A throng of Catholics will journey to the city of Avila, birth place of St. Teresa of Avila, for the 500th anniversary of the birth of the nun who is the first woman doctor of the church. The day holds particular significance for Carmelites as St. Teresa joined the order of nuns at the beginning of her religious life. Pope Francis has been invited.
St. Teresa (1515-1582) was a Roman Catholic nun who believed in the contemplative life through mental prayer. In response to the secularisation of her order, she formed the Convent of Discalced Carmelites, the word "discalced" meaning the removal of shoes as a symbol of reverence. With St. John of the Cross as her collaborator the movement spread to communities of friars. She was canonized forty years after her death.
Date written/update: 2015-02-26