Francis’ letter marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Spanish nun’s PhD, whose teaching still speaks to those who are “capable of breaking any wall, be it material, existential or cultural.”
Francesca Sabatinelli – Vatican
She was the first woman to receive a doctorate in the church, a title that was like recognition of “the precious teaching that God has transmitted to us through his writings and the testimony of his life.” Francis wrote this to the Bishop of Avila, Monsignor Gilles Tamayo, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the awarding of the PhD in Saint Teresa Avila by Saint Paul VI, on September 27, 1970. Avila, dedicated to the Spanish mystic, celebrates an international conference entitled “The Exceptional Woman,” as described by Pope Montini The same, which will last until April 15.
A brave witness able to break down walls
Five centuries later, the saint was born in 1515 and died in 1582, “The flame that Jesus lit in Teresa continues to shine in this world that always needs courageous witnesses, able to smash any wall, be it material, existential. Or cultural.” The Pope, who also cites the intelligence and perseverance of this woman, who was joined by “a sensitivity to beauty and spiritual motherhood towards all those close to her work,” writes that it was an example of the “extraordinary role” that women have played in the course of history in the church and in society.
A message for those looking for cleansing
Saint Avila still speaks today thanks to her writings, her message and her example for all. The Pope continues, “to those who feel the call to religious life,” but also “to all those who wish to advance on the path of purification from the whole world, leading to union with God, to dwellings High from the inner castle. ”“ Her presence as a friend – he is the guide – a companion and guide in our earthly pilgrimage gives us security and tranquility. ”The Pope concludes by reminding Teresa’s great devotion to Saint Joseph and with encouragement to continue to deepen his message and teachings.