“Forever! Was the favorite word of Teresa. She declared that if she made up her mind to love someone, it would be ‘forever!’ Jesus Christ won her heart. Her love for Him was intense.
Teresa was born into a wealthy Spanish family of ten children in 1515. She was endowed with a vivid imagination, as well as the qualities of determination and courage. After reading books on the saints, she desired nothing more than to be a martyr. By age twelve Teresa was caught up, like any young girl, in fashion and romance. Instead of reading books on martyrs, she read of knights, love, and chivalry.
Teresa’s mother died when she was fifteen. Her father sent her to the Augustinian sisters to be educated. At the end of her schooling, her health failed and while she was recovering, she read the letters of St. Jerome. After that Teresa wanted more than anything else to be a sister. At age twenty she left for the Covent of the Incarnation, a Carmelite monastery.”
Suggestions to celebrate St. Teresa of Avila
Teach this prayer of St. Teresa. Have each of your children write it on a note card. Young children may wish to decorate their card, older children may wish to use it as a bookmark in one of their schoolbooks.
Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things pass away; God is unchanging. Patience obtains everything. Whoever possesses God, wants for nothing. God alone suffices. Amen
St. Teresa is considered a Doctor of the Church. Direct members of your family to find out how the Church chooses a person to be a Doctor of the Church, then have a conversation about what each person has discovered.
St. Teresa said she never liked gloomy saints. Remind each member of the family to be cheerful all day on her feast day.
St. Teresa’s Bread
“Several dishes are traditionally associated with St. Teresa of Avila’s memory. St. Teresa’s Bread and St. Theresa’s Egg Yolks might well have been cooked by the saint herself. Since one of the vows of her order was perpetual abstinence from meat, Teresa and her nuns must have worked hard to find appealing ways to serve bread and eggs, their most basic foodstuffs.” This dish, which makes a tasty breakfast or brunch, is a first cousin to French toast, but with a flavor and texture all its own.
2 cups Milk
1 good piece of lemon peel
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons Sugar
12 slices Italian/French bread
(a little stale) ½ - ¾ inch thick
Cinnamon-sugar for sprinkling on the toast
1 Cinnamon Stick
Olive oil for frying
Combine the milk with the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon peel. Simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes, until the milk has become well flavored. Place the bread in a large flat dish or pan and strain the milk over it.
Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl with a pinch of salt. With a spatula, lay the slices of bread in the egg, turning them to coat both sides. Beat additional eggs and salt together if necessary, to finish coating bread slices. Fry the bread in the olive oil until it is browned and crusty on both sides. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Resources from: Saints and Feast Days by the Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio; A Continual Feast by Evelyn Vitz