Saturday, March 01, 2014
The plan is set to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa of Ávila. A delegation from her hometown met with Pope Francis to update him and invite him to visit Spain for the celebrations in 2015.
Government of Castilla y León (Spain)
"It was a beautiful moment, very intense and full of emotion. We were able to give the Pope a letter from the President of the Castilla y León Government, on behalf of everyone there, inviting the Holy Father to visit Ávila, for the 500 anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa of Jesus.”
MIGUEL ÁNGEL NIETO
Mayor of Ávila (Spain)
"We formally invited him, and asked him face to face. We hope he'll be able to go to Ávila. It would be a wonderful occasion.”
The Pope's schedule in 2015 could take him to Spain, though there is no official confirmation yet. For now, the organizers for the fifth centennial celebrations return to Spain hopeful, and encouraged by his warm response to their proposal.
FR. EMILIO JOSE MARTINEZ
Vicar General, Barefoot Carmelites
"It was great when he saw the mayor of Ávila and me coming and said: 'Ah! So these are the ones causing trouble!' What impressed me was the way he listened to us, looked at us, and the way I felt he was cheering us on to continue with our work.”
Activities for the centennial celebrations will also have cultural as well as religious events. They include exhibits, the digitization of St. Teresa's works, as well as film projects. Pope Francis surprised the organizers with his knowledge of the preparations and the events planned so far.
MIGUEL ANGEL NIETO
Mayor of Ávila (Spain)
"The Holy Father gave us a great push forward. We're leaving with renewed encouragement and lots of strength to keep going because he knew perfectly about the events. Second, he welcomed us with such importance that makes us think that we have, that we're headed on the right path for these celebrations on the fifth centennial of St. Teresa's birth.”
St. Teresa of Ávila was born Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada in the town of Ávila in 1515. She renovated the order of St. Carmel, along with St. John of the Cross, and founded 17 convents. Her life and works are on display online at paravosnaci.com. Along with information on the centennial celebration, visitors can take online tours of some of the most emblematic sites for the Spanish saint.