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Pope Francis rejoices: Finally, an Argentine blessed

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 09/06/21

Pope Francis joyfully shares the news of the beatification of Mamerto Equiú, Bishop of Cordoba, Argentina.

At the end of the Angelus on September 5, 2021, Pope Francis greeted the beatification of Mamerto Esquiú, Friar Minor and Bishop of Cordoba (Argentina), which was celebrated in Catamarca on September 4. “Finally, an Argentine blessed!” he exclaimed with joy.

The pontiff described the new blessed as a “zealous herald of the Word of God for the building up of the ecclesial and civil community.” He prayed that his example would help “to always unite prayer and the apostolate, and to serve the causes of peace and fraternity,” before inviting the crowd to applaud the new blessed.

Few saints and blesseds in Argentina

The exclamation of Pope Francis is explained by the fact that Argentina, a great Catholic country, paradoxically has only a few saints and blessed.

Currently, the only two Argentine saints are St, Héctor Valdivielso Sáez and St. José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero. Ten Argentines have been beatified.

Mamerto Esquiú, holy bishop

Born in Argentina in 1826, Mamerto Esquiú became a member of the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans) in 1842 and was ordained in 1848. A teacher at the Catamarca seminary in his early years, he became involved in politics and became a deputy and member of the council of the government of his province.

In 1862, he felt called to the missions and left for Bolivia, including a teaching assignment at the seminary in Sucre. Pope Leo XIII noticed his work and decided to make him bishop of Cordoba in 1880. His efforts at the head of this diocese were particularly marked by charity and prayer.

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