The relic-stick of St Therese of Avila “on pilgrimage “ to the Holy Land
HOLY LAND – The walking stick of St Therese d’Avila, considered by the Church as a relic, arrived in the Holy Land and was welcomed and venerated, among others, by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Mgr Fouad Twal, on 19 February, in Jerusalem, and by Patriarchal Vicar for Israel, Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, on the following day in Nazareth.
This pilgrimage runs in the framework of the Jubilee Year of St Therese of Avila, marking five centenaries to her birth. It is a world initiative of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites, or reformed or Theresian, which started on 15 October 2014, feast day of St Therese, ending on this coming 28 March, birthday anniversary of this great reformer. This pilgrimage has involved some thirty countries, including Palestine and Israel.
In the Holy Land, the relic-stick, which came here on 18 February accompanied by Fr Enrique Castro, ocd, Acting Superior of the Carmelites of Stella Maris, and of Fr. Patrice Rakotoarrimama, ocd, went into monasteries and convents of Carmelites and also in their respective parishes: Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nazareth, Haifa. The pilgrimage in the Holy Land, which the Carmelites called “A Path of Light”, has involved different holy sites in Muhraqa, Wadi Syah, Tabgha, Caesarea-on-the-sea, culminated on 25 February.
In Nazareth Mgr Marcuzzo welcomed the relic-stick, accompanied by Carmelite Fathers and Deacon Fr Sinisa, ofm. He celebrated Mass at the main altar of the lower Basilica of the Annunciation in presence of some hundred religious and faithful.
St Therese of Avila, known as the “erring nun”, went along, helped by this stick, hundreds of thousands of kilometers, mainly on foot, to visit some twenty new “foundations” or to reform ancient monasteries. It is a simple relic, but very eloquent, laden with many souvenirs and spiritual significance.
Text: our correspondent in Galilea Photos : A.K.