This is one of Bernini’s finest works and redeemed his reputation after he built the faulty bell-tower at St. Peter’s Basilica that had to be demolished. Here’s a video about Bernini’s masterpiece: http://youtu.be/BJcCPLByrSY
A levitating Saint Teresa appears to be in a state of spiritual enrapturement. She belonged to the Barefoot Carmelite Order of Nuns and died in Spain in 1582 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oeb8N4Nsic&feature=related.
She is visited by an angel who is about to thrust a spear into St. Teresa as members of the Cornaro cardinals and family members watch the event from their box seats. St. Teresa is in a state of divine joy.
Saint Teresa vividly describes this scene in her spiritual autobiography. Her autobiography was a best seller in Rome.
“I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it.”
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