Cordoba (Agenzia Fides) - Thousands of Catholics attended the beatification of the Argentinian priest, José Brochero on Saturday, September 14, who died of leprosy in 1914. The celebration of the Mass was presided by Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Special Envoy of Pope Francis, and took place in the province of Cordoba, about 700 kilometers north of Buenos Aires.
A crowd of about 150,000 pilgrims attended the beatification of the "Gaucho Priest", the first blessed in the South American country in the pontificate of Pope Francis, celebrated in Sierra de Cordoba, in the places where the new Blessed accomplished his mission. "This pastor who smelt of his sheep became a poor person among the poor" the Pope said in his letter, emphasizing the pastoral work carried out on his mule through the Sierra de Córdoba.
"Today the Church is in urgent need of saints, because they are authentic promoters of social welfare and humanizing progress" Cardinal Amato said in his homily. The Pope sent a video message, which was broadcast on a giant screen, in which he presents his gift: a bell for the church of the village, a small village of 8000 inhabitants, which carries the inscription "Brochero: a priest who smelt of his sheep".
Brochero brought forward the mission of evangelization always on a mule in that area of Argentina, where he was born in 1840 and died in 1914, a victim of leprosy and was blind. "He travelled for miles and miles, with his mule named 'Facciabrutta', because it was not beautiful. He even travelled under the rain, he was brave! In the end, this blessed was blind, but was full of joy, the joy of the Good Shepherd, the joy of the merciful Shepherd!" Said the Pope yesterday during the Angelus in St. Peter's Square. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 16/09/2013)