Thursday, September 03, 2015

Pilgrimage - Therese 500!

In a March 28 letter addressed to Fr.  Xavier Cannistrà, superior general of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, Pope Francis wrote that it is providential that the anniversary of the saint's birth should coincide with the Year of Consecrated Life, which began late last year.  St. Teresa of Avila, the Holy Father said, “shines as a sure and attractive model of total self-giving to God.”

A group of pilgrims from Hong Kong and Macau did a week-long retreat on Teresian Spirituality in Alba de Tormes and Avila, during their 19 days pilgrimage in France and Spain.
Santiago de Compostela. 
The pilgrimage also included a visit to the relics of the Apostle James, interred in the grand old Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Ever since the grave of the Apostle was discovered in AD800, hundreds of thousands of the great and good have trod the path across northern Spain, making the pilgrim trail the most famous pilgrimage in the world.

Cathedral, Burgos 
Sheer joy of reaching the holy shrine of St. Therese in Alba de Tormes. The Saint's body, especially her heart and arm are on display for veneration above the altar of the shrine here

Reaching Avila 
Searching for the "Interior Castle" - Annunciation Monastery in Avila.
St. Therese lived 27 years of her religious life here
and later returned to the monastery as it its prioress for a term of three years 

The Chapel at El Escorial, where Blessed Mother is believed to have appeared to a peasant woman named Luz Amparo Cuevas Arteseros.
On June 14th 1981, Trinity Sunday, Our Lady of Sorrows appeared to Luz Amparo at a property named Prado Nuevo, in El Escorial ( Madrid).  That day Luz Amparo says she saw Our Lady of Sorrows on an ash tree. Our Lady asked her to build a chapel in her honor to meditate her Son's Passion «which men have completely forgotten». And she added, "If they do what I say, there will be healings. This water will heal (She referred to the spring that is next to the ash tree). I will bless all those who come to say the holy rosary daily. Lots of you will be sealed with a cross on your foreheads. Make penance. Pray".

At the apparition site in El Escorial 
After the Holy Mass at the Cathedral of "Our Lady of Pilar", Zaragoza 

With Fr. Jorge CMF, (right) at the Heart of Mary Parish, Zaragoza 

Heart of Mary Parish, Zaragoza 

Saint Francis Xavier, was born 7 April 1506, in Xavier Castle, near Sangüesa, Navarre [Spain].
He died on 3 December 1552, in Seungchuan Island, China.
 He was canonized on March 12, 1622

Saints! Two of the past and three of the future ...
Daveed - Our trusted driver - it is second time to tour Europe with him! 
Fr. Jose in Lourdes with Theresa Li
Pilgrims by the side of the river Tormes in Spain 
The in-corrupt heart of St. Terese of Jesus above the altar of the Chapel in Alba de Tormes 
Another Jump!  Sr. Claire-Marie, Fr. Sergio, Fr. Jose and Michelle 
Born on March 28, 1515 in Avila, Spain, St. Teresa is known as a mystic and reformer. Entering the Carmelite order in 1535, she became disillusioned by the laxity of monastic life within the cloister, and committed herself to reforming the order. She is considered as one of the founders of the Discalced Carmelites.
Relic of St. James the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela 
Pilgrims in front of St. James' Cathedral, Santiago de Compostela 
Walking towards the Cathedral while reading, reflecting and praying over the Letter of St. James was a noval form of "Lectio Divina". Participating in the International Eucharistic celebraiton was one of the highlights of the whole trip.
Eucharistic Celebration in the countryside - somewhere in Burgos 
After starting off our days of pilgrimage from the holy shrine at Lourdes, we also traveled to two other shrines of Marain Aparitions - one in Zaragoza - the first ever case of Marian Aparition in human history; and the other, in El Escorail - a site of of the latest cases of Blessed Mother appearing to the humans. Two other contemporary saints of St. Teresa, namely St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier were also part of our journey.
Basilica of St. Ignatius in Loyola 

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