Chimpay (Agenzia Fides) - The town of Chimpay nel Río Negro, (Argentina), which has only 6,000 people lived a revolution last weekend with the arrival of over 100,00o pilgrims to take part in the Mass during which there was the Beatification Ceferino Namuncurá. The Mass on 11 November was presided by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone the Pope's secretary of state and concelebrated by the Archbishop of Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, about fifty other bishops and numerous priests including the Salesian rector major Fr. Pascual Chávez Villanueva. The vice president of Argentina, Daniel Scioli was among those present.
In his homily Cardinal Bertone said it the first time that a beatification was celebrated not in a city but in the small town where the new Blessed was born and he said: " this beatification intends to recall and appreciate the most profound aspect of the ancient traditions of the courageous Mapuch peoples. At the same time it helps us to see the fecundity of the Gospel which never destroys authentic gifts of a culture, but simply assumes and purifies them". Cardinal Bertone underlined that "the life of the new Blessed is like a parable of this profound debt, Ceferino never forget his Mapuch origin, it was his supreme ideal to be of use to his people."
In a message issued at the end of a plenary assembly, which concluded on Friday 9 November, to enable some of the Bishops of Argentina to reach the place of the beatification, the Bishops stress the greatness of Ceferino "a child of God and a brother to everyone…to celebrate the beatification of Ceferino means to celebrate recognition of the meaning of his life and his virtues…a model of encounter with Christ; a shining example of the Gospel lived in daily life; power and support in human fragility and weakness; encounter and acceptance of a different culture and religion".
The Bishops say Ceferino is a call " to realise we are all children of God, who need God, to take decisions which mark our life and consider daily life the place in which great ideals are achieved ".
In Rome, on Sunday 11 November at the Angelus greeting, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI mentioned the beatification of Ceferino and speaking in Spanish he urged Argentineans "to give thanks for the outstanding witness offered by this young boy of only nineteen years of age, who, encouraged by his devotion to the Eucharist and his love for Christ, longed to be a Salesian and a priest to show his Mapuch brothers and sisters the way to heaven. With his life he illuminates our journey to holiness, calling us to love our brothers and sisters with the same love with which God loves us" the Pope concluded. (RG) (Agenzia Fides 12/11/2007; righe 35, parole 472)