Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada was born on March 28, 1515 in Castilian Ávila, the third of ten children. She was considered a cheerful, inquisitive and lively girl and was allowed to learn to read and write at her father’s wish. After the early death of her mother a convent of Augustinian nuns took over her education. In 1535, she found herself – out of fear of domination by a possible husband, but also from fear of damnation – joining the Order of the Carmelites. The next years were marked by serious illness, depression or epilepsy may have caused the suffering, which was at its worst when she spent several days in a coma, followed by several years of paralysis. Her recovery occurred before an image of the suffering Christ, the first intense encounter with Jesus, more deep prayer experiences and visions, but also factors such as the death of her father led, according to legend, finally, led to her final conversion and her experience of the infinite love of Jesus – in 1556 she celebrated her mental engagement with Christ. Her visions were increasing, and their appeal was even stronger and clearer.
Her desire to reform the Carmelite Order in accordance with the “Descalzos”, the barefoot, was granted by Pope Pius IV. In 1562, And saw the founding of the monastery of San José in Ávila. Five years later, she was able to found four more monasteries where the care of an intense relationship with God and humility, a fraternal lifestyle and letting go of the ego were declared to be the most important religious ideals; on radical interpretations as self-flagellation or severe penances they renounced. A total of 15 nunneries and 15 monasteries were attributed to Teresa of Ávila.
Her comprehensive written works include an autobiography, the headings “way of perfection”, “The Book of start-ups” or “homes of the inner castle” that describe her impressive life, but also the depth of her spiritual experiences. For Teresa of Ávila prayer to God always meant a stay at a friend incarnate and experience of its undivided love. Her boldness also led to many problems with higher ecclesiastical authorities, to the exclusion of the church but it never came. Teresa of Avila died on October 4, 1582 Alba de Tormes, in 1614 she was beatified her canonization followed in 1622. As a memorial the 15th of October is dedicated to her.
The design of the special stamp shows the patron saint of Spain on a painting from the early 1900’s, which is in the possession of Gmunden Karmelitinnenordens, which was designed by the artist Dieter Kraus brand.
Issue Date: 28.03.2015 Designer: Dieter Kraus Printer: Österreichische Staatsdruckerei GmbH Process: Offset-stitch Colours: 4 Colours