|Saint Teresa of Ávila, a mystic and a scholar was one of Cornelia Connelly’s favorite spiritual guides.
After the death of her mother, Saint Teresa strayed from her faith. She instead turned to frivolous pastimes such as reading popular fiction and obsessing over her appearance and boys. Her strict father sent her to live with the Augustinian nuns of her province at the age of sixteen where the Sisters helped her to return to her faith.
Saint Teresa holds a book and a pen, symbolic of the reforms she made to the Carmelite order, as well as her great writings. In a letter written to Mr. Henry Lee Willett, Mother Mary Cleophas addressed Saint Teresa’s visage writing, “we don’t like the expressions St. Teresa’s face”. In the predella, women are pictured entering Sharon, the home in England for Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus.