The opening of the Holy Door on Sunday, March the 13th, by the Bishop of Avila, Msgr. José María Gil Tamayo, marked the beginning of the Jubilee Year. The church of the La Santa Monastery is the church of the Jubilee. The faithful looked on with great devotion. Next to the bishop were representatives of civil, religious, university, military and police authorities. The event was broadcast by Spanish television TVE 2.
The Bishop of Avila was accompanied by Father Antonio Ángel Sánchez, OCD, Provincial of the Iberian Province, and Father David Jiménez, OCD, Prior of the La Santa monastery. The City of Avila Band accompanied the opening of the Holy Door by playing the National Anthem. The Mass was accompanied by the La Santa Gregorian Choir and the procession through the city, after the Eucharist, was accompanied by the El Amarrao band of trumpets and drums.
Alba de Tormes
The church of the Annunciation of Alba de Tormes was crowded for the celebrations on this day. The Bishop of Salamanca, Msgr. José Luis Retana, presided over his first Pontifical Mass in the Church of the Annunciation.
The Discalced Carmelite Order, in collaboration with the Municipality of Alba de Tormes, organized an exhibition «Teresa de Jesus: Woman, Saint, Doctor». It was inaugurated on March 28, the day of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila. The exhibition aims to explore these three aspects of the Saint. It will be open to the public until October 22, 2022, in the church of the Monastery of the Annunciation, where Teresa died in 1582 and where her tomb has been venerated ever since.
The Mass for the 400th anniversary of the canonization of Saints Isidore the Farmer, Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Jesus and Philip Neri was celebrated in the church of the Gesù in the presence of Pope Francis. For health reasons, he could not preside over the celebration. Jesuits, Carmelites, Oratorians and members of the Diocese of Madrid gathered to celebrate this great event. Here is a passage from the Pope’s homily:
«One of the great tragedies of our time is the refusal to open our eyes to reality and instead to look the other way. Saint Teresa helps us to move beyond ourselves, to go up the mountain with the Lord, to realize that Jesus also reveals himself through the wounds of our brothers and sisters, the struggles of humanity, and the signs of the times. Do not be afraid to touch those wounds: they are the wounds of the Lord».
From March 11 to 13, a series of discussionss were held on «Holiness, Mission and Experience of God» on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the canonization of Saints Isidore the Farmer, Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Jesus and Philip Neri. This canonization was a true spiritual renewal for the Church and for the whole of Western society.
The opening ceremony was attended by the Bishop of Avila, Fr José María Gil Tamayo, the Mayor of Avila, Mr Jesús Manuel Sánchez Cabrera, the Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Canon Law of the Pontifical University of Comillas, Father Francisco Ramírez, and the two directors of the symposium: Fathers Fernando Millán and Francisco Javier Sancho Fermín. The topics covered concerned the experience of God, the mission and the charism at the service of the Church for each of these figures.