Relic of the Left Arm of St. Teresa of Avila,
Located at the Carmelite convent in Alba de Tormes, Spain.
Nine months after her death, the nuns of her
community wondered about the condition of her body and the heavenly perfume surrounding
her tomb. The provincial of the order, Fr. Jerome Gracian, gave permission for the
exhumation of the body and described the proceedings: "The coffin lid was smashed, half
rotten and full of mildew, the smell of damp was very pungent . . . the clothes had fallen to
pieces . . . The whole body was covered with the earth which had penetrated into the coffin
and so was all damp too, but as fresh and whole as if it had only been buried the day
After washing and re-clothing the body, " . . . there spread through the whole house a wonderful penetrating fragrance which lasted some days . . ."
3 years later the body was thoroughly examined by 2 doctors in the presence of the community and the bishop. The doctors declared the condition of the body to be "truly miraculous . . . for after 3 years, without having been embalmed, the entire body was in such a perfect state of preservation that nothing was wanting to it in any way, and a wonderful odor issued from it.
The entire body of St. Teresa remains incorrupt.
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last edited May 7, 1997