HEIRS OF ST. TERESA OF AVILA by Winifred Nevin

HEIRS OF ST. TERESA OF AVILA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

After the death of Madre Teresa in the 16th century, the fortunes of the Discalced Carmelites and the spread of her Reform rested on the shoulders of six of her close associates, three men and three women. This book is a brief, interesting historical and psychological study of the intriguing personalities and stormy relationships of these religious superiors, viewed against the background of some of the development of the Reform in Spain, Portugal, France and Flanders. The weak and seriously wronged Jerome Gracian comes out in sharp contrast to his strong-willed opponent, Nicholas Doria. The long suffering mystic, St. John of the Cross, towers over both by his sanctity. In relation to these three stand the women, the much-maligned Maria de San Jose, the intelligent, proud Ann of Jesus, and the sweet, saintly Ann of St. Bartholomew. Each was an individualist in an age and country of individualists. Each made a contribution of importance to the highly influential and controversial religious institution founded by St. Teresa. They were deeply involved with the leading prelates and members of the Court, and embroiled among themselves. In spite of all this, the Reform prospered and spread. One serious defect stands out, due in part to the surprising ignorance in America of the facts and achievements of St. Teresa, and that is the lack of any factual background on the saint herself. The author has assumed that others are as well informed as she is, with her scholarly and impeccable sources duly recorded.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1959
Publisher: Bruce