Concert brings music and mysticism together

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 PASAY City, March 21, 2014— An upcoming concert in honor of St. Teresa of Ávila will affirm that mysticism and classical music are two sides of the same coin.

Billed the “50 and 500”, the concert will pay tribute to life and legacy of St. Teresa through the music of the internationally acclaimed Philippine Madrigal Singers whose own 50th foundation anniversary celebration coincides with that of the Saint.

World premiere

St. Teresa is a Spanish Carmelite nun, religious reformer, and first female “Doctor of the Church”, whose fifth centenary the Catholic world will be celebrating on 2015.

Music aficionados and Teresian devotees alike will have a chance to enjoy this “once-in-a-lifetime” concert to be staged on March 28, Friday, at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater) of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay.

Philippine Madrigal Singers conductor Mark Anthony Carpio said, “50 and 500” will feature a variety of pieces “from lilting tunes to edifying ones” with a matinee at 3 p.m. and a gala performance at 8 p.m.

Several new pieces are being arranged and will be sung for the first time during this “50 and 500” concert making the occasion a world premiere for them, added Carpio.

The “50 and 500” concert is made possible by the National Commission on the Fifth Birth Centenary of St. Teresa of Ávila.

First female Doctor of the Church

This special commission chaired by Carmelite priests Angelo Madelo and Daniel Fauste consists of Carmelites and St. Teresa devotees based in the Philippines.

It was formed in July 2011 with the goal of making the life and teachings of St. Teresa of Ávila known to more Filipinos.

Specifically, the commission aims to “create general awareness on the saint’s 5th centenary celebration through liturgical, educational, and socio-cultural activities”.

It also seeks to “indentify and establish centers of devotion for St. Teresa”.

St. Teresa of Ávila, who is also known as “Santa Teresa de Jesús”, is one of the most beloved saints and mystics of Catholic Christendom.

St. Theresa of Avila's reform of the Carmelite order continues to impact the spirituality and life of generations of religious and lay people until today (Photo credit: Raymond A. Sebastián)

She was born March 28, 1515 in Ávila, Kingdom of Castille and died October 4, 1582 in Alba de Tormes, Salamanca after working for years towards what is now known as the reformation of the Carmelite order.

St. Teresa was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622, forty years after her death, and was named a “Doctor of the Church” by Pope Paul VI on 27 September 1970.

She was the first female honored with the title.

St. Teresa’s books, including her biography La Vida de Teresa de JesúsEl Castillo Interior, and Camino de Perfección are considered crowning jewels of Christian mystical literature.

She is the patron saint of headache and bodily ill sufferers and people ridiculed for their piety. (Raymond A. Sebastián)


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