Teresa d'Avila example for women in society - pope

50th anniversary of proclamation as Doctor of Church

(ANSA) - VATICAN CITY, APR 13 - Pope Francis on Tuesday marked the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of Saint Teresa of Ávila as a Doctor of the Church, and stressed her importance even today, especially in highlighting the role of women in the Church and in society.
    Opening his message to Archbishop Gil Tamayo of Ávila, Spain, Pope Francis noted that St Teresa was the first woman to become a Doctor of the Church, Vatican News reported.
    He said the title was a recognition of the "precious teaching that God has transmitted to us through her writings and the testimony of her life." Fifty years ago, on 27 September 1970, Pope St Paul VI conferred the title of Doctor of the Church on St. Teresa of Ávila.
    The Catholic University of Ávila, which is dedicated to the Spanish mystic, is celebrating this historic anniversary with an international congress entitled "Exceptional woman," as Pope Paul VI described her himself. It runs until 15 April.
    Saint Teresa was born in 1515 and died in 1582. Pope Francis wrote in his message that even now, nearly half a millenium since her death, wrote that "the flame that Jesus lit in Teresa continues to shine in this world, always in need of courageous witnesses, capable of breaking down any wall, whether physical, existential or cultural." He also cited her intelligence and tenacity, which she joined to "a sensitivity to beauty and a spiritual motherhood toward all those who approached her work." The Pope added that she was an example of the "extraordinary role that women have played throughout history in the Church and in society." (ANSA).


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