Bishop Jesus Garcia Burillo of Avila, Spain announced this week that he will be sending an invitation to Pope Benedict XVI to visit the diocese in 2015 to mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa. The bishop added that he will also ask the Holy See to “declare a Jubilee Year” to celebrate the occasion.
Although he acknowledged that it may be difficult for the Pope to grant his request, Bishop Burillo said he would nonetheless extend a formal invitation to the Holy Father requesting “the inestimable grace of his presence among us.”
The bishop expressed his “deepest desire that His Holiness the Pope visit Avila for this centenary, as did his predecessor John Paul II in 1982 on the occasion of the closing of the 400th anniversary of the death of St. Teresa.”
Regarding the request for a Jubilee Year, Bishop Burillo said it would be a time “in which the Church would grant singular spiritual graces to the faithful to mark the anniversary of the birth of this Doctor of the Church.”
St. Teresa was proclaimed the first female Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI on September 27, 1970.
The bishop also invited the faithful of his diocese to enthusiastically join with the Carmelite Order, founded by the saint in 1562, in preparing for the celebrations.