This Novena to Saint Teresa of Avila, a virgin and doctor of the Church, was written by St. Alphonsus Liguori. Along with Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa reformed the Carmelite order. Like Saint John of the Cross, she was known for her many works of theology, including mysticism. In this novena, we ask Christ for the grace to imitate the virtues of Saint Teresa of Avila. Each day, we pray for a different gift.
On the first day, we thank Christ for the gift of faith, one of the three theological virtues, and for the gift of devotion to the Eucharist, and we ask Him to increase those gifts in our souls, as He did for Saint Teresa.
On the second day, we thank Christ for the gift of hope, the second of the three theological virtues, and ask for confidence in His goodness, which we have seen through His sacrifice on the Cross, during which He shed his Precious Blood.
On the third day, we thank Christ for the gift of love, the third of the three theological virtues, and ask Him to perfect the gift of love in us, as He did in Saint Teresa of Avila.
On the fourth day, we ask Christ for the desire and the resolve to love Him as Saint Teresa did.
On the fifth day, we ask Christ for the gift of humility, which He granted to Saint Teresa.
On the sixth day, we ask Christ for the gift of devotion to His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and His foster father, Saint Joseph, a devotion which He granted to Saint Teresa.
On the seventh day, we ask Christ that our heart may be wounded with love. It may sound strange to ask for a wound, but it is no different from the idea that "love hurts," because we're willing to sacrifice our own desires for the one we love.
On the eighth day, we ask Christ for the desire for death. By this, we do not mean despair, but a desire to be with Christ in Heaven (which the prayer refers to as the "country of the blessed").
On the ninth day, we ask Christ for the grace of a good death, that we may die burning with love for Him, as Saint Teresa did.