AMERICA/ARGENTINA - "Courage, faith, dedication and testimony": Bishop Scozzina on the eve of the Beatification of the Martyrs of Zenta

Friday, 1 July 2022 martyrs   beatification   local churches   missionary animation   synodality  

Nueva Oran (Agenzia Fides) - On Saturday, July 2, in the Parque de la Familia in the city of San Ramón de la Nueva Orán (Argentina), the Eucharistic celebration for the beatification of the martyrs Pietro Ortiz de Zárate, Argentine diocesan priest, Vicar of Jujuy, and Giovanni Antonio Solinas, an Italian priest of the Society of Jesus, killed in hatred of the faith on October 27, 1683 in Valle del Zenta together with a group of lay people, including some converted Indians (see Fides, 15/10/2021; 3/1/2022).
The two priests traveled to the Chaco Salteño region to bring the Word of God to the indigenous peoples, but they were martyred by the Tobas and Mocovíes tribes. Every year, in October, a pilgrimage is organized from the town of Pichanal to the place of martyrdom, located about 3 kilometers away, presided over by the Bishop.
On the eve of the beatification of the "Martyrs of Zenta", which will be presided over by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Agenzia Fides asked some questions to the Bishop of the diocese of San Ramón de la Nueva Orán, Monsignor Luis Antonio Scozzina, OFM.

Your Excellency, how did the local community prepare for the beatification?
The local community prepared itself above all through prayer, then work commissions were organized to better organize the event. The different communities of the diocese of Nueva Oran organized themselves to communicate the great event that was about to take place. Parish missions were also organized during which each family received a triptych with biographical notes on the martyrs of Zenta and a prayer. In these days preceding the Beatification, a triduum was organized so that each community could live this vigil with the missionary rosary, Eucharistic adoration and the Holy Mass on the eve, in the Cathedral.
On Saturday July 2, Mass with the rite of beatification will be celebrated, in the presence of hundreds of faithful, bishops, priests, men and women religious.
On Sunday July 3, the mass of thanksgiving for the beatification will be celebrated: in the morning at the place of martyrdom, and in the afternoon in the town of Jujuy, where one of the martyrs, Pedro Ortiz from Zarate, was a native.

What is the meaning of this beatification today, what are the aspects that seem relevant to you?
For the man of today, the beatification of the martyrs of Zenta means above all the recognition of the sanctity of these lands, sprinkled with the life of these men and women. It signifies courage, faith, devotion and testimony. The elements that stand out are covenant, mission and martyrdom. To renew itself in a pluriform perspective, a Church with different faces. Being "outgoing", on a mission, going to the existential peripheries, listening to all men and women. The witness of the martyrs invites us to put ourselves at the service of others.

Your Excellency, what fruits do you expect?
May the Church walk synodally. We celebrate the consecration of a martyred community, who listened to the Word and the Spirit, and embarked on the mission, they walked together with the sole objective of bringing Jesus. This is why the expected fruits are the renewal of our faith, of our dedication, of our mission, of our Christian being, reaching in particular those who are far or distant. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 1/7/2022)