Approval of decree of virtue venerable Teresa Enríquez De Alvarado

23 March 2023

On 23 March 2023, Pope Francis received Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, in audience and authorised the promulgation of the Decree concerning the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Teresa Enríquez De Alvarado, laywoman and mother of a family, born in Valladolid (Spain) in 1456 and died in Torrijos (Spain) in 1529.

The Venerable Teresa Enríquez was a Spanish noblewoman and a generous benefactor of the poor and church institutions. She was lady-in-waiting to Queen Isabella of Castile and a personal friend of Saint Beatrice de Silva. In 1475 she married the noble knight Gutierre de Cárdenas, rich in wealth and virtue. After his death and the marriage of her children, she distanced herself from the pomp of the court to embrace a poor lifestyle according to Franciscan spirituality. She retired to live in Torrijos, in the family palace, where she established the second community of Conceptionist nuns after the one in Toledo. She was very devoted to the Eucharist and promoted the establishment of confraternities for worshipping the Blessed Sacrament, in Spain, Latin America and Rome, at the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Damaso. In Torrijos, she founded the collegiate church of Corpus Christi, a jewel of Spanish Gothic-Renaissance architecture, considered caput et mater of Eucharistic confraternities in Spain. She administered the family's immense inheritance to benefit the poor. She supported the destitute and orphans with visionary charity and worked for the ransom of Christians imprisoned by the Moors.

Her Cause of Beatification, which had been hoped for in the context of the National Eucharistic Congresses of Spain in 1926 and 1999, began at the ecclesiastical Curia of Toledo in the year 2001 on the initiative of the Conceptionist nuns of Torrijos, who entrusted it to the Rev. Br Luca De Rosa, OFM, Postulator General of the Order. 

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