At the initiative of the Pontifical Russicum College in Rome, the relics of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and her parents, Louis and Zélie Martin, came on pilgrimage to Rome from the 6th to the 16th of June.
On June 7, the relics were present at the general audience of Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square. Pope Francis consecrated his catechesis to Therese, “patroness of the missions”. He affirmed that the presence of Therese was a consolation for him and announced that he wanted to dedicate an Apostolic Letter to her this year. “Pope Francis stated that the engine of mission is precisely this ‘power of intercession moved by charity’, and underlines that missionaries ‘are not only those who travel long distances, learn new languages, do good works, and are good at proclamation, no, a missionary is also anyone who lives as an instrument of God’s love where they are. Missionaries are those who do everything so that, through their witness, their prayer, their intercession, Jesus might pass by’”.
On Thursday, June 8, the relics were received at the Teresianum. That same day, a Seminar on holiness in Thérèse of Lisieux began, with 17 specialists sharing the fruit of their research. At 6 p.m., at the Teresianum, there was a solemn Eucharistic celebration at which Fr. General, Fr. Miguel Márquez Calle, presided, in the numerous presence of many devotees and many members of the great Carmelite Family, men and women religious and secular. At the end of the celebration, the relics were transferred in procession to the nearby Basilica of St. Pancras, of the Discalced Carmelites of Central Italy, for an Adoration animated by young people that lasted throughout the night. On Sunday the 11th, the relics were present, from 8.30 am, in our Saint Teresa of Avila parish in Corso d’Italia. At 10:30 a.m., Father General presided at the solemn Mass of Corpus Christi, in the presence of the relics. In the afternoon, the relics continued on their Roman pilgrimage.