St. Teresa’s walking stick: Why venerate?

St Teresa's walking stick Why do we venerate St. Teresa’s walking stick? St. Teresa felt the call to a deep inner relationship with God. She set up her first foundation of Discalced Carmelite nuns in Avila in order to facilitate her desire. She was conscious of God’s burning love for each one of us and wanted to respond to that love. She remarked to her sisters that the Lord has so few friends, let us be good ones. She was asked by the Carmelite Order and by bishops to found Discalced Carmelite Monasteries in other parts of Spain. This she did willingly and at great cost to herself, she was often ill and the prospect of another journey wasn’t something to be looked forward to. Often she didn’t have the material resources and had to beg from her friends. The terrain was difficult at times and she travelled by mule and cart. She tells us in her writings that sometimes the cartwheels got stuck in the mud and at other times the road was rough and the sisters had to get out and walk. Her staff came in handy!!

Knowing that she was setting up another little dovecote as she called her monasteries where the Lord would be honoured and loved, made it all worthwhile for her. All who came in contact with her were impressed, touched and changed for the better.

In St Mark’s gospel account the disciples are told to bring nothing for the journey except a staff. This gives us an impression that the spread of the Gospel is urgent, and Teresa felt this urgency to found her seventeen monasteries.

In venerating her staff we are really honouring St Teresa herself, and her desire for God. The staff is also a symbol of her spiritual journey which had its ups and downs like all of us. Her writings tell us of her spiritual journey and they encourage us to take our own spiritual journey seriously, with great gratitude to God that He has come so close to us in Jesus.



On the NET:
To see the video of the presentation of St. Teresa’s staff,
go to: