Saint Therese of Jesús
Saint Therese of Jesus was born in Avila (1515-1582) with a wealthy family and Jewish ancestors (her paternal grandfather, converted, was sentenced by the Holy Office); she became a Carmelite in 1534 and dedicated her life to the order’s reform. Her style was notable by the look for efficiency, simplicity, essentiality and lack of affectation, absence of erudition, spontaneous ideas and her interest to help illiterates. Life (finished in 1562) was a spiritual autobiography with periods of profound auto-analysis written with much liveliness. Her confessors were so profoundly impressed that they encouraged her to write a more systematical production for the nuns: it was then when she wrote: Way of Perfection (starting from 1573). The Book of Foundations (written in 1573) is a story about the foundation of her convents that, in regards to the biographical interest, competes with Life and her letters. Las Moradas also known as The Interior Castle (written in 1573) is her most interesting spiritual creation: it describes the seven mansions or rooms in the soul’s castle. Saint Therese’s books were published only after her death.
Saint John of the Cross
Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591) represents the final stage of Hispanic Mysticism. The image of a John of the Cross, as a miraculously original and independent figure, has been getting more discarded over time, nowadays he’s seen more objectively, with a fairly explicit connection to great and diverse sources such as the Bible, the classics, the Muslim mystics. Saint John of Cross has four lyrical-doctrinal plays: Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Dark Night of the Soul, Spiritual Canticle and Living Flame of Love.