On the 14th and 15th of October last, the official opening of the 5th Centenary of the birth of St. Teresa of Jesus took place. On the 14th, in the birthplace of the saint, solemn vespers were celebrated, at which Fr. Saverio Canninstrà O.C.D. presided accompanied by the bishop of Avila, Jesus Garcia Burillo, and Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm. and this was followed by the Eucharist which marked the closing of the novena.
The Prior of Avila, Fr. David Jimenez, O.C.D. noted at the end of the Eucharist, that “the Saint from her place in heaven is sure to be rejoicing, because just as in 1567 she received a visit from Fr. Rubeo, today the two Carmelite generals are present.”
On the 15th, a solemn Eucharist was celebrated, led by Don Ricardo Blázquez, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Spain, along with several bishops and priests. The beautiful message sent by Pope Francis to the Bishop of Ávila was read as part of this celebration. Following the Eucharist there was a procession in which the statue of St. Teresa was carried through the streets of the city.
In addition, on the 15th of October, in the Monastery of the Incarnation in Alba de Tormes, (the eighth of Teresa’s foundations, and the place where she is buried) Fr. Desiderio Garcia, O.Carm., opened the solemn novena in honour of St. Teresa. The Carmelite community of the novitiate in San Andrés and the student community of the Discalced Carmelites of Salamanca, were given the job of carrying the statue and relics of St. Teresa in procession through the town of Alba de Tormes at the end of the solemn eucharist led by the bishop of Salamanca and attended by a large congregation of the faithful.
Pope Francis granted the grace of a “Teresian Jubilee Year”, for all the dioceses of Spain, beginning on the 15th of October 2014 and ending on the 15th of October, 2015, with a view to celebrating this 5th Centenary in the most solemn manner.