Spain has a rich Catholic heritage that is still evident even though it has gone through a deep secularization as in all of western Europe. It would take an enormous amount of time to thoroughly explore all that Spain has to offer as regards its Catholic culture. Abundant churches and related monuments are found in every area of the country dating from Late Antiquity to the present. The Carmelite and Catholic two-week pilgrimages focus on the Catholic heritage of Salamanca, León, Medina del Campo, Alba de Tormes, Avila, Segovia, Toledo, and Madrid. In most places pilgrims stay in religious communities, the majority Carmelite, and in one instance a diocesan spirituality center. Pilgrims will learn about many other aspects of Catholic Spain and the contributions of the Catholic Church. This is a land of many saints such as Ignatius Loyola, Dominic, John of the Cross, Teresa of Jesús and more. As a bonus Spain is known for its abundant sunshine. You will return home inspired and energized about your Catholic faith and/ or your OCDS vocation.
Fray Luis de León
Why name this program after Fray Luis de León? He is the embodiment of a Catholic believer: scholar of great renown, deep spirituality, prolific writer, and deep love for Christ and the Church, A true role model for all of us. He was born in Belmonte, [Cuenca, Aragón] in 1527/28, and died in Madrigal [Avila] 23 August 1591. In 1560 he completed his theological studies and was given the prestigious Thomas Aquinas Chair in theology at the University of Salamanca on December 14, 1561. He wrote numerous scripture commentaries; without question his most popular and widely read work is the vernacular ‘De los Nombres de Cristo’ [The Names of Christ]. It is a work of deep contemplative reflection that is recognized as a classic of western spirituality. In 1588 he distinguished himself further by becoming the first editor of the works of St. Teresa of Jesus. He is buried in the chapel of the Old University of Salamanca. He was honored again in April 25, 1869 with a statute that still stands today in the Patio de Escuelas of the University. Fray Luis is one of the great luminaries of Golden Age Spain and a powerful witness of the Catholic Faith.