Chile - The "Broken Christ", of the suffering and the marginalized

26 April 2018

(ANS - Santiago) – This 2018 marks two years since the violent attack of desecration at the temple of the "Gratitud Nacional" when a statue of Jesus Crucified was removed and severely damaged, an act that shook the public opinion of the country and of the world. Tuesday, April 24, the community of the sanctuary, presided over by Fr Bernardo García, Rector of the Sanctuary, took part in the repositioning of the statue, defined by the parishioners as "the Broken Christ of Peace."

This meaningful gesture took place within the Eucharistic celebration presided over by Fr Guillermo Basañes, General Councilor for Salesian Missions, currently on an Extraordinary Visit to the Salesian centers in Chile.

The Shrine dedicated to Mary Help of Christians now has a new place where the faithful may enjoy moments of prayer and recollection before the statue of the Broken Christ of Peace, of the suffering and the marginalized. After almost two years from the acts of violence, the image of the Crucified Christ has been restored, but retains some consequences of the damage suffered, acting as symbols of Jesus' suffering.

"This Christ wants us to be his feet, with whom we can go forward, and his arms, with which we can welcome," Fr García said on this occasion.

Located on the right side of the temple, it will be a place that will welcome many suffering people, "who come with a prayer to ask Him for help, to support them because their child is sick or because they do not have jobs or because they need company and want be heard."

It will also be the "Christ of the elderly, who goes to church and looks at Him; the Christ of immigrants, the Broken Christ of Peace who understands pain."

Fr Basañes recalled that the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians was the first to receive the visit of the relics of Don Bosco in 2009 and Chile the world's first nation in which it began that long journey on the occasion of the Bicentenary of the birth of the Saint of Young People.

Before the final blessing, the restored statue was unveiled and the Salesian Provincial in Chile, Fr Carlo Lira, commented, "the Lord redeems us through a suffering love, a love that suffers. May this suffering Christ, on the Cross, mutilated by violence and hatred, motivate us all to seek in love the construction of justice and peace."


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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