This is part of a portrait swap with the lovely
..also known as NibbleKat.
We decided upon not only a portrait swap, but we chose our faces to be on historical Saints. I chose St. Theresa of Avila for her. Considered one of the doctors of the Church(or early, pivotal writers), she had a real love of religious life, even as a small child. She could be found playing, 'hermit' in the garden, or giving things away to the poor people on the street while the family was out.
As she reached her teens, her Mother passed away, she felt the deep void of such affection. So, much like St. Therese of Lisieux, she sought Christ's Mother to help her along. Surely, if she was so loving and good to Him, Blessed Mary would be good to her also.
For a time, she was absorbed in the many things most teenagers enjoy, like spending time with friends, getting compliments and the like. She was charming and easily got attention. Looking back, she said that she wasn't really all that happy, doing whatever she pleased and not spending much time getting to know God anymore.
But by 17, her relationship with God was rekindled, when she was sent to a convent school to be educated. She knew then, it was time to get serious, and felt a deep calling to become a Nun.
Shortly after this solidified, she became very, very ill with malaria, and ironically, receieved amazing visions from God. Despite the illness, she was filled with terrific peace and joy. And as she got a little bit healthier again, was set on fire to pray more than ever.
Her visions continued, but when she shared them with the other clergy around her, they were not exactly thrilled. They thought she shouldn't think or talk about it, and played it down-maybe thinking she was exaggerating. But finally, one Priest did believe her, and encouraged her to keep up her interests, pursuing God and His teaching in her life.
The mystical, spiritual side of her life, was even more real to her than our present, physical reality, she said. And sadly, due to the poor attitude of some in her convent, they were jealous or suspicious of her visions and profound moments with God. In addition, she struggled around this particular group of Nuns, due to their lazy spiritual life, which made prayer and devotion very distracting.
Finally, at the age of 42, she decided to start her own order of Nuns, even though again, many were not thrilled with the idea(She was a rebel!). But God provided a way, and it was settled.She guided her nuns not just through strict disciplines, but also through the power of love, and common sense. Her way was not the way of rigid asceticism and self denial. Although she underwent many tribulations herself, to others she stressed the importance of experiencing Gods love.
She was not only smart, she was full of energy and people found themselves easily drawn to her.
In my representation of Theresa, she is resting her chin on her hand, which is holding a scroll of some of her writings. In the other hand, is a quill feather pen, she might have used to write down her thoughts.
I like to think she would have been a lot of fun to spend time with, because she was so energetic, but also deeply in love with wanting to know God. I'll bet she had some really cool stories to tell too.
She is the patroness of bodily ills and sickeness, against headaches, those who are ridiculed for trying to live a holy life for God, lacemakers and Spain.
size: 2.5x3.5 inch