.- The bishops of Chile emphasized the recent signs of hope and encouragement God has given to the country in a message they released following their 100th plenary assembly.
In their Nov. 22 statement, the bishops expressed gratitude to God for the numerous “signs of hope, big and small, that encourage us in our daily walk.”
In addition to the courageous faith of the 33 Chilean miners rescued after 69 days underground, the bishops also pointed to the “spiritual strength” Chileans have displayed in dealing with the pain and suffering, and the loss of human life and property, resulting from the earthquake that struck the country last Feb. 27.
All of this proves that “not only do we have a glorious past we must remember, but also a great story yet to be built,” they said, referring to the celebration of the country’s bicentennial of independence. The present and the future of the country will be different if Chileans “put Jesus first,” the bishops said.
They also underscored the importance of devotion to Mary, “without whom, history teaches us, nothing can begin or begin anew.” She is the “Queen and Mother of Mercy” and brings us “Jesus, the blessed fruit of her womb, our Redeemer and Lord.”
Mass at Shrine of Maipu
On the Solemnity of Christ the King on Nov. 21, Catholics from across Chile gathered at the Marian Shrine of Maipu for Mass to thank God for the perseverance of faith in the Chilean people during their 200 year history as a nation.
Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz of Santiago urged the faithful to put the truths of Jesus Christ into practice “with the eagerness of the first apostles and the saints.”