Vatican City, 11 March 2015 (VIS) – At the end of today's general audience, during his greetings in various languages, the Pope mentioned that this month will mark the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Teresa of Jesus in Avila, Spain. “May her spiritual vigour stimulate you, dear young people, to bear joyful witness to faith in your life; may her trust in Christ the Saviour sustain you, dear sick people, in the moments of greatest discouragement; and may her tireless apostolate invite you, dear newly-weds, to place Christ at the centre of your marital home”.
Later on Pope Francis received in the Vatican the relic of St. Teresa's famous “pilgrim staff”, as part of on a worldwide tour organised by the Order of Carmelites, to commemorate the anniversary of the Spanish mystic and doctor of the Church. The global pilgrimage, entitled “Way of Light”, began in Avila on 15 October 2014 with the aim of visiting the family of Mount Carmel in 30 countries across five continents, a journey of 117 thousand kilometres and lasting more than 160 days. It will return to Avila on 28 March, in time for the 500th anniversary of the saint's birth.
On the same day, the Teresian jubilee year will be inaugurated with a prayer for world peace. Throughout the year a series of celebrations will be held, including the European Youth Meeting, which is expected to be attended by more than 9,000 young people from across the continent, several pilgrimages and many conferences and exhibitions.