During today’s General Audience, Pope Francis reminded the faithful gathered that this year marks the 5th centenary of the birth of St. Teresa of Jesus in Avila, Spain.
“May [St. Teresa’s] spiritual vigor stimulate you, dear young people, to bear joyful witness to faith in your life,” the Pope said. “May her trust in Christ the Savior sustain you, dear sick people, in the moments of greatest discouragement; and may her tireless apostolate invite you, dear newly-weds, to place Christ at the center of your marital home.”
Following his address, the Pope greeted a delegation who carried with them the relic of St. Teresa’s famed “pilgrim staff”. The Carmelite Order has organized a worldwide tour of the Staff to commemorate the anniversary of the Spanish Doctor of the Church.
The delegation, led by Carmelite Fr. Antonio Gonzalez, presented the Pope with the Spanish saint’s pilgrim staff. “And the vieja (old lady) walked with this [staff]?”, the Pope asked, using an affectionate term often used in Latin America when referring to mothers. Fr. Gonzalez also informed the Holy Father that the staff has even made its way to the Pope’s native Argentina.
Entitled “The Way of Light”, St. Teresa’s pilgrim staff will travel to visit Carmelite houses around the world in 30 countries. The staff will return to Avila on March 28th, prior to the 500th anniversary celebration.
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On the NET:
To see the video of the presentation of St. Teresa’s staff, go to: