Marian celebration draws hundreds of thousands to Argentina

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Some 300,000 people participated in the 112th anniversary of the Pontifical Coronation of Our Lady of Itati, the patroness of the province of Corrientes in Argentina.

A Mass in honor of the Our Lady if Itati was celebrated on July 16 by Archbishop Andres Stanovnik of Corrientes.

During his homily, Archbishop Stanovnik underscored Mary’s virtue in serving others, and stressed the importance of following her example, especially in family life.

“The evangelist notes that Mary went with haste, which reflects her interior disposition towards service,” the archbishop said. “The Church aspires to promote citizens who are more responsible in their obligations and more conscious of their rights.”

The devotion to Our Lady of Itati has its origins in the account of Spanish Jesuit missionary and a group of locals who converted to the Catholic faith, who were saved from an attack by another tribe after they prayed the rosary.

According to the story, a passage was opened through Yaguari River and the people of Itati were saved due to the intercession of the Blessed Mother.

On July 16, 1900, at the doors of the Shrine of the Most Holy Cross of the Miracles in Corrientes, Our Lady of Itati was crowned by Bishop Rosendo de la Lastra y Gordillo, on behalf of Pope Leo XIII, before all the bishops of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, and a multitude of the faithful.

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