AMERICA/ARGENTINA - Fires have been ravaging Corrientes and Misiones for weeks: appeal from Caritas, pilgrimage of the Virgin of Itati

Tuesday, 22 February 2022 natural disasters   caritas   marian devotion   bishops  

Corrientes (Agenzia Fides) - Faced with the seriousness of the situation caused by the numerous fires that affect the northeastern region of Argentina, in particular the provinces of Misiones and Corrientes, Caritas Argentina invites all of society to collaborate financially to support the work that is being carried out and help families overcome this emergency. In addition to material aid, all are invited to remain united in prayer to accompany their affected brothers and sisters. The note from Caritas, sent to Fides, points out that the province of Corrientes is going through an unprecedented historical crisis, due to its territorial extent and the speed at which the fire is progressing. Since the end of December, the fires have destroyed around 600,000 hectares out of the 9 million in the province, or 7% of its territory. It is impossible to estimate the losses of fauna and flora in one of the largest ecosystems in Argentina. The fires also devour agricultural production fields, livestock farms, rural structures and the homes of forest workers and gatherers, causing not only the loss of their possessions, but also their sources of work. Added to this context is the situation generated by the pandemic, which is causing a high level of active cases and deaths.
Caritas volunteers, highlights the note, in permanent contact with the affected areas and with the emergency team, are in the areas to support the work of the firefighters (mostly volunteers) and to participate in the interventions coordinated by civil organizations. State aid is insufficient given the scale of the disaster and the supplies, especially bottled water, which must be purchased to support the work of firefighters and volunteer groups.
For some time now, the local Bishops have been inviting the faithful to intensify their prayers, above all asking God to protect the people fighting the fire and the families affected, and invoking rain. Given the deep Marian devotion of the local population, on the initiative of the Archbishop of Corrientes, Monsignor Andres Stanovnik, the pilgrim images of the Virgin of Itatí are visiting the decanates of the Archdiocese, parishes and the ecclesiastical and civil institutions. These visits will culminate on Sunday, February 27, when the traditional opening of the Pastoral Year is scheduled with the celebration presided over by the Archbishop. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 22/2/2022)