Monday, August 29, 2011

The Book of the Foundations - Chapter 21 - St. Teresa of Avila - Teresa of Jesus

      The Book of the Foundations
              of S. Teresa of Jesus 
 of the Order of our Lady of Carmel  
          CHAPTER 21         XXI 

        Chapter 21 Contents
  Treats Of The Foundation 
    Of The Glorious S. Joseph Of Carmel 
       At Segovia. 
   Founded On The Feast Of S. Joseph, 1574
   1. Our Lord bids the Saint 
        found  another monastery. — 
   2. She asks the permission 
        of the visitor. — 
   3. Dona Ana de Jimena. — 
   4. The Saint takes possession. — 
   5. Antonio Gaytan. — 
   6. The nuns to be grateful. — 
   7. Conduct of the Vicar-General. — 
   8. The Saint has law-suits. —
   9. Which she settles by paying money — 
 10. She returns to Avila. —
            CHAPTER 21
1. Our Lord bids the Saint 
        found  another monastery.  
I have  already said                                     [2]
that after founding the monasteries 
    in Salamanca and in Alba, 
but before the nuns of Salamanca 
    were settled in a house of their own, 
I was sent by the father, 
    Fray Pedro Fernandez,                        [3] 
   then apostolic commissary, 
     to the monastery ot the Incarnation
   in Avila for three years, 
  and that he, 
     seeing the distressed state 
        of the house in Salamanca, 
     sent me back to remove the nuns 
        into a house of their own.                    [4] 
I was in prayer there one day 
   when our Lord commanded me 
       to go and make 
   a foundation in Segovia
It seemed to me an impossibility, 
   - I could not go unless I was ordered, 
   - I had heard from the Father-Master. 
             Fray Pedro Fernandez, 
             the apostolic commissary, 
      that he did not wish me to make 
             any more foundations. 
I saw at the same time 
   that, the three years 
        I had to stay in the Incarnation 
   not being ended, 
   he had good reasons for not desiring any. 
While I was thinking of this,
   our Lord bade me speak to him about it, 
for he would give his consent. 
2. She asks the permission of the visitor.  
I was in Salamanca at the time, 
   and wrote to the commissary 
saying that he was aware 
 - (that) the most reverend father-general 
      had commanded me 
           never to fail to make foundations 
      wherever an opportunity occurred; 
 - that the bishop  and city of Segovia         [5]
      had consented to admit 
           a monastery of our order, 
      which I would found 
           if  he would order me; 
 - that I was informing him of the fact 
     for the satisfaction of my conscience, 
 - (that) whatever orders he might give 
        I should be safe and contented. 
These, I believe, were the words I used, 
   or nearly so, 
adding that I thought
   it was for the service of God. 
It was plainly the will of His Majesty
   for heFray Pedro )
      - commanded me at once 
             to make the foundation, 
      - gave his permission, 
    at which I was much astonished,   
      what I had heard him say on the subject. 
From Salamanca I found means 
   to have a house hired for us,                     [6]
for since the foundations 
   in Toledo and Valladolid were made 
I had felt it was better
   for many reasons, 
     - to take possession first
     - then look for a house of our own

My chief  reason was, 
   - that I had no money 
      wherewith to buy a house ; 
  - that, the monastery once founded, 
      our Lord would provide one forthwith; 
  - that a better site might be then selected. 
3. Dona Ana de Jimena.  
There lived there a lady, 
         Dona Ana de Jimena,                   
    who had been the wife of the heir 
          to an entailed estate. 
She had visited me once in Avila, 
   and was a very great servant of God. 
Her vocation had always been 
   that of  a nun. 
when the monastery was established, 
   she came in 
with a daughter of hers, 
   who had led a most pious life; 
    and for the trouble she had had 
        as wife and widow 
    our Lord repaid her twofold in religion. 
The  mother and daughter had always lived 
  most devoutly in the service of God. 
This saintly lady took the house
 whatever she saw we needed, 
       whether for the church 
        or for ourselves, 
   that she provided
and I had but little trouble in the matter. 
But, that there might be no foundation made
   without some trouble, 
I was always unwell during the six months 
   I was there; 
I had gone thither 
    inwardly ill at ease, 
for my soul was 
    in very great dryness and darkness; 
I had a fever upon me, 
   and loathed my food, 
with many other bodily ailments 
   which for three months 
oppressed me sorely.                                   [7] 
4. The Saint takes possession. — 
On the feast of S. Joseph,
 the Most Holy Sacrament was reserved,
and, though I had the sanction 
   both of the bishop and of the city, 
I would not enter 
   but in secret the night before.                  [8] 
It was a long time now 
  since the sanction had been given, 
and, as I was in the Incarnation, 
   having a superior 
other than the most reverend 
   the father-general, 
I had not been able to make the founda- 
The bishop's permission who was there    [9] 
when the city asked it of him, 
   was a verbal one, 
 given to a nobleman, 
   Andres de Jimena
who asked for it on our behalf. 
He did not take the trouble 
   to have it in writing, 
nor did I think 
   it was of any importance myself. 
I made a mistake, 
   for the vicar-general, 
      when he heard 
          that a monastery had been founded,
     -  came at once in great wrath, 
     -  refused to allow mass to be said 
             any more, 
    - sought to imprison him who had said it, 
          ( said the Mass )
           a barefooted friar                            [10]
     who had come with the father 
            Julian of Avila, 
     and another servant of God 
     who had travelled with us, 
           Antonio Gaytan
5. Antonio Gaytan. — 
This was a nobleman from Alba,              [11]
      who had once been very worldly, 
  but whom our Lord had called 
     some years since. 
He so trampled on the world
   that his whole soul was intent 
on serving our Lord more and more.
I have said who he was 
because I shall have to speak of him again
   in giving an account 
        of the other foundations, 
   for he has helped me much, 
       and undertaken great labours for me:
if I were to speak of his goodness 
   I should not finish so soon. 
What was of  most service to us 
   was his mortification, 
for even among the servants 
   who were with us there 
was not one 
    who served us 
          in our necessities 
     as he did. 
He is a man of  much prayer, 
and God has given him such graces 
that what is annoying to others 
    - accepts with joy 
    - makes light of; 
all the troubles 
  he had in these foundations 
he regarded as nothing, 
whereby it seems clear 
  that God called 
        him and Father Julian of Avila 
   to the work; 
Father Julian, however, 
    had been with me 
ever since the  first monastery was founded. 
Our Lord must have been pleased, 
   for the sake of such companions, 
 to prosper all  my undertakings. 
Their conversation on the journey 
   was about God, 
for the instruction of those 
   who travelled with us 
   who met us on the road, 

and thus did they serve His Majesty 
    in every way. 
6. The nuns to be grateful. — 
It is only right, my daughters, 
  that those of you 
     who shall read the story 
          of these foundations 
   should know 
      how much you owe them
   as they took so much pains, 
       having no interest of their own 
               in the matter, 
   to obtain for you the blessings 
       you possess 
               of living in these monasteries, 
  you may commend them to our Lord, 
       so that they may derive some advantage 
               from your prayers; 
for if you knew 
   - the hardships they endured 
          night and day, 
   - how toilsome were the journeys 
          they made, 
 you would most willingly do so. 
7. Conduct of the Vicar-General. — 
The vicar-general would not quit the church 
   without leaving a constable at the door, 
I know not for what purpose. 
It helped to frighten a little 
  those who were there: 
as for myself, 
I never cared much what might happen 
   after taking possession; 
all my fear is before. 
I sent for certain persons,
      relatives of one of the sisters               [12] 
            who was with me, 
      chief people in the place,
  to speak to the vicar-general 
       and tell him 
  that I had had the sanction of the bishop. 
He knew that well enough, 
  so he said later; 
what he wanted was 
   to have been told of it before-hand;
 that, I believe, 
    would have been much worse for us. 
At last they settled with him 
  that he was to leave us 
       in possession of the monastery, 
   but he would not let us 
       have the Most Holy Sacrament. 
8. The Saint has law-suits.  
That gave us no concern; 
we remained there some months 
   till we bought a house,                        [13]
and with it, too, many  lawsuits. 
We had had one already 
   with the Franciscan friars 
       for another which we bought close by; 
       about another house we had to go to law 
   with the friars of the order 
          of our Lady of Mercy, 
    with the chapter, 
          which had a rent-charge on it, 
 O Jesus, 
what it is to have to contend 
   against many minds ! 
When I thought everything was settled 
   we had to begin again; 
it was not enough to give them 
  what they asked for 
      — some other inconvenience 
           came at once to light; 
           it seems nothing 
                when I speak of it, 
           but it was much to endure. 
 9. Which she settles by paying money  
A nephew of the bishop                         [14]
   did all he could for us — 
   he was prior and canon of the church; 
   so also did the licentiate,  Herrera
     a very great servant of God. 
At last, 
when we had paid money enough, 
   everything was settled. 
Our lawsuit with the friars 
       of the order of Ransom 
and it was necessary for us 
   to go with the utmost secrecy to our house. 
When they saw us in possession, 
    which was a day or two 
           before Michaelmas, 
    they thought it better 
           to compromise the matter 
    for a sum of money. 
The greatest anxiety 
   which these troubles occasioned me 
was that it wanted 
    only seven or  eight days to complete 
 my three years in the Incarnation.            [15] 
10. She returns to Avila.  
It pleased our Lord 
  that everything should be so well settled 
as to leave nothing in dispute, 
and two or three days afterwards 
   I went to the Incarnation. 
Blessed for ever be His name 
   who has always been so good to me, 
    let all creatures praise Him ! 

                     Foot Notes:
   S. Teresa wrote 1573,
   but Father Gratian corrected the date. 
   Ch. xix. 6. 
  Fray Pedro Hernandez or Fernandez 
            y Orellana 
      of whom S. Teresa always speaks 
            with the greatest respect, 
     was a Dominican
      and had been provincial of his Order
  at this time, however, 
     he was prior of Talavera de la Reina. 
  S. Pius V, 
     by a bull of 20th August 1569, 
   nominated him, 
     for the term of four years, 
   visitor apostolic 
     of the Carmelites of  Castille, 
   and Francisco Vargas
   also a Dominican, visitor 
     of those of Andalucia. 
 He made S. Teresa's acquaintance 
   at Avila in 1571, 
  and was so impressed by her 
   that he chose her for the post of prioress 
    of the convent of the Incarnation
 It is recorded of him 
  that he always travelled on foot; 
 while engaged in a visitation of friars 
  he was most punctual in observing their rule,
      frequenting the choir, 
      keeping the fasts 
      and observing silence; 
  he never entered the enclosure 
    in convents of nuns
   but spoke to the sisters in the parlour. 
   When the province of  Discalced Carmelites
       was established (22nd June 1580),
    the Pope commissioned him to preside 
        over the constituent chapter, 
    but before it could be held, 
    he died at Salamanca, 22nd Oct.  1580. 
     [ Oeuvres, 111. 275, note. ]
   Ch. xix. 7. 
  Don Diego de Covarrubias y Leyva 
      [ Ribera, iii. 2 ]. 
   He was born in Toledo, 25th July 1512, 
     studied canon law in Salamanca 
     under the celebrated Navarre, 
       whom he speaks of 
     as praeceptor mens ornatissimus. 
         Martintis Azpilcueta 
      [ Relect. in C. Peccatum, par. 2, § 9]; 
   and in 1543  was made 
       professor there of canon law; 
       bishop successively 
             of Ciudad Rodrigo, 
             of Segovia, and 
             of Cuenca, 
      in succession to Don Caspar de Quiroga, 
        the grand inquisitor, 
      who was made archbishop of Toledo.

   The chronicler says he died in Madrid 
     when still bishop of Segovia, 
          27th September 1577, 
      being then sixty-five years of age. 
    He was a man of great learning
         and greater piety.
    Nine years after his death, 
         his body was found 
     not only incorrupt but fragrant 
          [ Reforma, bk. iv. ch. xxiv. 7 ].
  Dona Ana de Jimena
  widow of Francisco Barros de Bracamonte,
   and her cousin, 
      Don Andres de Jimena
   hired the house 
   [ Reforma,  bk. Hi. ch. xxvii. 2]. 
 The Saint took with her from Salamanca
   the nuns, Marina of Jesus 
           and Isabel of Jesus
                   a sister of Andres de Jimena,
   both natives of  Segovia. 
  She passed through Alba, 
    where the duchess of Alba entertained her. 
  It is this visit she speaks of 
     in the Interior Castle, vi. M. ch. iv. 9. 
   From Alba de Tormes 
     she took with her Guiomar of Jesus
   thence she proceeded 
     to Medina del Campo and Avila, 
   where she remained both at 
      the Convent of the Incarnation 
    and that of S. Joseph 
    from which she took her cousin 
       Isabel of S. Paul
     who returned with the Saint 
    when the foundation had been completed.
         [ Ribera, iii. 2 ]. 
   The Saint and her companions 
      were lodged this night 
   in the house of Dona Ana de Jimena 
     [ Reforma, bk iii. ch. xxvii. 3]. 
  The bishop was absent 
    when the Saint arrived in Segovia, 
  being detained in Madrid on business 
     as president of Castile 
     [ Reformn, bk. iii.  ch. xxvii. 3]. 
  This was none other 
       than S. John of the Cross 
   who had said the mass
     [ Reforma, bk. iii. ch xxvii. 3]. 
   Julian of Avila hid himself 
     under the staircase 
      [ Ribcra, iii. 2 ]. 
 He seems to have left Segovia 
     when the Saint had obtained a house, 
 for Salamanca, 
   to which place the Saint sent him 
     a letter about the beginning of June. 
 He had first gone to Pastrana 
    to escort the nuns 
 from that house to Segovia, 
    whither they came 
  in the holy week of this year, 1574. 
  See ch. xvii. 15. 
   This was Isabel of Jesus 
   [ Reforma, bk. 111. ch. xxvii. 3]. 
  Situated in the Calle Cmiongia nueva 
    near the cathedral. 
  It was bought from Diego Porrax
 Blog note:
  Was this meant to read
  "Calle Canongia nueva"  ?

   This was Don Juan de Orosco y  
                   Covarrubias dc Leyva
    afterwards bishop 
         of Girgenti and 
    later of Guadix, 
         where he died in 1610. 
    Going  from the episcopal palace
        to the cathedral 
    on the day S. Teresa took possession, 
       he saw the cross 
          over the door of the house, 
      and when he heard 
          it was a Carmelite monastery went in, 
      and, after praying a while, 
          asked permission to say mass. 
 It was granted, 
 and after mass he asked 
     to see the Saint; 
 she came with the sister 
   Isabel of S. Dominic, and 
 before he could make 
   any offer of his services,
 she told him 
  - that God had brought him 
      to the house
  - that he was bound to help her, 
       for she was a cousin of his aunt,
     Dona Maria de Tapia
 Don Juan 
  - helped the monastery 
        to the utmost of his power, 
  -  heard the confessions 
       of the sisters, 
  - for some time was himself 
       their only chaplain. 
 The vicar- general did not spare
    even the nephew of the bishop 
 when he found fault with S. Teresa, 
 and Ribera (iii. 2) says 
   he inveighed bitterly against him 
       for saying mass in the chapel. 
 Don Juan de Orosco
   narrates the facts himself 
 in a letter dated Guadix, 20th May 1606, 
   and addressed to the Father 
      Alonso de Jesus Maria
      General of the Barefooted Carmelites. 
 The letter is published 
    by Don Vicente de la Fuente, 
        vol. vi, p. 206. 
   The three years ended 
      6th October  1574
    and the nuns, 
       who when she was sent 
           to rule over them 
           threatened to become rebellious, 
       were now so sorry to lose her
          that they re-elected her. 
    The election, however, 
        was not  unanimous, 
     and the Saint was unwilling to accept it. 
    The provincial then intervened, 
     the Saint returned 
        to her own monastery, 
     where she was elected prioress 
        [ Reforma, bk. in. ch. xxxi. 4]. 
     Before leaving Segovia 
        she visited the Dominican convent 
     of Santa Cruz where 
        in the grotto formerly occupied 
              by S. Dominic 
     she had a marvellous vision of the Saint. 

         End of  Chapter 21 
                     of the 
          Book of the Foundations
             of S. Teresa of Jesus 
  of the Order of our Lady of Carmel  


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