Roman Catholic Saint Teresa of Avila had mental problems and inflicted her self with various torture.

Pain and sufferings, or ecstacy? The life of Teressa Avila seems to have been rather miserable full of demonic activities, sickness and pain.

Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada was born in 1515 in Gotarrendura, in the province of Ávila, Spain. Her paternal grandfather, Juan de Toledo, was a marrano (Jewish forced-convert to Christianity). He was condemned by the Spanish Inquisition for allegedly returning to the Jewish faith.

Her father, Alonso Sánchez de Cepeda, bought a knighthood and successfully assimilated into Christian society.

Different websites records the life of Teressa of Avila to be full of mental pain. Still she was canonized, and made patron saint for all who have headaches.

In 1622, forty years after her death, she was canonized by Pope Gregory XV. In 1970 she was named a “Doctor of the Church” by Pope Paul VI.

This is what wikipedia has recorded:

 Around 1556, various friends suggested that her newfound knowledge was diabolical, not divine. She began to inflict various tortures and mortifications of the flesh upon herself. But her confessor, the Jesuit Saint Francis Borgia, reassured her of the divine inspiration of her thoughts. On St. Peter’s Day in 1559, Teresa became firmly convinced that Jesus Christ presented himself to her in bodily form, though invisible. These visions lasted almost uninterrupted for more than two years.

Source: Wikipedia

Like so many Roman Catholic “saints”, the corpse of Teresa of Avila was exhumed, and cut into pieces. Their remains have been kept at different places. Here are some pictures.

In a BBC program her dried heart was exposed, kept inside her convent in Spain.
The "holy" dried heart cut out from the remains of a woman with serious health problems.

Source of the picture of the dried heart: One and two.

There are other interesting relics too. Like a “holy arm”.

The "holy arm" of Teressa Avila, a doctor of the Roman Catholic Church.
The convent keep the "Holy items of Teresa for adoration and veneration.

The website has recorded a list of relics to be adored and venerated. One of the “Holy objects” is the sole of one of her sandals.

 The Sala de Reliquias contains the relics of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross. The exhibit of St. Teresa’s relics include a finger from her right hand, the sole of one of her sandals, her rosary beads and a cord she used to flagellate herself. Also on the site is a small garden where St. Teresa played as a young girl.

Source: Sacred destinations

A lot of "holy relics" are displayed in Spain.

For all who are interested in “holy items”, here is a list of objects of St Teresa of Avila recorded on one website:

1. Item used by St. Teresa
2. Cloth used by St. Teresa
3. Chest of turtleshell and silver owned by St. Teresa
4. Bone fragment of St. John of the Cross
5. Rose petals touched to the body of St. Teresa
6. Staff used by St. Teresa in her last years
7. Autograph fragments of St. Teresa
8. Phial containing blood of St. Teresa
9. Sole of St. Teresa’s sandal
10. Ring finger of St. Teresa’s right hand
11. Saints rosary.


Getty Images has recorded one of her “holy fingers” in the collection of De Agostini.

A "Holy finger' coated with gold, and kept for veneration.
You have to go close to see the difference between the gold fingers and the bony one. The gold pen looks a little bit misplaced.

Wikipedia has recorded an explanation of her mental illness. There is also a possibility of the pain being mixed up with Eastern spiritualism, like a strange and painful Yoga based out of the body experience.

The fourth is the “devotion of ecstasy or rapture,” a passive state, in which the consciousness of being in the body disappears (2 Corinthians 12:2-3).

Sense activity ceases; memory and imagination are also absorbed in God or intoxicated.

Body and spirit are in the throes of a sweet, happy pain, alternating between a fearful fiery glow, a complete impotence and unconsciousness, and a spell of strangulation, intermitted sometimes by such an ecstatic flight that the body is literally lifted into space.

This after half an hour is followed by a reactionary relaxation of a few hours in a swoon-like weakness, attended by a negation of all the faculties in the union with God.

From this the subject awakens in tears; it is the climax of mystical experience, productive of the trance.

(Indeed, she was said to have been observed levitating during Mass on more than one occasion

(The Interior Castle St Teresa Of Avila translated by Mirabai Starr.)

Source: Wikipedia

My comment:

The Pope never fails in regards to whom He declare a “saint”.  So the sainthood is not revocable, regardless if the person later on was found to be mentally disturbed or disabled.

I am not sure who is most in need of medial attention. The Pope who hail a “holy sole of a sandal”, or the owner of the sandal who for two years were presented with a “Jesus” in bodily form, but invisible. This kind of concept is best understandable by people who smoke grass, or are dealing in the occult realms.

I pray that all people with mental illnesses will be saved by the mercy and grace of Jesus. And may all who take advantages of them, and cut their exhumed corpses into pieces, face the most stern judgment.

 Matthew 23:33
You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?

Written by Ivar