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Francis sends revealing message to Rio Gallegos community on 500th anniversary of first mass in Argentine territory

Tuesday, May 21st 2019 - 09:52 UTC
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The Pope next to Bishop García Cuervas during a car ride in the Vatican   The Pope next to Bishop García Cuervas during a car ride in the Vatican

Argentine-born Pope Francis has sent a special message to the Patagonia Rio Gallegos community on the Eucharistic year and in preparation of the 500th anniversary of the first Catholic mass to be celebrated in Argentine territory, on April first, 2020.

“Maybe in San Julian, the priest that held that mass five hundred years ago did not know he was sowing something, something historic, something very big” said the Pope in his video message adding “You are connected, you are descendents of that great event, of the first mass in our territory, so get ready in the Eucharistic Year you will be celebrating, get real ready”.

Francis added two suggestions, “look around you, look for who is worse off, and help him, and then you will realize that there is always somebody worse off, who's going through a worse time than I am”. Secondly Francis recommended, “never let joy abandon you, because where there is joy, is God. Don't have a funeral heart, but rather a strong joyful heart, even in painful, sad moments, because in joy is hope and is God”.

“May God bless you all, and get ready for the 500 years of that mass, and pray for me”, concluded the papal message.

On April first 1520, when Palm Sunday is celebrated, the Spanish priest Pedro de Valderrama, held the first mass following on orders of Hernando de Magallanes, the Portuguese navigator that completed the first European passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, and in doing so discovering the Magellan Strait.

The place chosen for the Eucharist was the Bay of San Julian, Santa Cruz province, at the same place that 500 years later, assembled officials, priests and other religious authorities and faithful members participated in the protocol launching and opening mass of the Diocesan Eucharistic Year, last first April under the heading of “He came to us and continues to walk with us”.

Mass was celebrated by the recently appointed Rio Gallegos bishop, Jorge García Cuerva, (Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego diocese) together with the head of the local Sacred Heart parish, Daniel Mosqueda.

The video message became viral on Sunday during bishop García Cuerva's visit to the Vatican as part of the Argentine hierarchy Ad Limina Apostolorum attendance to the Vatican.

Pope Francis has visited most South American countries with the exception of his native Argentina and neighboring Uruguay. Alleging agenda and a full calendar the former archbishop of Buenos Aires has avoided or at least tried, to not get mixed up in the volatile complicated Argentine politics. However next year the October presidential election will be over, and the half millennium celebration of the first mass in Argentine territory, with an Argentine born pope, is an excellent opportunity.

This so far is mere speculation since so far there has been no confirmation of such intention.

Categories: Argentina.

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