Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) - San José de Anchieta (1534-1597) was declared "Patron of the catechists" by the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB). This is the Bishops’ joyful message, expressed in the note sent to Fides Agency and Pope Francis is expected to canonize Blessed Jesuit Father José de Anchieta, known as the “Apostle of Brazil”. Throughout Brazil, the news was greeted with great celebration: the first request for his canonization was made 417 years ago.
The Archbishop of Aparecida and Chairman of the CNBB, Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, in a statement points out the importance of San José de Anchieta’s life and mission. "Has taught us that in order for the Gospel to be announced, it must be acculturated, taking into account the culture of the people to whom it is intended" says Cardinal Damasceno.
There is joy also in Spain. The Bishop of Tenerife, His Exc. Mgr. Bernardo Álvarez, welcomed the canonization with "emotion" and thanked Pope Francis. José de Anchieta, according to the note sent to Fides from Spain, was born in La Laguna in March 1534. He studied in Portugal, where he developed a religious vocation. He moved to Brazil in 1553, where he remained for 44 years.
The Church in Brazil has highlighted his missionary apostolate and this is why he was considered the “Apostle of Brazil”. He also had a great devotion to Mary and dedicated all his forces to defend the rights of the indigenous. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 04/04/2014)