Colombia – Great celebration in Cúcuta on centenary of death of Blessed Luigi Variara

08 February 2023

(ANS - Cúcuta) - The city of Cúcuta, Colombia, located on the border with Venezuela, woke up on Feb. 1, 2023, to the sound of the marching band announcing in its streets the remembrance of the death of Blessed Luigi Variara, SDB, founder of the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, who knew Cúcuta as his last city on his earthly pilgrimage.

Fr. Variara arrived in that city when he was already ill with uremia, and after he had already been assigned to Táriba, Venezuela, to remove him from the Religious Institute he had founded; it was then for medical reasons that he was transferred to Cúcuta, where he would benefit from a milder climate, and where he could count on the hospitality of the Faccini family.

Mr. Luigi Faccini, of Italian descent like himself, was then Italian Consul in the city, and Fr. Variara thus returned in a sense to his origins, among his people, and to the land he had loved so much, Colombia, and where he had spent his life on behalf of leprosy patients, at the time confined to the lazaretto of Agua de Dios, far from society.

To remember him, the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts celebrated the centenary of the death of their Founder, now Blessed, last Feb. 1, with a long celebration that began in the morning with a procession of the bands of their two schools - "Sagrados Corazones" and "Padre Luis Variara" - to the Cathedral dedicated to St. Joseph.

There a solemn Eucharist was celebrated, presided over by Msgr. Oscar Urbina, Archbishop Emeritus of Villavicencio, and concelebrated by Fr. Jean Luis Playà, Central Delegate of the Rector Major for the Secretariat for the Salesian Family; of the Salesian Provincials of Colombia-Bogotá, Gómez Rúa John Jairo, and Colombia-Medellin, and Fr. Valencia Mosquera Luis Fernando; other Salesian priests, priests belonging to the Secular Movement "Father Luis Variara" and other priests from the local clergy.

Also present at the celebration were some civil authorities, many descendants of the Faccini family, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, members of the Association of Mary Help of Christians, (ADMA), students and former students of the schools, citizens of Cúcuta and, of course, many Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, led by the Superior General, Mother Eulalia Marín Rueda, her Council and several other religious of the community.

At the end of the Eucharist, the jubilee year of Father Variara's death was declared open and a procession was formed to take all the participants to the "Sagrados Corazones" institute, where the House Museum, located at the very place of his death, was inaugurated.

After the cultural act and the fraternal agape, all participants were able to visit the House Museum and enjoy the beauty of these new spaces, renovated by engineer Yimmy Chacón R., who was able to restore the original aspects of that environment, giving a place of welcome, contemplation and prayer to those who want to get closer to the figure of this beautiful figure of Salesian holiness.

It was a day of great spiritual and historical significance, crowned by the grace granted by the Church in the form of a plenary indulgence to those who visit these places during the jubilee year of Blessed Variara's death.

"May his memory and the example of his life accompany us, so that we may contribute to making sense of human suffering starting from the cross of Christ, so that one day we may come to enjoy the heavenly homeland with Him," members of the Salesian Family of Cúcuta enthusiastically affirm.


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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