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Saint Teresa of Avila
por Marcelle Auclair
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Marcelle Auclair, the author, a delightful, sparkling woman of many achievements, strikes one as being nearly as versatile and enterprising as her favorite saint. Though born in France, she grew up in Chile, where Spanish ways of life and thought became second-nature to her. On her return to France, at the age of twenty, she married the novelist Jean Prevost, brought up three children, traveled extensively, published several novels herself, and founded and edited Marie-Claire, an outstandingly successful woman's journal. All through her life Marcelle Auclair assiduously studied the writings of Teresa of Avila. She admired in her an essentially "modern" woman: inventive, practical, gallant and intrepid, with tremendous organizational capacities, whose genius permitted her to break through the restrictions of her time. Madame Auclair decided to retranslate the saint's writings and to write her life. With characteristic determination, she attempted to obtain the seemingly impossible (it had never been done before) - an authorization from the Holy See to enter the Carmelite cloisters in Spain and to gather authentic background material for her projected work. The permission was granted. On her return to Paris she gave up all her professional obligations and for two years virtually went into retreat, devoting her entire time to the accomplishment of what is no doubt the most vivid existing biography of this great saint.
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