Spanish nun receives birthday greeting from Benedict XVI

Madrid, Spain, Sep 19, 2011 / 01:57 pm (CNA).- Sister Teresita, the world’s oldest contemplative nun, celebrated her 104th birthday on Sept. 16 and received a birthday letter from Pope Benedict XVI.

Benedict XVI, who met with Sr. Teresita during his visit to Madrid for World Youth Day, encouraged the Spanish nun to continue “being an ardent lamp of faith, hope and charity.”

Father Angel Moreno, the chaplain of the monastery where Sr. Teresita lives with her community, gave her permission to publish the letter on his blog at

The message was signed by Msgr. Peter B. Wells, an advisor to the Vatican Secretary of State. “The Holy Father Benedict XVI has asked me to convey his deep gratitude for the books you gave him during the meeting he had with you at the apostolic nunciature in Spain,” Msgr. Wells wrote.

“The Pope, who treasures that wonderful moment in his heart, encourages you to remain rooted in the Heart of Christ, in order to continue being an ardent lamp of faith, hope and charity, and thus to show the world that fullness of life consists in joyfully following the will of God,” he said.

“As a token of abundant heavenly graces, and entrusting the sisters of your community to the constant intercession of Mary Most Holy, Queen of Virgins, the Supreme Pontiff imparts the apostolic blessing upon you and graciously extends it to all the benefactors of this Monastery of the Mother of God,” Msgr. Wells said.

Fr. Moreno explained in his blog that “Sister Teresita follows the daily rhythm of prayer, from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and she continues giving thanks to God for the grace of having met the Pope, which, she says, motivates her even more to pray for him and to be holy.”

“Congratulations, Sister Teresita, and thank you for your prayers for all of us!” Fr. Moreno said.