"There is a saying that goes like this: `Tell me how you pray and I will tell you how you live; tell me how you live and I will tell you how you pray', for by showing me how you pray, I will learn to discover the God you live and by showing me how you live, I will learn to believe in the God you pray to; for our life speaks of prayer and prayer speaks of our life. We learn to pray just as we learn how to walk, talk, and listen. The school of prayer is the school of life and the school life is where we build the school of prayer," said Pope Francis to a group of Mexican seminarians during his visit last January.
As we describe what the screening of the film “Poveda” to a group of about seventy seminarians and some spiritual directors at the Seminary of the Archdiocese of Madrid has meant, we remember the words of Pope Francis, because this experience meant sharing a page of life and prayer, of prayer and life.
We still have in our memory the feeling of different audiences who have watched the many projections of the film “Poveda” since March 4, when it was premiered in Spain. In every situation our soul was filled when observing what the life of St. Pedro Poveda aroused in the different audiences. However, showing the film and a dialogue with a group of young people who, like Poveda, have the joyful hope of being priests and are preparing to be such, had a special note, a deep harmony between being and spirit.
The projection had been requested by the Rector of the seminary, Father Jesus Vidal. We arrived early enough to resolve the technical issues that often give us plenty of "headaches," and this time was no exception. Kindness was the dominant feature in the almost five hours we spent in the huge grounds of the seminary, since Fr. Jesus welcomed us.
After a brief introduction, the screening began. We could perceive the interest of the audience as they watched the film. It ended with a sustained, spontaneous applause. This is what we have experienced many times. However, the dialogue that followed had a special depth and freshness. It was dinnertime and questions continued without the limit of time: about history; actual events and film licenses; the final hours of Saint Pedro Poveda; the Teresian vocation; the difficulties around such a different Foundation and the challenge to Poveda; Josefa Segovia and the first collaborators; even on the specific vocation of those who spoke ...
The dialogue continued later in small groups. Some of the new seminarians this year (they are 27) approached us to let us know that they would make their Spiritual Exercises at Santa Maria de Los Negrales; thus they were thrilled to know more about the life of Saint Pedro Poveda.
Fr. Jesus Vidal highlighted the importance of knowing "this holy priest who died in Madrid, whose thought and action continue being timely today." People expressed their gratitude for having brought them closer to the figure of St. Pedro Poveda and the Teresian Association through the film. They also highlighted the person of Josefa Segovia. "She must have been a great woman ..." said one of the spiritual directors. Others were interested in the life of the Teresian Association today and "its actions in the educational field in such a special moment for Spain."
As we were leaving, some said: “now we understand Bishop Osoro better and what he has in mind for priests and pastoral work in general ..." be salt and light in the midst of the people. The Archbishop of Madrid identifies with Saint Pedro Poveda in his priestly and spiritual profile.
Aurora Martin, Guillermina Damas, and I are grateful for having had this experience of communion, and finding, once again, that the voice, thought, pastoral and social action of St. Pedro Poveda continue to do much good.
We brought a copy of the book "Pedro Poveda, Man of God," by Maria Dolores Gómez Molleda, for each seminarian and other volumes for the library of the Seminary, thanks to the collaboration of Editorial Narcea.
Laura Moreno Marrocos
Information Department – Teresian Association