Today in Catholic History – St. Teresa establishes monastery in Avila

On 24 August 1562, St. Teresa of Avila established her first monastery in Avila in response to advice she received from St. Peter of Alcantara marking the beginning of the Carmelite reform with four novices. The monastery was dedicated to St. Joseph.

The beginnings of the Carmelite reform, or the Discalced [Barefoot] Carmelites, was initially me with much opposition because St. Teresa placed her community under the authority of the local bishop and not under the prioress of the Incarnation monastery where Teresa had been attached. Later, however, the prioress of the Incarnation monastery will support her and her call for a more austere Carmelite life.

There was also opposition from the townspeople of Avila. They were concerned that religious houses were springing up faster than they could be supported. But after Teresa was able to convince the local people that her monastery was self sufficient, they would support her.


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