visual artist

Saint Teresa of Avila

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

Today, October 15th, is celebrated as the feast day of Saint Teresa of Avila.  This portrait of her was painted by Peter Paul Rubens many years after her death. 

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Teresa died at Alba de Tormes in 1582.  She died either shortly before midnight on October 4th or very early in the morning of October 15th.  This was the time when much of Europe was switching from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar and the transition required the removal of October 5 - 14 for that year. 

In the twentieth century many women of intellect, including Beauvoir, tried to place Teresa in a pantheon of postmodern "subversives" within patriarchal power structures.    For her daughters in Carmel, and her thousands of followers over nearly five centuries, Teresa's wit, courage, tenacity, and lively intelligence can't be confined or defined by academic theories.