Teresa de Jesús is a Spanish television mini-series produced by Televisión Española and broadcast in its Primera Cadena in 1984. Directed by Josefina Molina and written by Víctor García de la Concha, Carmen Martín Gaite and Molina herself, it stars Concha Velasco as Teresa of Avila.

Teresa de Jesús
Written byVíctor García de la Concha
Carmen Martín Gaite
Josefina Molina
Directed byJosefina Molina
StarringConcha Velasco
Marina Saura
María Massip
Gonzalo Abril
Francisco Rabal
Héctor Alterio
Patricia Adriani
Music byAlejandro Massó
José Nieto
Country of originSpain
Original languageSpanish
No. of episodes8
ProducerRamón Salgado
Running time450 mins
Production companyTelevisión Española
Budget400 million Pts
Original release
Release12 March (1984-03-12) –
30 April 1984 (1984-04-30)

The 450 minutes eight episodes mini-series was also released as a 222 minutes feature film. It also exists a four episodes shortened version.



It presents the life of Teresa of Avila, a Spanish saint, mystic, and doctor of the Roman Catholic Church,[1] who was at one time proclaimed "patron saint of the Spanish race"[2]: 227  by the Spanish government, and has been proposed on multiple occasions since her death to be an official patron saint of Spain.[2] Its dialogue is in Spanish, but versions with English subtitles are available.[3][4] The film stars Concha Velasco as Teresa. Also appearing are Gonzalo Abril as Lorenzo de Cepeda (Teresa's younger brother, 2/8 episodes), María Massip as Juana Suárez (Teresa's friend, 2/8 episodes), Francisco Rabal as Peter of Alcantara (1 episode), Héctor Alterio (1 episode), and Marina Saura as another nun (8 episodes). It tells the story of Teresa's life from age 23 (in the year 1538) until her death at age 67 (in 1582).



Teresa de Jesús was originally broadcast from 12 March to 30 April 1984, in the following 8 episodes:[5][6]

  • Episode 1 (12 Mar): Vida. Teresa is age 23, ill, and travelling to see a local healer. Along the way she is introduced to Francisco de Osuna's book, The Third Spiritual Alphabet, which kindles her spiritual interest. She does not respond to treatment, but meets and helps a troubled local priest.[7]: 3 
  • Episode 2 (19 Mar): Camino de perfección. Teresa's illness continues for 3 years and she experiences a coma for 3 days, but benefits from a miraculous cure she attributes to St. Joseph. She experiences spiritual aridity, but is inspired by reading St. Augustine's Confessions. She experiences mystical visions that provoke distrust and opposition from fellow nuns and priests.[7]: 3 
  • Episode 3 (26 Mar): Cuentas de conciencia. Further mystical visions, and continued opposition. She meets her spiritual guide Peter of Alcantara, and first contemplates the idea of a reform movement within her order, the Carmelites.[7]: 3 
  • Episode 4  (2 Apr): Desafío espiritual. Founding of the first reformed convent, in Ávila, despite strong opposition from the neighborhood residents. First experiences in living by the new rule.[7]: 4 
  • Episode 5  (9 Apr): Fundaciones. Founding of several more reformed convents. Teresa meets a young man who joins her order in its first monastery. He was later to become St. John of the Cross.[7]: 4 
  • Episode 6 (16 Apr): Visita de descalzas. Teresa is appointed against her wishes as prioress of her original (unreformed) convent, and she continues visiting and managing challenges of the newly founded reformed houses. She meets her confessor Father Jerónimo Gracián,[8] and is denounced to the Inquisition by Princess Eboli, a noblewoman whose unreasonable demands Teresa had resisted.[7]: 4–5 
  • Episode 7 (23 Apr): Las moradas. Conflicts come to a head between reformed (Discalced) and unreformed (Calced) orders.[9] St. John of the Cross is imprisoned and tortured by monks of the unreformed order. Eventually, The Pope approves autonomous status for the reformed orders, shielding them from interference from the unreformed.[7]: 5 
  • Episode 8 (30 Apr): Hija de la Iglesia. Teresa's final illness, last wishes, and passing away. An epilogue about the reported incorruptibility of her remains, and her wider posthumous recognition, including her canonization.[7]: 5 

In 2008, the film was released in the US as a 3-disc DVD set with English subtitles.[3] It included a 16-page booklet with episode summaries, Teresa's biography (4-pages) and timeline (1 page), a set of 9 discussion questions,[10] an interview with historian Thomas Dubay, and a bibliography for further reading.[11]



Teresa de Jesús won several awards:[12]

  • Antena de Oro (1984)
  • Fotogramas de Plata (1985), Best TV Performer (Mejor intérprete de televisión): Concha Velasco
  • TP de Oro (1985), Best Actress (Mejor Actriz): Concha Velasco
  • TP de Oro (1985), Best National Series (Mejor Serie Nacional)


  1. ^ "27 settembre 1970: Proclamazione di Santa Teresa d'Ávila Dottore della Chiesa - Paolo VI". Vatican.va. Retrieved 30 June 2019. (Spanish version of announcement)
  2. ^ a b Rowe, Erin Kathleen (2011). Saint and nation : Santiago, Teresa of Avila, and plural identities in early modern Spain. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 9780271037738.
  3. ^ a b St. Teresa of Avila [Teresa de Jesus], Ignatius Press, ISBN 978-1-58617-265-7, ISBN 1-58617-265-4, OCLC 226814774. Includes a 16-page booklet with same title.
  4. ^ Amazon DVD listing, product description (accessed 1 May 2011)
  5. ^ Episodes at IMDB for "Teresa de Jesús" (1984)
  6. ^ Broadcasts were on Mondays. In 1984, Easter fell on April 22.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h DVD booklet, section entitled "About the Film".
  8. ^ See Jerónimo Gracián at Spanish Wikipedia
  9. ^ Since Teresa's reform (the Discalced) was restoring original practices, those who did not adopt her changes (the Calced) are also sometimes called the Reformed.
  10. ^ Discussion questions include, for example, "Throughout the film, men are attracted to Teresa. What do you think it is that they find attractive about her?", "What wisdom does Teresa gain from the book given to her by her uncle?", and "What insights does the film offer regarding prayer?"
  11. ^ DVD booklet.
  12. ^ Awards at IMDB for "Teresa de Jesús" (1984)

Full episodes (no subtitles):