St. Teresa of Avila
Teresa was born of devout and noble parents at Avila in Spain. While still a child, burning with the desire for martyrdom, she ran away from home and tried to go to Africa, but was brought back. After the death of her mother, she commended herself completely to the protection of the Blessed Virgin.
When she was twenty, she professed the rule of the nuns of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Eager for the salvation of souls, she restored the observance of the ancient Carmelite rule by both men and women and built many monasteries. She continually offered God the sufferings of her own body voluntarily assumed for the sake of infidels and heretics. And when, burning with divine love, she had made the very difficult vow always to do what she thought to be most perfect, she was privileged to have her heart pierced by an Angel with a fiery lance.
She wrote many works filled with lessons of heavenly wisdom and taught a great deal by word and by example, often having this saying on her lips, Lord, either to suffer or to die. She gave back her most pure soul to God at Alba in the sixty-seventh year of her age, on October 15, 1582.
Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. III: August to Advent (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1963), pp.1664-1665.
Epistle and Gospel for October 15