St. Theresa is highly idealised and in an imaginary setting. She was a popular saint of the Catholic Reformation . She wrote of her mystical experiences for an audience of the nuns of her Carmelite Order ; these writings had become popular reading among lay people interested in spirituality. In her writings, she described the love of God as piercing her heart like a burning arrow. Bernini materialises this by placing St. Theresa on a butt while a Cupid figure holds a golden arrow made of metal and smiles down at her. The angelic figure is not preparing to plunge the arrow into her heart—rather, he has withdrawn it. St. Theresa's face reflects not the anticipation of ecstasy, but her current fulfillment.