands 
with strict injundlions to be careful of them and I 
have learnt since that they were undoubtedly de- 
livered to the courier. Besides that, I have written 
twice to you since I reached Malagon and sent the 
letters to Senor Doria,* Toledo, to be forwarded to 
your Reverence. I am disgusted at their all having 

' Fuente 272. The autograph belongs to the Carmelite convent, 

* Brother of Father Nicolas and canon of Toledo. 


been lost. Cod grant it may not be the fate of this 
which I am sending by Velasco.' 

You refer me for all news to the Mother Prioress 
of Seville, who tells me nothing. As she is well, I 
think you will be able to settle all the rest satis- 
fa(5lorily, seconded as you are by such a superinten- 
dent. What wonders are worked by the love of 
God! It is that which makes him anxious to help 
these poor nuns. I beg him to prav much for me. 
Why do you not mention our friend Lucrecia?* 
Remember me kindly to her. 

Lest I should forget it, I will tell you now that 
the Prioress of Veas wrote to Casademonte saying 
that she has the hundred ducats and asking where 
they should be sent. He answered, to Madrid. I 
mentioned the matter to your Reverence before; 
we need feel no more anxiety on the subje(5t. 

This is such an out of the way place that you 
must not reckon on my sending you news from here 
more often than if I were at Seville, — though even 
there I could communicate more easily with you. 
Few messengers go even to Toledo and I find that 
letters are lost in transit. I say this because you ask 
me to tell you when to come, and what is happening. 
I warned Velasco that he must not depend on me 
while I am at Malagon. 

If your Reverence stays long at Seville, you may 
find I have left when you arrive, for I believe a 
foundation will be made at Villanueva, near Roda, 
and possibly I may accompany the sisters, for if 

* Velasco, chronicler to Philip II and afterwards secretary of the royal 
Exchequer, was high in his favour and a staunch friend of St. Teresa. 

* Lucrecia had been Father Doria's servant when he was a secular 


ever my presence was needed at a foundation, it 
will be there. 

Fray Antonio de Jesus and the prior arc making 
such a stir, and people are so importunate about 
the matter, that 1 can do no less. Our Lord must 
wish for it. The question is still uncertain, but if the 
foundation takes place, I shall start before Lent. 
I should be sorry to leave without talking to your 
Reverence, for 1 thought I should have had that 
relief at Malagon. My health is good and all is 
well in this house, so that I cannot thank God 
enough that I came here. The spiritual state is most 
satisfadiory ; there is great peace and content, and 
the temporal affairs which were ruined are im- 
proving. God be praised for it all ! 

What you tell me about the Most Reverend 
(Father-General) so pleased me that I wish it were 
settled, as I wrote to Velasco and the * cave-dweller.* 
Only I have been wondering whether there would 
be any doubt regarding the validity of the substitute, 
as opinions varied at the Nuncio's death as to 
whether his commission to Father Gracian still 
held good. We are tired of lawsuits, so that, in any 
case, if God grants us the favour of a successful 
issue, you ought to take the necessary steps at once, 
during the life -time of our principal protecftor.^ 
As the reasons given by your Reverence all seem 
very good, though beyond my understanding, there 
is no cause for delay. 

If your Reverence waited for us at Seville, you 

' There was question of nominating Father Gracian as Visitor to 
the future province. He was niclcnamed the 'cave-dweller' as he was 
very fond of living in a grotto at Henares. 

" Probably Philip II. 


might miss us if we could not carry out our present 
plans. I will state the matter to Velasco, and sub- 
mit to his opinion, li it would not tire you, it 
would be better that you should come to Malagon, 
even though you should have to return to Seville, 
as the journey here cannot be made quickly. 
Though it is true that where Velasco is, your 
presence does not seem indispensable, as I tell him, 
yet much depends upon your consulting together. 
Circumstances might arrive in which your absence 
would do great harm and would annoy Velasco, 
loyal friend as he is to us. Though Father Gracian 
is at liberty, it would not be wise for him to inter- 
fere in this afFair as if we gain what we are striving 
for, people would say he had his private ends in 
view. Though that would not matter very much, 
it would be best to render it impossible. 

I have been thinking that if the 'cave-dweller' 
is not made Provincial and were given the other 
office,' it would be well that Fray Antonio should 
fill the post of Provincial which he has had before, 
for if he had a superior, and especially if he had a 
prudent companion, he would do his duty well as 
he did when entrusted with the work by the Visitor 
of Salamanca. That would deliver him from his 
temptation and destroy party spirit (it it exists), 
for that is a far greater evil than any tault he might 
commit as Provincial. I say this now as I do not 
know when I shall be able to write to your Rever- 
ence again, considering the fate of these letters. 
The present messenger is strongly recommended. 

' Probably that of Vicar General or Visitor of the Reform. 


I should like to know the cause of this new 
agitation. God grant the people of this district may 
cease intriguing. May He proted: your Reverence. 
I am tired as I have been writing for a long while. 
My health is better than usual here, but my head 
is always troublesome. Remember me very kindly 
to the Prior of Almodovar' if he is at Seville, and 
say I am doing a great deal for his friends and have 
taken a dowerless nun for each of them. God grant 
he may be grateful. One was brought me by Juan 
Vazquez, the other by his friend from Cantalapiedra. 
The latter is the postulant who left Veas and who, 
they say, is a great friend of his Reverence. 

The prioress asks your prayers. We all, especially 
myself, pray to our Lord for you : I never forget it. 

I cannot help suspedting that you would be glad 
to have an excuse for remaining at Seville: if it is 
groundless, God forgive me! May His Majesty 
make you very holy and preserve you to us for 
many years. Amen. 

To-day is January 13. 

The unworthy servant of your Reverence, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

* Fray Ambrosio de San Pedro. 


Malagon, January 14, 1580' 


Penances performed by the nuns to free Father Gracian. 
The future elediions and the Provincial. The ^Interior 
Castle'' and ""The Life' Macario, Fray Gabriel^ and 
the Duquesa. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 


[RECEIVED a letter a short time ago from 
Dona Juana. She is hoping every day that your 
enforced silence will come to an end. God grant 
the affairs at Toledo and Medina may be settled 
when this letter reaches you. Fray Felipe* is just 
what we want; for he has gone from one extreme 
to the other, and never speaks to the nuns out of 
confession: he is an excellent man. Oh, how the 
Medina sisters rejoiced when they heard your silence 
was over! You owe a special debt to them. A lay 
sister at Malagon took a hundred disciplines on 
your behalf: all this ought to help you in doing 
great good to souls. 

I received the enclosed letter yesterday from 
Father Nicolas. I was very glad that they could 
manage what he mentions, for I felt anxious 
sometimes about Salamanca, though I could think 

' Fuente 274. The original belonged to the Carboneras, Madrid, but 
is no longer there. 

'"* The confessor St. Teresa took to Malagon ; sec Letter of the 
jniddle of December 1579. 



of no better plan. You now have your work clearly 
set before you : evidently you should labour more 
for your own Order than for those outside it. I 
spoke to Father Nicolas at Toledo about some of 
the drawbacks to the former course without men- 
tioning them all, which did great good. I think 
that the Most Reverend [Reverendissimo) will do all 
he can in our favour. My only misgiving is lest, 
when the Nuncio died, the authority he gave you 
may have become invalid. It would be most dan- 
gerous to leave so important a question to chance. 
Tell me what you think about it, for I can perceive 
no other difficulty. Indeed, it seems a favour from 
heaven, as Father Nicolas says in his letter, that we 
should be allowed to arrange our business among 
ourselves. May God, Who has the power, bring it 

In case all should not go as we wish, I do not 
know whether it would be well for Father Nicolas 
to remain at Seville, for our affairs meet with little 
support there. True, Velasco would do much: still, 
he would lose nothing by being seconded. How- 
ever, your Paternity must say nothing on the subjed:, 
lest, should our projedl be realized, you should be 
accused of having worked to obtain it. Caution is 
most necessary to afford people no such opportuni- 
ties especially while we are governed by Mathusa- 
lem' who is putting great obstacles in the way of 
Paul's being placed in any office. But he could do 
no less. 
Another difficulty occurs to me, which is whether, 

■* The Nuncio Sega. 


if this charge'^ were laid upon vou, you could also 
be Provincial. But that seems of little moment, 
for the first office includes all the rest. Besides, 
there would be the great advantage, if Macario^ 
were Provincial, of his dying in peace, as that is 
the cause of his melancholia, and it would put an 
end to this party spirit. After all, it would be only 
reasonable, as he has already borne the dignity, 
and since he would have a superior over him, he 
could do no harm. Be kind enough to let me know 
your opinion. So far the question only relates to 
the future, but were it for to-day, you need feel no 
scruple about it. 

The enclosed letter from Fray Gabriel will show 
what he fancies about me, though I have always 
written to him when I could find a messenger. You 
see how angry he is. He declares that he saw by 
my letters which vou showed him, that I did not 
write to him when I could have done so, I should 
be very glad if your Paternity's affair had been 
settled by the time this letter reaches you,^ so that 
you can reply at length. 

I forgot to tell you about the Duke.^ On New 
Year's Eve, the Duchess sent one of her servants 
with the enclosed letter and a private one for myself, 
in which she declared thatyour Paternity had stated 
that I preferred the Duke to herself. I did not ac- 

^ That of Visitor to the Order which St. Teresa was too prudent to 
put into words. 

'" Fray Antonio. Compare what is said in this letter with the preceding 
one. He had been elected provincial at the Chapter of Almodovar in 
1 578. His jealousy of Father Gracian grew as time went on. 

•* That the Nuncio should allow him to leave his reclusion and permit 
him to write letters to the Discalced. 

' The Duke and Duchess of Alba. 


quiesce, but merely remarked that you told me so 
much about his good qualities and of how spiritual 
he was, that you must have fancied it. I added that 
I loved God alone for His own sake, that I saw no 
reason whv I should not love her, and that I owed 
more affedlion to her than to the Duke: but I put 
it in better words. I think the book she got Father 
Medina to copy must have been my large one.* 
Will your Paternity tell me all you know about it. 
Do not forget, for I should be very glad that the 
work should not be lost, and the only other copy 
is in the hands of the angels. In my opinion, my 
last book surpasses the other : at any rate, I have had 
more experience since I composed the first. I have 
written twice to the Duke and said much more 
than your Paternity asked of me. God protect you, 
for if anything would cheer me, it would be to see 
Paul. If God wills that I should be deprived of 
that relief, well and good: let Him send me cross 
upon cross. 

Beatriz begs you to pray much for her. 

The unworthy and true daughter of your 

Teresa de Jesus. 

^ Father Medina had copied the Saint's Life of herself from the ori- 
ginal then in the hands of the Inquisition. Father Gracian, acting as 
confessor to the Duke in his prison at Ubeda, took the MS. with him 
to read to the prisoner who was so cheered by the Life and what he 
was told about St. Teresa that he forgot all his troubles. ' How I wish 
I could go to see her' he exclaimed. He w-as only set at liberty to take 
the command of Philip's army in Portugal, and did not meet her. The 
Duke took with him to the war a picture of our Lord from St. Teresa 
which he boasted afterwards had enabled him to practise mental 
prayer while conquering Portugal. The second book mentioned in the 
letter is The Interior Castle, the Saint's favourite among her writings. 


Malagon, January 15, 1580* 


Fathers Antonio and Francisco. ProjeBs for the 
foundations at Villanueva^ Arenas^ and Madrid, 


May the Holy Spirit be with your Paternity, 

my Father! 

AS 1 have such a reliable messenger as this 
lay-brother, I do not like to omit writing these 
few lines, though I sent you a long letter yesterday 
by Juan Velasquez of Almodovar. 

Fray Antonio de la Madre de Dios^'has been at 
Malagon and preached us three sermons which I 
liked very much. He seems to me an excellent man: 
it is a great consolation to number such persons 
among our friars. I was grieved at learning of the 
death of the good Fray Francisco : ^ may God have 
him in heaven. 

O my Father! how anxious I feel about the 
plan of making a foundation at Villanueva, for I can 
find neither prioress nor nuns for it that satisfy me. 
That saint of a Sister Isabel* here seems to possess 
some of the qualities required, as I told your Pater- 

' Fuente 275. The autograph belongs to the mercenarias of Tore. 

" Fray Antonio de la Madre de Dios was formerly a Jeronymite. 
He joined the Discalced under the influence of the Venerable Anne 
of Jesus. He was drowned with three other friars in the Gulf of 
Guinea on his way to the missions. 

* Fray Francisco, a model of virtue and mortification, died a saintly 
death at Baeza. 

* Sister Isabel had renounced the Mitigation on Oct. 27, 1579. 



nity, but as she has always been trained among the 
liberties pradiised in that house,^ I feel great mis- 
givings about her, besides which, her health is 
very bad. Let me know your opinion about her. 
Beatriz^ does not appear to me to be all I wish, 
though she has governed this convent peacefully. 
Now that the cares of this house are over, the other 
worries me. 

I think that the Flemish nun would suit Arenas.^ 
She has been perfectly satisfied since her daughters' 
affairs were settled, and possesses sterling qualities. 
If it is the will of God that we should found a 
convent at Madrid, I rely upon Ines de Jesus ^ as 
prioress. Pray about these matters, for it is very 
important to start well. For charity's sake let me 
know your decision. May our Lord protedl you 
and make you as great a saint as I desire that you 
should be. 

To-day is January 15. 

Your Paternity's unworthv daughter and 

Teresa de Jesus. 

" The convent of the Incarnation. 

® Beatriz had been temporary prioress of the convent after Mother 
Brianda left. 

' Ana de San Pedro. 

^ Daughter of Francisco de Cepeda and cousin of St. Teresa. 


Malagon, beginning of February 1580* 



Affc5iionate messages. The foundation at Villanueva. 

MAY the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 
Charity, my daughter. Had you my weak head 
and business affairs, you would have an excuse for 
not having written for so long. But as you have 
not these pleas, I do not know how I can help 
complaining of you and of my dear Sister Catalina 
de Jesus, for you certainly owe it to me. If only 
I were able, I should write to you so often that 
you could not go to sleep.' But though you are so 
forgetful of me it is a comfort to know that you 
are well and happy and, from what they say, are 

' Fuente 278. The autograph of this letter belonged to the Carmel- 
ite nuns of Valladolid who kept it exposed for veneration on the altar 
of the Saint in their church. It was given by the bishop of that city 
to the Carmelite convent, Darlington. 

" Nearly the whole of chapter xxi oiThe Foundations is taken up with 
the history of Sister Catalina de Jesus and her sister Maria. They were 
foundresses of the convent of Veas. Catalina had been miraculously 
converted by reading the title on her crucifix and her vocation to 
Carmel was supernaturally revealed. She had to wait several years 
until her parents died before she became a nun; she was cured of 
cancer and a complication of diseases by miracle before leaving the 
world. For Maria de Jesus, see letters to her and the nuns of Toledo, 
August 1577. 

■* In an article in the Bulletin hispanique, 19 17, pp. 265-267, M. 
Morel-Fatio states that the sentence should end here, instead of three 
words later as in Fuente, so connecting en ohidarme tanto with consuelme 
con saber, etc. As St. Teresa did not punctuate her writings, each letter 
is formed of a single sentence and it remains with the editors to deter- 
mine how the phrases should be divided. 



serving our Lord faithfully. God grant it is true, 
as I pray heartily it may be! I should like to be 
able to stay at vour convent and find comfort there 
after the toils and trials of many kinds through 
which I have passed during the last few years. 
Self-indulgence prompts the wish, for on refledlion 
I know well that I deserve cross upon cross and 
that God shows me great grace in giving me no- 
thing else. 

The Mother Prioress will have already told you 
that I have been ordered to make a foundation* in 
a place where I have wished to have a convent for 
many years.* I approve of it because people here 
have persevered so long in asking for it, that my 
superior thinks well of the proje(5l. I am going in 
the full assurance that the foundation will render 
service to our Lord. Will your Charity pray that 
it may and that I may alwavs do His will. 
Remember me very kindly to Sisters Catalina de 
Jesus, Isabel de Jesus, and Leonora del Salvador.* 
I wish that time and my head would permit me to 
write longer. But your Charity must not answer 
me with a short letter or be surprised if I do not 

^ That of Villanueva de la Jara. See Found, xxviii, 7-34. 

" M. Morel-Fatio says that instead of, as Fuente gives it adonde ha 
muchos anos me defiendo de ella, the phrase should read: adonde a anos 
queria ; defiendo de ella, . . . 

^ Isabel de jesus (Vozmediana y Salida), a widow of Veas who was 
clothed by St. Teresa six months after the foundation of the convent. 
Leonor Bautista de Jesus (Perez de Castilejo y Bermudez), professed 
at Veas in 1578, was prioress at Veas and Valentia. It was said that 
all the nuns she trained became saints. At her death she said that she 
heard the angels singing: 'Lastamini in Domino et exultate justi et 
gloriamini omnes recti corde.' One of the letters written by St. John 
of the Cross is addressed to her. (CEuvres iv, 300, 306.) 


reply at once. Be sure that I am glad to hear and 
that I do not forget to pray to our Lord for you. 
May His Majesty make you as holy as I wish you 
to be! 

Your Charity's unworthy servant, 
Teresa de Jesus. 


Malagon, February i, 1580. 


Regarding the health and welfare of the Prioress and 
her election. The foundation at Villanueva. State of 
the convent of Malagon. Money owing to Don Lorenzo. 


May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with your 

Reverence, my daughter! 

TO-DAY, the eve of our Lady of the Trans- 
fixion/ I received letters from your Reverence 
and my sisters at Seville. I was greatly pleased, 
though I cannot tell why, for in spite of all the 
vexation you cause me I cannot help loving you 
dearly. I soon forget all your faults, and now that 
your community has improved through its recent 
trials, I am fonder of it than ever. God be praised 
for having brought all your difficulties to so happy 
an end! 

No doubt your health is better as your daughters 
do not lament over it as usual. It is foolish of you 

' Fuente 276. The antograph is in the Valladolid collection. 
* That is, of the Purification. 


to wear a woollen tunic in the summer. If you 
wish to please me, you will take it off directly you 
receive this letter, which may be a more severe 
mortification for you. As all the nuns know how 
necessary it is, they will not be scandalized. Our 
Lord will be pleased with you as you do it by my 
wish. You cannot ad: otherwise, for I know what 
the heat is at Seville, It is better to do this and 
follow the community duties than to have such a 
number of invalids. This applies to all those whom 
you see require it. 

I thanked our Lord that the eledion was so 
unanimous: ' they say that the Holy Ghost intervenes 
in such cases. Rejoice in your trial, and do not let 
the devil disturb you by making you dislike your 
office. It is amusing of you to say that you would 
be glad to know I prayed for you, when not only 
have I done so for the last year, but I have made 
all the other communities do the same. Perhaps 
that is why matters have passed off so satisfadorily. 
May His Majesty continue to prosper them! 

I foresaw that, as Fray Nicolas was to undertake 
the matter, it would be well done. But, shortly 
before your Reverence asked for him at Seville and 
he was told to go there, you risked spoiling all our 
plans, for you only thought of your own house and 
he was occupied in matters concerning the whole 
Order, which depended on him. God made you as 
you are! I should like him to be both at Seville 
and Malagon at the same time until so important 
a matter is concluded. I heartily wish he could 

' All the votes at the election of the prioress had been in favour of 
Mary of St. Joseph. 

Vol, III. 22 


have come here in time to meet me. Now it cannot 
be done, for you must know that live days ago the 
Father Vicar sent me a patent to go to Villanueva 
de la Jara, near la Roda, to found a convent there. 
For the last four years we have been importuned 
to do so by the municipal Council of the place, 
and other persons, especially the Inquisitor of 
Cuenca, formerly fiscal at Seville. I saw many 
obstacles in the way, but Fray Antonio de Jesus 
and the prior of la Roda visited the spot and took 
such adtive measures as to remove all difficulties. 
The town is twenty-eight leagues from Malagon. 

I should have considered it a great piece of good 
fortune if I could have managed to pass through 
Seville on my way so as to have met your Reverence 
and scolded you to my heart's content — or rather, 
talked with you, for doubtless your trials must have 
made something of you by now. 

God willing, I must return here before Easter, 
as my leave of absence only extends to St. Joseph's 
day. Tell Father Prior, in case he might be able 
to come to see me. I sent him a letter from here 
via Madrid. I should have written much more 
often to both of you from Malagon, but did not 
dare, as I exped:ed the letters would get lost. I was 
very glad that those I sent you did not meet with 
such a fate, as in one of them I gave you my 
opinion about the choice of asubprioress, although 
your Reverence knows best what would suit your 
community. Yet 1 assure you that it is very un- 
fortunate when both prioress and subprioress have 
bad health, or when the latter cannot recite 
and dired: the choir well: mdeed, it is against the 


Constitutions. What could prevent your sending 
which ever nun you chose to the parlour if there 
were any business to settle? If you were very ill, 
I feel sure that Sister Gabriela would not swerve 
from your orders and if you give her authority and 
credit, she is virtuous enough to set no bad example, 
so that I am glad to see you are inclined to decide 
upon her. May God ordain matters as is best. 

It is amusing of you to warn me not to believe 
everything that San Jeronimo says, after my having 
cautioned you against it over and over again. Even 
in a letter I sent to Father Garci Alvarez, which 
your Reverence tore up, I gave him strong reasons 
against trusting her. However, she is a good soul, 
though she is not clear-headed, and is not to be 
compared to Beatriz, for she errs through want of 
understanding, not through malice. However, I 
may be mistaken. There will be no risk if you let 
her confess to no one but the friars of the Order, 
except perhaps occasionally to Father Rodrigo 
Alvarez, but tell him my opinion of her first. 
Always remember me kindly to him. 

I was very glad to learn from the sisters' letters 
how fond they are of you, as I think is right. 
They amused me, and I was delighted with your 
Reverence's letter, which counteracted my disgust 
at the one written by San Francisco — a disgust 
springing from her apparent want of humility and 
obedience. You should try to corred: her: there 
is still something she brought from Paterna about 
her."* Tell her not to spin out her letters and 

* She had been sent to reform the community of Paterna. 


exaggerate so much, for though she thinks her 
rhodomontades are not falsehoods, such a style is 
far from perfect; she should write frankly, other- 
wise she might mislead a superior in a thousand 
ways. Tell her this in answer to her letter, and that 
when she amends her style I shall be satisfied with 
her. But let us try to please this great God, for I 
am of little account. 

O my daughter! I wish time and the state of my 
head would allow me to write at length about all 
that happened in your house, for you would gain 
by my experience and would even ask God's pardon 
for not having informed me of it, for I knew you 
were present when certain things took place such 
as I dare wager have not been done in the most 
relaxed convents in all Spain. A good intention 
would excuse some but would not suffice for the 
rest. Take warning by it, and keep to the Consti- 
tutions, since you are so fond of them, unless you 
wish to gain a little with men and to lose with 
God. There is not one of the nuns who does not 
realize and acknowledge what danger they were 
in, except Beatriz de Jesus, who is so fond of the 
others that though she understands the evil, she 
never told me about it, nor does she speak of it now, 
by which she has lost greatly in my estimation. 

The former confessor has not heard confessions 
here since I came, nor do I think he will. The 
public interests require this, for the whole affair 
was terrible, though he certainly would be good 
under other influence. God forgive her who caused 
his dismissal from this house, for both he and the 
nuns would have made progress. He recognizes 


that there was good reason for the measures taken, 
and came to see me. I am very friendly with him, 
as is right, and his frankness pleases me. Much 
harm comes from youth and inexperience. O my 
Mother ! how malicious the world is; for it puts 
a good construction on nothing ! Unless we learn 
from the past and are cautious, all will go from 
bad to worse. For the love of God, look well to 
everything as I shall, and be as shrewd as an old 
woman, since you have had such a lesson. 

I wonder that you sent me no verses [yillanicos) 
for, as usual, a number must have been written to 
celebrate the elecftion. I like your nuns to enjoy 
themselves in moderation; when I found fault with 
it before it was under peculiar circumstances. My 
Gabriela is to blame for this omission. Remember 
me aifedlionately to her; I should very much like 
to write to her. 

I am taking Sant Angel as subprioress* and shall 
choose a prioress from Toledo: I have not decided 
who it will be. You must all pray fervently that 
this foundation may render great service to God. I 
commend it to the prayers of Beatriz, who is deeply 
to be pitied. Margarita's message pleases me, if she 
is what she declares. Things will settle down in 
time if the two nuns find that you love them. 

I am overcome at the thought of all we owe to 
the good Prior of las Cuevas: will vou give him a 
very warm greeting from me. Tell all the nuns to 
pray for me and do so yourself, for I am weary 
and very old. 

It is no great thing that the Prior should be 

* See letter of June i8, 1576. 


fond of me, for he owes me a heavy debt of 
affedtion in return for mine. God preserve him to 
us, for we possess a great treasure in him and the 
sisters are strid:ly bound to intercede for him. May 
His Majesty be with you and have you in His 
keeping for my sake. Amen. 

I am not sending you the answer given by the 
Mother Prioress and Beatriz, because I am tired. 

You must know that my brother has written to 
me twice since I have been here. He asked me to 
acquaint you with his need, which I think surpasses 
your own, and to say that you would render him 
a signal favour by repaying even half of what you 
owe him. His letters cannot be found just at this 
moment: I had entrusted them to one of the nuns 
to send to your Reverence, to prove that I should 
not press you to pay, unless my brother were 
pressing me to do so. He has sold a large part of 
the yearly interest you give him, and any sum you 
could remit would be a great help to him. I would 
have let him have some money from Mai agon, but 
there is none to spare. 

The unworthy servant of your Reverence, 
Teresa de Jesus. 

The length of this letter will show how I enjoy 
writing to you. It is equal to four of those I send 
to the prioresses of Castile, and those are rarely 
written by my own hand. I was very glad to hear 
that the Prior had set your business affairs in such 
good order, so that the sum owing to my brother 
will not be lost, even though we may be in want 

All the nuns here are extremely contented as 


well they may be, having such a prioress. I assure 
you that she is one of the best we have, and her 
health is good, which is a great thing. The convent 
is like paradise. As the funds have been lost, I have 
been busy trying to get some work by which the 
sisters may earn their living. God grant that may 
suffice. At any rate nothing will be squandered, 
for the prioress is a splendid manager. 

Remember me kindly to Fray Gregorio. How 
completely he seems to have forgotten me! My 
kind regards to Father Soto^ also: his friendship 
has done you a good turn ... so good a one in his 
place . . . Your community ought to pray for him.'' 
He has excellent qualities: I wish he would return 
to your neighbourhood for I believe he was good 
and faithful . . . 

* The new chaplain. 

^ These disconnected sentences are taken from the copy in the Na- 
tional Library, Madrid. They probably refer to Father Garci-Alvarez, 






'The following is the Spanish of Letter ccxlix. 

Fragmentos de la tira larga de Sla. Teresa. 

. . . Tenido los descal90s .... los deve. Todas las de 
esta casa se le encomiendan mucho. Yo no me espanto 
de la santidad que dicen tiene V.P., sino de lo que no lo 
esta, segun las ora9iones se an echo por el de gente buena, 
que creo lo son estas sus yjas. Mas quales nos a traydo 
nuestro Senor con mudan9as de perlados, y a mi con 
temores! Yo le digo que . . . todo cansa, y lo otro fuera 
descansar. Bendito sea Dios, que asi es servido se pase 
la vida. La que \ . P. se da me (es) a mi de arta pena. 
Dios se le perdone, que tales dias me a echo pasar con 
sus calenturas y escupir sangra, y esta dicen que a mucho. 
Yo no se como no me lo a dicho. Yo le digo, mi Padre, 
que me tiene tan tentada, que no se como acierto a 
decirle buena palabra, porque aun que no . . . 



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