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Teresa of Avila

Teresa of Avila lived in Spain in the early 1500s. At age twenty, she joined a convent, giving up the idea of marriage as too enslaving for women of her day. Her time at the convent was not without its challenges—first an illness overtook her for three years, and after she recovered she readily found many distractions from prayer. A profound mystical experience changed the course of her life, however, and she became the founder of many reformed monasteries.

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