Aspart of his running theme on female saints in his catecheses, thePope recalled that Teresa of Avila was proclaimed a Doctor of theChurch by Paul VI. Teresa and St. John of the Cross reformed theCarmelite Order and founded 17 monasteries.
“Maythe example and prayers os Saint Teresa of Avila inspire us togreater fidelity to prayer and, through prayer, to greater love forthe Lord and his Church, and more perfect charity towards ourbrothers and sisters.”
At age 20, Saint Teresa entered the Carmelite Convent of Avila. Afterbecoming seriously ill and having a profound inner struggle, shebegan to feel mystical experiences of union with God.
“Teresaconsidered the evangelical and human virtues the basis of anauthentic Christian life. She identified deeply with Christ in hishumanity and stressed the importance of contemplation of his Passionand of his real presence in the Eucharist.”
Herwork includes “The Book of my Life,” in which she presents hersoul to San Juan de Avila, she dedicates her book “The Way ofPerfection” as a spiritual program for her followers, and “TheInterior Castle or The Mansions,” which she wrote later in herlife, about the path of Christian life toward holiness.
“Shepresents prayer as an intimate friendship with Christ leading to anever greater union of love with the Blessed Trinity.”
Asmall boy decided to interrupt the normalcy of the audience and ranto greet the Pope. The two briefly spoke before the child returnedto his seat.
Among the 3,000 attendees were pilgrims fromBrazil, Nigeria and Poland. As well as students from the UnitedStates, Norway, Germany, Chile and France.