On today’s feast of St. Teresa of Ávila, I have a special treat for you: a sneak preview of an upcoming, illustrated book about saints for children by my besties PM and JM. What follows is St. Teresa’s story written for children in the 5-10 year age range:
Saint Teresa of ÁvilaIf you have any feedback to pass on to PM and JM, please, leave it in the comments.
(Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada)
1515 AD (Ávila, Spain) – 1582 AD (Salamanca, Spain)
Feast day: 15 October
Saint Teresa of Avila, who lived in Spain and was a friend of Saint John of the Cross, wanted to follow Jesus ever since she was a little girl. At the age of seven she decided to give her life to Jesus and when she grew up she became a nun. Do you know what a nun is? Nuns are women who follow Jesus by spending long hours in prayer, by looking after the poor and sick, by teaching or by helping people in whatever way they can. Saint Teresa was a great nun! She reminded her sisters that it is important to be poor, like Jesus taught us, and she was also exceptionally good at praying.
Do you like to pray? How do you pray? What Saint Teresa understood was, that Jesus is our friend and that praying to him is just like talking to a friend. You can ask him for help, you can tell him what makes you happy or sad, you can thank him for all the good he has given you. If you like, try it next time you pray!
Saint Teresa was also very concerned for Jesus and wanted to make his suffering on the cross easier for him. Even though we weren't there when Jesus died on the cross, we can still be close to him when we are ill, uncomfortable or in pain. Have you ever had a sore tooth, a scratch, a bruise or a bump? In all of these you can be close to Jesus and tell him that you love him.
Jesus loved Saint Teresa so much that he even came to visit her - she could feel that he was in front of her even though she couldn't see him with her eyes. The picture she saw when Jesus visited her, was of an angel who pierced her heart with a burning spear, which is very painful. But then the angel pulled his spear out and she felt great joy! This confirmed to her how important it is to love Jesus when we are in pain and that, if we do so, we will also share with him the joy of rising from the dead.
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.