Teresa of Avila was major figure of the Catholic Reformation - a prominent mystic, writer, and reformer. At age seven she ran away from home to 'find martyrdom amongst the Moors'. At twenty she joined the Carmelite nuns. She resolved to found a new convent based on the principal of absolute poverty and renunciation of property. This, and the three kinds of ritual flagellation used at services, disturbed the laity. Later, the Carmelites tried to suppress her movement. After Don Quixote this is Spain's mode widely read prose classic.