Argentina – Bishop Laxague, SDB, Bishop of Viedma: "To go on pilgrimage with Br. Zatti is to live in the certainty that he walks with us"

(ANS - Viedma) - This weekend, on Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19, the city of Viedma shall welcome thousands of pilgrims. Under the motto "Like Br. Zatti, let us not leave to tomorrow the good we can do today," they come to Viedma to pray and to give thanks in the city where the "relative of the poor" did his work and where his remains rest today. Within hours of this important ecclesial and devotional event, Bishop of Viedma, Msgr. Esteban Laxague SDB, gave an interview to "donboscosur," the website of the Salesians of the Province of South Argentina.

"Br. Zatti is a reason for gratitude and joy for the people," the Salesian prelate began. "Gratitude for the much good he gave to the people of those years. There is a very vivid memory of this in the city, especially because there are still those who knew him. A memory that is present every day since the city hospital is called 'Don Zatti,' as well as a street, a neighborhood, a house that houses families passing through for health reasons and the Catholic club. This memory has been renewed and deepened throughout this journey, first toward beatification and then toward canonization."

"But this gratitude," he continues, "is also for what Zatti gives us today: how many testimonies I have heard from those who have found in him God's consolation, health in illness, companionship and support in difficult times. Gratitude for yesterday and today, then."

Bishop Laxague also explained why Zatti is a source of joy for Viedma: "Zatti is recognized and appreciated in so many parts of the world. And he is one of us, shining in the sky today. He is one who knows us well. He has lived in this land blessed by Río Negro, with a great future, and at the same time with so many brothers and sisters who have been left behind. He is someone who favored the most forgotten and was an answer for those to whom no one was giving an answer. Someone who always knew how to open paths of hope: healing health, promoting fraternity, opening to faith and preparing for an encounter with the Father."

"As a Church, going on pilgrimage with Zatti means living in the certainty that he walks with us, as he did yesterday with his people, and his presence encourages us to do good, all the good that is within our reach, to be leaven of something new. This 2023 pilgrimage, the first with Br. Zatti proclaimed a saint, makes us discover Zatti walking beside us and invites us by his example and his word: 'Let us not leave to tomorrow the good we can do today,'" the prelate further illustrated.

Afterwards, the bishop also spoke about his individual relationship with St. Artemide Zatti: "When I am in Viedma - not every day of the week, because this diocese is very large - I pass in front of his reliquary that is kept in the parish 'San Juan Bosco,' the place where Zatti lived his last years. And I always talk with him, whether it is to ask him for that concrete love of predilection for the smallest and most suffering, or to entrust him with a sick person, or to ask him to give me that faith and trust in God that he had, or simply to ask him a question that worries me and to which I have no answer."

"I feel him close to me, very present and committed to the service that the Church has entrusted to me," he added. "I always count on him. I remember that when the Apostolic Nuncio told me that Pope John Paul II wanted me to become bishop of the diocese of Viedma, with all that this new life meant, leaving the Salesian life as I was living it, one certainty I had and that encouraged me was that a very good Salesian would always accompany me: Br. Zatti. And that is how I lived and live this ministry. Br. Zatti Saint is and remains a great collaborator in the mission to which the Church is called today. Let's think, for example, that today Pope Francis invites us to be a Samaritan Church: what could be better than learning through Zatti to live in this way?"

And regarding the message that Zatti leaves to humanity today, Bishop Laxague says, "Zatti certainly speaks to each person and helps him discover his path to holiness. Different paths, but in the certainty that God loves us all and has brought us into the world for one another: in this lies our daily happiness, which anticipates that of Paradise. St. Artemide Zatti's message is that we are called to live in God's love, to never stop doing the good we can, to have a predilection for the last and the left behind, with humility and joy, to need everyone, to embrace pain with hope, to enjoy the small and the everyday of each day, to take on life with responsibility."


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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