Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach of Barcelona, Spain is exhorting Catholics to “love our holy Mother Church as we love our own mothers.”
In his weekly letter which will be published Feb. 20, Cardinal Sistach underscored the virtues of Blessed Francisco Palau of Spain, “who devoted himself with enthusiasm to the service of the Church because she was – for him – a loving and tender mother.”
The cardinal recalled that this year marks the bicentennial of the birth of Blessed Palau, the founder of the Teresian Carmelite Missionaries and the Carmelite Missionaries. He wrote that the blessed “was very conscious of the fact that by loving the Church, he was fulfilling the great Christian commandment to love God and neighbor.”
At a time of “religious indifference,” this awareness is crucial to preventing the spirit of evangelization from diminishing.
The cardinal also noted that in the homily for the beatification of Blessed Palau in 1988, Pope John Paul II said the blessed made of his priestly life a generous gift to the Church.
“Francisco Palau was undoubtedly a man of prayer, a hermit,” the cardinal explained. “But at the same time he was a man of action in diverse apostolic initiatives,” especially the task of Christian formation and care for the sick.
Cardinal Sistach concluded his letter by encouraging Spaniards to look to Blessed Palau as a “great witness of love for the Church.”