The Church in Peru celebrated the beatification Sunday of Ceferino Namuncura with a Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne of Lima at the Salesian Basilica of Mary Help of Christians.
The Mass was attended by a host of bishops, priests, and representatives in Peru from the Argentinean government.
The beatification of the Mapuche Indian who became a Salesian brother was the first to ever be celebrated in Argentina. The ceremony took place in the city of Chimpay, where Cerefino was born, and was celebrated by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
The Superior General of the Salesians, Father Pascual Chavez, called the beatification “an invitation to believe in young people, and also in those who have barely been evangelized, and to discover the fecundity of the Gospel that destroys nothing of that which is truly human.”
Ceferino Namuncura was born on August 26, 1886 in Chimpay and was baptized at the age of 2. At the age of 11 he asked his father to take him to Buenos Aires to study with the Salesians in order to help his people. His motto was, “I want to study to be useful to my people.”
He traveled to Rome in hopes of becoming a priest. On May 11, 1905, at the age of 19, he died in the Eternal City from an unknown illness. He was declared venerable by Pope Paul VI on June 22, 1972. His cause was opened in 1957 and a miracle in 2000 paved the way for his beatification.