St. Teresa of Avila's Work Preserved in Facsimiles


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MADRID, Spain, JULY 22, 2010 ( Manuscripts by St. Teresa are being protected by the Editorial Monte Carmelo, which has finished a 10-year project of reproducing the manuscripts of four of her great works in facsimile editions.

"The Interior Castle," "The Book of Her Life," "The Book of Her Foundations" and "The Way of Perfection" are now all available from the publisher.

The last to be finished, "The Way of Perfection," was completed last month.

The editions preserve the original texts of the manuscripts, which are already very flimsy and not available for direct study.

"The Way of Perfection," for example, is sold in a two-volume set, the first volume containing the facsimile of the manuscript, and the second volume containing a paleographic transcription and complete dictionary.


"The Way of Perfection" was presented June 22 in Madrid, according to Asun Aguirrezábal, who spoke at the event.

In his address, Aguirrezábal commented on various aspects of the life and work of the saint, including her love of literature.

"Since she was 7 years old, in a society where 90% of women were illiterate, she was already reading the famous 'Flos Sanctorum'" of the lives of saints, he said.

"The Way of Perfection" is a reflection on Teresa's life, Aguirrezábal explained.

"In this long and arduous walk she finally met with her Lord, 'a very wounded Christ' and, since that meeting, she walked in his company under sun and rain, in inns and palaces, to leave us her imprint in 17 women's convents and the masculine reform," he said.

Here "she does not write for theologians, but with the tranquility that the readers are women like her," Aguirrezábal continued. "Today [this book] is a masterpiece of prayer," "a real treatise on how to pray," in which the saint "narrates fluently her own experiences."

"As in all her writings, she writes praying and makes us witnesses of her prayer," he noted.

Aguirrezábal contended that this edition of "The Way of Perfection" is especially important "because of the terrible flaws and smudges that spoil the" original writing, due to the censors who obliged St. Teresa to rewrite the book.

On July 2, a delegation from the Madrid Vivo Foundation presented Benedict XVI with this work. The group met with the Pope in the context of a private audience regarding preparations for 2011 World Youth Day, which will be held in Madrid.