The ceremony was preceded by the Eucharist, celebrated on the altar of Our Lady of la Almudena, with the attendance of members of the Associations of the Teresian Association, of TA Youth, as well as collaborators and friends. Elisa Estévez, on behalf of the Governing Council of the Teresian Association, said at the beginning: "First of all, we thank Cardinal Carlos Osoro who wanted to preside over this Eucharist, under the gaze of the Our Lady of la Almudena, a privileged place for the founder of the Teresian Association, whose love for Mary is an indisputable sign in his life. Today we celebrate in a special way that St. Pedro Poveda is present in this Cathedral, and in the chapel dedicated to his memory we will place, with joy and emotion, a relic of his."
She pointed out that "the life of Pedro Poveda is intimately linked to the capital of Spain. The streets that surround this temple are witnesses to the presence of this priest from Linares, who walked through them to do good."
She described Saint Pedro Poveda as "a great believer who defended Christian humanism and became a priest. He denounced injustice and stood on the side of the poor. He believed in educational transformation and opened schools, academies, and university residences; he wanted to show that faith and knowledge were not at odds with each other and promoted serious study alongside solid virtue. He trusted in the capacity of women and opened the way for them in society. He believed in the action of the laity in the Church and founded the Teresian Association. He was so passionate about his faith that he gave his life for it. The faith of Pedro Poveda was the guiding light of his life."
She also said that Pedro Poveda was "a priest who wanted to live and die in the footsteps of his Master. The liturgy speaks of unconditional adherence to the God of life from whom nothing and no one can separate us. We are invited to be salt of the earth and light of the world, to take our light and raise it over the city, among the people, in the streets and squares. Today we turn to the example of Pedro Poveda, who knew how to open new ways and break boundaries; and work for a more fraternal society, always being full of God and close to people."
Cardinal Carlos Osoro said that "the relic (of St. Pedro Poveda) is placed to be a reference for all those who pass through this Cathedral and realize that in the twentieth century, here in Madrid, there was a prophet that was ahead of his time. He was one of the first to discover that the laity was something essential in the Church and in society, that lay leadership has to be big and strong. This aspect was recognized by Vatican Council II in a special way, and Pope Francis highlights it in many ways."
"We are living a special year, a Marian year. In a special way we want the laity to learn from the Our Lady to be disciples and missionaries. You are here, members of the Primary Association who live a singular commitment, and ACIT members, all called to live with evangelical courage in today’s world," he stressed.
He also made a call to spread and make better known the charism of Pedro Poveda because of its relevance in our time, "which is almost more relevant than in his time," said the Cardinal. "It is essential that the values of the Gospel be present in all educational systems because they are universal values that make possible a new humanity centered on the humanism that Pedro Poveda so well preached. This humanism is to be new in its actions, projects, and directions.”
"The Teresian Association are those of you who have followed the legacy of this saint who gave his life for the gospel and you have brought it to so many places in the world, with the certainty that it is God who has chosen you, has consecrated you, given you a name and he has sent you to promote an educational style that is born of the strength of the Gospel with the capacity to welcome everyone. You are all relics of St Pedro Poveda because you are his witnesses."
Then, Cardinal Osoro said that "the Lord asks us to be glorified in the cross of Christ. He cited the text on the crucifix by St. Pedro Poveda, in which he recommends that we become “living crucifixes." He said that he reread it many times because we are at a time when we do not all look at each other as brothers and sisters, we do not all understand each other, and coexistence becomes difficult. "Pedro Poveda tells us that you are the crucifix, with your surrender, with your forgiveness, with your love for all. The crucifix makes us meet all people. This is very important, particularly for young people. We have to be able to get excited like Pedro Poveda," he stressed.
The Archbishop of Madrid exhorted everyone to "feel like living relics, be a living Christ to make the world flavorful and with light, fruit from a deep communion with Christ; to give and be salt through our way of being and of going out to other people. Jesus did not relegate anyone, he went out to everyone, especially where there was a need, wherever there was no flavor or light."
He asked "that this experience may help us feel the call to holiness, with a strong call in this world, at this time in history, a call to incarnate in history, culture and education the flavor and light of the gospel. Let us take the risk, let us be courageous ... always looking to the Gospel, because it is not the courage of our triumph, it is the courage of the triumph of Christ that Pedro Poveda followed to the point of giving his life."
Enthronement of the relic
In procession, Maite Uribe took the relic (ex ossibus) of St. Pedro Poveda from the altar to the Almudena chapel dedicated to his memory and placed it in a specially prepared tabernacle, while those present sang "I believed, therefore I spoke." At the end we prayed with Poveda's words: "Lord, may I think what You want me to think; that I may act as You want me to act; that I may want what You want me to want. This is my only desire."
The chapel in his memory, renovated by Pedro Poveda Secretariat, now looks brighter. The relic is a sign of holiness, a presence of God through the work of those who gave their lives for the Gospel. It is an invitation to those who come with faith, far from all superstition, to ask for a grace through the intercession of Pedro Poveda. It is also a call to live the joy of the gospel on a daily basis.
Vídeo (duration 2',39")