Thursday, August 26, 2010
"Amid the other virtues of Teresa, the love of God shone forth with particular lustre. It burned in her heart so strongly that the Confessors of Teresa marvelled thereat, and extolled it as the love belonging to the Cherubim rather than to man. Our Lord Jesus Christ increased it, in a wonderful manner, by many visions and revelations, for one He adopted her as His spouse, giving to her His right hand, and holding forth to her a nail. He moreover vouchsafed to speak to her in these words: Henceforth thou shalt be zealous for my honor like a true Spouse; now I am wholly thine, and thou art wholly mine.
At another time she saw an angel, who pierced her heart with a fiery dart. She herself narrates the vision as follows: 'I saw an angel standing at my left hand in bodily shape. He was not large, but small, and most beautiful in form. Hes countenance was so bright and shining that he seemed to belong to the highest choir of angels, who are all on fire, or, in other words, to those who are called Seraphim. I saw that he carried in his hands a long golden dart, at the point whereof was a little fire. He more than once pierced my heart with his hard, even to my entrails, which he seemed to me to carry away with him when he drew forth the dart, thus leaving me all on fire with the love of God. The pain of the wound was so violent that it forced me to break forth into repeated groans; and yet so excellent is the sweetness to which this intense pain gives rise, that one desires not to be freed from it, and naught is pleasing to the soul save God Himself.'
In consequence of these heavenly gifts, the flames of divine love burned in her heart so strongly that, under God's guidance, she made a very difficult vow. She bound herself always to do that which she should see to be the more perfect, and that which might tend to the greater glory of God. After her death, moreover, she made known to a certain nun, in a vision, that she had died of the unbearable burning of divine love, and not from the attacks of illness. Her heart, which was incorrupt and adorned with the marks of the piercing, was placed in the church of the Most Holy Incarnation, belonging to the nuns of the Order of Barefooted Carmelites in Alba, and it has been venerated down to the present day by the large and devout crowd of Christians who flock thither. All these things having been carefully examined, the Sovereign Pontiff Benedict the Thirteenth, in order to recall the remembrance of this great miracle, permitted the celebration of this feast each year in that Order."
-- From the Bull of Canonization of St Teresa by Pope Gregory XV
** Sculpture in Seville by Romero Zafra.