From April 12 to 15, Avila welcomed the International Congress “Saint Teresa of Jesus, an Exceptional Woman” on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of Saint Teresa of Jesus as a Doctor of the Church. At the beginning of the congress, a message from Pope Francis was read in which he greeted all the participants and affirmed that “the flame that Jesus lit in Teresa continues to shine in this world that always needs courageous witnesses, capable of breaking down any wall”.
The Congress took place in two ways: with participants attending in person or online. Over four days, the Teresian doctrine for the world and the Church of today was presented in different themes.
At the end of the congress, participants received a new surprise: a video message from Pope Francis. This was the highlight of Congress. The Pope took the opportunity to recall that one of the characteristics of the Saint of Avila was her union with Christ and her determination to be with him in prayer. She encouraged everyone to find their own path to holiness and pointed out that “Saint Teresa teaches us that the journey that made her an exceptional woman and a figure of reference through the centuries, that journey, that of prayer, is open to all those who humbly open themselves to the action of the spirit in their lives”.
Here is the link for the complete text of the video message:
In addition, the Congress has raised funds, through the congress’s website (http://congresosantateresadoctora.es ), to help the Monastery of the Annunciation in Alba de Tormes (Salamanca), where the tomb of St Teresa is preserved. As well, the organizors have also decided to donate the profits from the Congress to help alleviate the difficult financial situation through which the monastery is going.