In Castilian Spain, Teresa was born to a wealthy family and educated in an Augustinian convent. Eschewing marriage, she entered the Carmelites in 1536. She began to practice contemplative prayer during a long illness, and grew dissatisfied with the bigness and worldly distractions of her convent. After a “second conversion” in 1555, she founded the reform-minded Discalced Carmelites and wrote several books. For her contribution to mystical theology and Christian spirituality, Teresa
was named a doctor of the church in 1970.