Pope Francis has described St. Teresa of Ávila as a courageous and selfless woman who dedicated her life to serving the church.
In a letter marking fifty years since Pope Paul VI declared St. Teresa of Ávila a Doctor of the church, the pope said the Spanish mystic was a good example of the role played by women in the church.
St. Teresa of Ávila was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970. The title Doctor of the Church shows the Catholic Church has recognized the importance of the teachings and writings of a saint.
“Her courage, her intelligence, and her tenacity to which she united a sensitivity for the beautiful and a spiritual motherhood toward all those who approached her work, are an exemplary example of the extraordinary role that women have played throughout history in the Church and society,” pope Francis said.
Pope Francis said St. Teresa of Ávila “continues to speak to us today through her writings and her message is open to all.”
“Having her as a friend, companion and guide in our earthly pilgrimage confers security and peace to the soul,” he added.
St. Teresa was born in 1515 in Ávila but it was not until around 1555 when God revealed himself to her through visions.
St. Teresa of Ávila died in 1582 and was canonized on March 22, 1622.
The pope encouraged Christians to continue with the good work of St. Teresa of Ávila.
“She took him as a teacher, advocate, and intercessor. She entrusted herself to him, having certainty that she would receive the graces that she asked for. From this experience, she encouraged others to do the same,” the pope said.