Pope invited to Spain for 500th anniversary of St Teresa's birth

Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter's Square during the Wednesday general audience on Dec. 4, 2013. Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA.

Pope Francis received a letter Wednesday from the president of the Spanish region of Castile and Leon, Juan Vicente Herrera, inviting him to visit Spain to mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila.

The invitation was delivered Feb. 26 to the Holy Father during an audience held with a delegation from the Foundation for the Commemoration of the 500th Centenary of St. Teresa of Jesus, the government of Castile and Leon, and the city of Avila. The Holy Father was also presented with the pastoral, cultural, and scientific program for the event.

The delegation included Bishop Jesus Garcia Burillo of Avila; Jose Martinez Gonzalez, vicar general of the Discalced Carmelite Order; Alicia Garcia, culture and tourism adviser of Castile and Leon; and Miguel Garcia Nieto, mayor of Avila.

According to EFE news agency, the delegation met with the Father General of the Carmelite Order in Rome, Friar Saverio Cannistra, and with Spain's ambassador to the Holy See, Eduardo Guitierrez Saenz de Buruaga.

The foundation hopes Pope Francis will travel to Avila in 2015 to preside at the closing ceremony of the centenary, which is being officially celebrated by the Spanish government.

Castile and Leon, where Avila is located, will play a key role in the celebrations, as the region where St. Teresa was born and died, and where she founded 17 convents.

St. Teresa was born in Avila March 28, 1515, and was largely responsible for the reform of the Carmelite Order, along with St. John of the Cross.

“Teresa of Jesus had no academic education but always set great store by the teachings of theologians, men of letters and spiritual teachers,” Benedict XVI said of her during his Feb. 2, 2011, General Audience. “As a writer, she always adhered to what she had lived personally through or had seen in the experience of others, in other words basing herself on her own first-hand knowledge.”

“Teresa had the opportunity to build up relations of spiritual friendship with many Saints and with St John of the Cross in particular. At the same time she nourished herself by reading the Fathers of the Church, St Jerome, St Gregory the Great and St Augustine.”

“It is far from easy to sum up in a few words Teresa’s profound and articulate spirituality,” he continued. “In the first place St Teresa proposes the evangelical virtues as the basis of all Christian and human life and in particular, detachment from possessions, that is, evangelical poverty, and this concerns all of us; love for one another as an essential element of community and social life; humility as love for the truth; determination as a fruit of Christian daring; theological hope, which she describes as the thirst for living water.”

“Secondly, St Teresa proposes a profound harmony with the great biblical figures and eager listening to the word of God. She feels above all closely in tune with the Bride in the Song of Songs and with the Apostle Paul, as well as with Christ in the Passion and with Jesus in the Eucharist. The Saint then stresses how essential prayer is. Praying, she says, 'means being on terms of friendship with God frequently conversing in secret with him who, we know, loves us.'”


Voices

Seeking the face of God in the Scriptures

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Prayer is seeking the face of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church recalls the story of how St. John Vianney once found a peasant praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The saint asked him what he was doing, and the man replied: “I look at him and he looks at me.”

Events

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February 13, 2016

  • Saturday, February 13

    World Day of the Sick Mass, Mass and Anointing of the Sick, 12:30 p.m., Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels,  555 W Temple St, Los Angeles. Archbishop Gomez presiding with other bishops and priests. Special section designated for those in wheelchairs with volunteers available to help. Limited parking available for $8. Carpooling is encouraged. For more info: Chuck Huebner at cjhuebner @gmail.com or Jim LoCoco at flavialococ0@msn.com.

     

     

    Bosco Tech’s Yurak Memorial Run & Kids’ Fun Run, Check in begins at 8 a.m., Memorial Run at 9 a.m., Fun Run at 10 a.m., Bosco Tech, 1151 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead. Race registration is $35 per person. For school groups of 10 or more, the cost is $30. To register online, go to www.boscotech.edu/events or www.yurak.eventbrite.com; same-day registration available at check-in table. Included: racing fees, finisher medal, goodie bag and BBQ lunch. Plaques will be awarded to the top five male and female runners and to the fastest runner under 18.All proceeds to benefit Bosco Tech’s Yurak Athletic Center (YAC). 

     

    Cabrini Literary Guild “Sweetheart Bingo” Meeting, Sat., Feb.13 at Oakmont Country Club, 3100 Country Club Drive, Glendale. Meeting starts at 11 a.m., lunch at 12 p.m. ($30/person), and bingo social at 1 p.m. Bingo cards are $5 each, or $20 for five cards. For reservations, call (818) 790-3485.

     

    Footprints: Making Tracks for Neighbors in Need, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., Bishop Amat High School track, 14301 Fairgrove Ave., La Puente. Catholic Charities San Gabriel Region will present this annual walk/run fundraiser to increase awareness about poverty, hunger and homelessness in the San Gabriel Region. Proceeds benefit those lacking basic needs, such as food, clothing, transportation and shelter. This is a come anytime, leave anytime event, with the first lap around the track to be led by Bishop David O'Connell. For more information, visit lentenfootprints.yolasite.com or contact Mary Romero at (213) 251-3582 or mromero@ccharities.org.

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