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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis announces Jubilee Year to celebrate a young Spanish virgin and martyr


The teenage saint Eulalia was martyred in the 3rd century in one of the main Roman settlements of the Iberian Peninsula; today's Mérida.

Her bravery left such an impact on the early Christian community that her hometown became a major pilgrimage destination until the Muslim occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. 

Popular devotion to the virgin martyr continues today. In fact, Pope Francis announced that a Jubilee will be celebrated in Mérida every time the saint's feast falls on a Sunday. The first one will be from December 10, 2023 until December 10 the following year.

To mark this occasion, the Archbishop of Mérida-Badajoz, the Mayor, and the president of the Association of the Virgin and Martyr Saint Eulalia traveled to Rome. They presented the Pope with a replica of the basilica dedicated to the saint as well as a piece of the oven where she was said to be martyred. 

ANTONIO RODRÍGUEZ OSUNA
Mayor of Merida

He was very kind, very affectionate, and yes, it is true that when Luis Miguel gave him the replica of the oven and told him that the Association has been working since 1267, he told him: you had not discovered us yet. The Spaniards had not discovered us there.

LUIS MIGUEL GONZÁLEZ
Association of the Virgin and Martyr St. Eulalia

Also, this jubilee year makes it possible to recover that traditional pilgrimage that existed towards Mérida during all those centuries. And this is one of the arguments that was used to request the jubilee.

The Jubilee of St. Eulalia hopes to highlight the roots of the first Christian community in Spain.

JRB
TR: KG