AMERICA/ARGENTINA - The Martyrs of Zenta: persevering in sowing the Gospel, peace and reconciliation among Indigenous groups, they gave their lives by forgiving their aggressors

Saturday, 16 July 2022 beatification   missionaries killed   martyrs  

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - On July 2, 2022, the Argentine, Pedro Ortiz de Zárate, diocesan priest, and Giovanni Antonio Solinas, Italian, missionary of the Society of Jesus, SJ were beatified in San Ramón de la Nueva Orán, Argentina. They dedicated their lives to the transmission of faith and the defense of indigenous peoples. They were killed on October 27, 1683. They are known as the "Martyrs of Zenta", named after the region in northwestern Argentina where they were committed to bringing the Gospel to the Hohomás indigenous people. Other Christians, 18 in all, also gave their lives in this mission (see Fides, 4/7/2022).
The cause of beatification of the two martyr priests was carried out by the diocese of Orán under the guidance of the Postulator, Sister Isabel Fernández, of the Congregation of the Hermanas Educacionistas Franciscanas de Cristo Rey (Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King). The testimony of how much this task left a mark was released by the General Curia SJ.
"It is an immense joy to offer this witness. For me, daughter of the Church, martyrdom is a sublime gift and the supreme proof of love, because a disciple freely accepts death in order to follow Jesus. As a daughter of this Argentine land, I admire the men and women who gave their life to build this nation and to sow the Gospel.
The presence of indigenous peoples is ancient and very diverse. Their encounter with the Spanish is full of lights and shadows, which are increasingly being studied. But wonderful examples always emerge from the history of evangelization"....