The Grita (Agenzia Fides) - In a nationally televised Mass, attended by more than 200 thousand faithful gathered at the Shrine of La Grita, the Bishop of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Venezuela, His Exc. Mgr. Mario del Valle Moronta Rodríguez, celebrated yesterday, 6 August, the feast of the Santo Cristo de La Grita, the patron saint of Venezuela, whose devotion began 403 years ago.
During the homily, according to the note sent to Fides Agency by a local source, Mgr. Moronta harshly criticized "the shamelessness" with which many are dedicated to the smuggling of food and gasoline, especially in this border area. In effect Grita is a city of Venezuela very close to the border with Colombia. The Bishop also denounced the crime of abortion and exploitation, present in the Venezuelan society.
Along with Mgr. Moronta, the Mass was concelebrated by the Bishop of Margarita, His Exc. Mgr. Jorge Anibal Quintero Chacón, Bishop Emeritus of Mérida, His Exc. Mgr. Luis Alfonso Márquez, and more than 30 priests. Mgr. Moronta prayed to the Lord "for the victims affected by injustice and for workers who receive low wages. For those who are involved in drug trafficking and drugs, for women who are driven into prostitution, for those who are affected by the violence of kidnapping and murder."
The celebration of the Holy Christ of La Grita is the most common popular holiday in Venezuela. The more than 200 thousand faithful present at Mass then gave birth to the 5 kilometer-long procession that traveled throughout the city of La Grita and then back to the square of the Basilica. A copy of the Santo Cristo de La Grita was carried in procession in the main cities of Venezuela. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 07/08/2013)