To Alonzo Ramirez, Citizen of Toledo.
This letter is written with great force and tenderness. She makes excuses for not having arrived sooner at Toledo, on account of the frost and cold, for Don Ramirez had intended to found a convent there. This, however, did not take place for some time, as both he and Diego Ortiz (who was his brother-in-law) put some obstacles in the way. This letter was written from Valladolid. Date, 1569. Carta XXXVIII. Spanish ed. vol. i.
THE Holy Ghost be with you, and repay you for the consolation which I received from your last letter. It came just at the time in which I was troubled at not being able to send you an account of myself, for it is proper I should not be wanting in this respect. I have delayed a little longer than I told you in my letter I should, though I assure you I do not lose an hour, at least so it seems to me. It is not a fortnight ago since we took possession of our new monastery, with a solemn procession and great devotion. May our Lord be praised in all things.
Since Wednesday I have been staying with Señora Doña Maria de Mendoza:1 she could not see me sooner, as she was very ill, though I was exceedingly anxious to communicate some things to her. I thought of remaining only one day with her; but the weather has been so very cold, and there has been so much hail and snow, that it was quite impossible to commence my journey, and so I was obliged to remain here till Saturday. I shall depart on Monday, without fail, if our Lord so please, on my way to Medina, and thence to St. Joseph’s at Avila. Whatever diligence I may make, I shall be obliged to remain at these two houses for more than fifteen days, as I have some business to arrange there, so that I shall not be at Toledo so soon as I promise you: but I trust you will excuse me if I do not make greater haste: it is not my fault, as you will see by the account I send you of my affairs; and after all, the delay is not long. I beg you will not think of purchasing a house till I come, because I wish to have one that is suitable for us, such as you and your departed friend kindly intend bestowing upon us.
With regard to the leave which we must have, we shall, I think, easily obtain it from the king, by the Divine assistance, though it may cost some trouble. I know by experience that the devil cannot endure these our houses hence he always persecutes us; but our Lord can do all things, and sends the enemy away in conclusion.
We have met with great opposition here: some of the principal persons in the place were against us: but now all opposition has ceased. Do not think of giving our Lord merely what you were intending to bestow: give much more, for His Majesty rewards good works, by giving us grace to do still greater. To bestow money is nothing, for this gives you little trouble. But should people stone you, and your brother-in-law, and all those who have been connected with this business (as was near being the case when we were engaged in the foundation of St. Joseph’s at Avila), then the undertaking would prosper; and I believe that neither the monastery, nor we who endured those troubles would lose anything, but rather we should gain a great deal. May our Lord direct everything as He knows best. Do not trouble yourself about it. I am sorry to hear that my Father Hernandez is not at Toledo: if it be necessary, I will endeavour to send him there. The devil already begins to disturb us. God be praised, for if we are not wanting to Him, He will not fail to protect us.
I really have a great desire to see you, for I think your presence will give me great comfort: then will I thank you for all the kindness you express towards me in your letters. May our Lord grant that I may find you and your brother-in-law in good health: to his and your prayers I recommend myself. Remember that I have need of them, considering with what bad health I commence this journey, though the fever has not returned. I will take care to execute your commands, and our sisters will do the same. They all recommend themselves to your prayers. May our Lord always be your guide. Amen.
Your Unworthy Servant,
TERESA DE JESUS, Carmelite.
Valladolid, Saturday, February 19th.
P.S.–Give this letter to Señora Doña Luisa de la Cerda, and present also my sincere regards to her. I have not time to write to Señor Diego de Avila, for even this letter which I now send to Señora Doña Luisa is not written by my own hand. Please to give her an account of my health, and tell her that I hope to see her soon. Do not trouble yourself about obtaining leave, for I trust in our Lord everything will go on well.
1 This was a very pious and charitable lady, a great friend of the Saint.