Peru - "Welcome home, Father Yankuam Jintia." Fr Bolla returns to Kuyuntsa, his missionary ground for 50 years

16 May 2017

(ANS - Kuyuntsa) – In the early hours of Sunday 7 May, Salesians, lay people and relatives of Fr Luigi Bolla, began the pilgrimage that brought the remains of the Salesian missionary to San Lorenzo and then to Kuyuntsa. Fr Bolla died in 2012 and soon the indigenous Achuar population demanded that the body of the man they called their father should rest in their beloved land. 

For the Salesian Provinces of Peru and Ecuador, and for the Achuar, it was a significant and historic event. The remains of the Salesian missionary have come after a long pilgrimage to their final destination, the Salesian community of Kuyuntza - in the province of Datem del Marañón, Loreto region - where for 50 years Fr Bolla devoted himself with hard and patient commitment to the education and evangelization of the indigenous communities of the Peruvian Amazon.

Coming from Yurimaguas, Fr Bolla's remains travelled for over 10 hours along the Huallaga and Maranon rivers. On Wednesday, 10 May, at 10.00 a.m. local time, the central celebration in memory of the great missionary took place in the presence of the Achuar community. "Yankuam Jintia," as he was called by the Achuar in the local language (meaning "Journey of Twilight”) is now among his people, in what was his home for decades.

Fr Bolla's remains were given a significant reception in Kuyuntsa. Hundreds of Achuar were waiting, with a billboard saying "Welcome, Father Yankuam Juntia."

Fr Diego Clavijo, SDB, a missionary in the area, commented that "Fr Bolla worked as a missionary on the border between Ecuador and Peru. His name is emblematic for a warrior people: he was called Yankuam Juntia because he was the missionary who illuminated with the light of the Gospel this people who lived for war and killed for witchcraft. "

He went on to say: "The Achuar people demanded that Fr Bolla's body should remain in their land, because the dead continue to live with the living. The Achuar have no cemeteries, people are buried in the house and the dead remain in close association with the living." Fr Bolla continues to be in close union with the people he loved.



ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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