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Pope Francis kisses the cane of St. Teresa of Avila to celebrate her fifth centenary

2015-03-11

"We bring the stick of St. Teresa of Jesus."

It has traveled to 28 countries across 5 continents to mark the 5th centenary of its owner, St. Teresa of Avila. It's hard to believe.

"She walked with this?
Yes, it is saved in her native home in Avila."

This is the group of Spanish pilgrims who have managed to get the relic to the Pope.

They're part of the "Way of Light" initiative. Since October 2014, they have traveled the world to promote devotion to one of the great religious leaders of all time.

ALVAREZ AMAYA
Coordinator, Way of Light pilgrimage
"We have been in Latin America or in Africa where the music, joy, and jubilation has been more intense. FLASH. A favorite country would be very difficult. In almost all there have been many special moments. The amazing thing about this pilgrimage has been the amount of people who have heard the call of St. Teresa and seen the arrival of the cane."

P. ANTONIO GONZALEZ
Secretary General, Fifth Centenary of the Birth of St. Teresa of Jesus
"Here you can see that it says 'It's time to walk.' This cane reminds us of the pilgrim life of St. Teresa. We also were invited to travel the roads she traveled. The path of prayer, the way of faith."

The kiss from Pope Francis was the perfect finale for this initiative. After the visit in Rome, they will continue their journey back to Spain.

They passed it to the Pope at the end of the general audience. It is of the most special times of the week because that's when people can see the Pope up close.

"We have been very close to him. He received the cane and well, the truth is that today's audience was very nice, very beautiful, dedicated to the elderly."

"Well, look, for me it was the biggest dream of my life because we thought the Pope was coming to Avila, Salamanca and Alba. We had prepared for everything. When we were told he could not come we said: 'Why don't we go there?'"

Minutes earlier the Pope mentioned the anniversary of the saint to end his Wednesday catechesis.

POPE FRANCIS
"This month we remember the fifth centenary of the birth in Avila of St. Teresa of Jesus. Her spiritual force will encourage you, dear young people, to witness joyfully faith in your life ".

March 28 will mark 500 years since the birth of Saint Teresa of Avila. The Pope will celebrate it by starting a global prayer for peace.


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