St. Teresa of Avila was born to a noble family in March 1515 in Castile, Spain. She read about the lives of the saints as a young girl. When she suffered from a crippling disease as a child, she prayed to St. Joseph and was cured. Although her father did not want her to enter the religious life, she left home at age 17 to join the Carmelites. Teresa became sick again after taking her vows and never fully recovered. The saint began having visions, which the Dominicans and Jesuits said were true. She founded a reformed convent of St. John of Avila. She died in October 1582 and was proclaimed a doctor of the church in 1970. She is patron saint of sickness.