Argentina – Crowds in Viedma celebrate canonization of Artemide Zatti, "the holy nurse of Patagonia"

31 October 2022

(ANS - Viedma) - Hundreds of faithful Catholics and devotees of Artemide Zatti, SDB, braved the inclement weather during the weekend just past, Oct. 29-30, to participate in Viedma in the official celebrations organized by the diocese and Salesian community on account of the canonization of the "holy nurse of Patagonia."

The activities began as early as Saturday morning with delegations of faithful arriving in Viedma from all over the country, especially young people between the ages of 15 and 25, who were welcomed at the various Salesian facilities of the work in Viedma and Carmen de Patagones - a district located opposite Viedma, on the other side of the Río Negro.

On the occasion, the saint's direct relatives gathered to share lunch and recall their own experiences and those told by those who knew Zatti's work in those localities.

On Saturday, there were also other activities organized by the Salesian community, and always with the "Don Bosco" parish as the epicenter: the "Getting to know Br. Zatti" event, followed by the hike along "Br. Zatti's path"; then, the tour whereby young people and pilgrims visited the different locations Zatti carried out his work of service to others.

The series of events concluded Sunday with celebrations in the "Jorge Ferreira" park, where a huge stage had been set up for the main ceremony: a Mass presided over by the Bishop of Viedma, Salesian Bishop Esteban Laxague, and concelebrated by Msgr. Fernando Croxatto, Archbishop of Bahía Blanca; Bishop of Zarate-Campana, Bishop Pedro María Laxague; Salesian Bishop Emeritus of Río Gallegos, Bishop Juan Carlos Romanín, and priests and deacons from different parts of the country, totaling about 50 priests.

As for the civil authorities, the celebration was also attended by the Vice Governor of Río Negro Province, Alejandro Palmieri, and the mayors of Viedma, Pedro Pesatti, and Patagones, José Luis Zara, as well as several political authorities and security forces.

Also placed on the stage, in addition to the altar for the celebration, were the relics of St. Artemide Zatti, received in a casket carried in procession by the "Don Bosco" parish of Viedma.

And despite the strong wind and rain, which threatened its suspension, hundreds of faithful from different parts of the country gathered to take part in the celebration. Among them were direct relatives of the new saint who live in Bahía Blanca and cities in southern Buenos Aires province.

"We ask for holiness; it is the most beautiful gift, to live the Gospel of Jesus. It's all there! And how different the world would be if the Gospel reached deep into our hearts," Bishop Esteban Laxague said during the Mass. "St. Artemide Zatti," he added again in his homily, "intercede for us with God and help us to live the Gospel as a way to fulfill ourselves. God visits us as God's greatest joy is to meet His sons and daughters."

At the end of the ceremony, a pilgrimage was held along the city's riverfront, carrying the saint's relics in procession. After a distance of about 3 kilometers, the walk ended at the "Don Bosco" parish, where there was an agape moment shared by all delegations, feasting in the oratory, games and cultural activities.

The closing ceremony was the final blessing for all participants.


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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