At a Mass marking one year since the rescue of 33 trapped men from the San Jose Mine, Chilean Bishop Gaspar Quintana of Copiapo said Christians should always entrust difficulties to God.
Survivor Omar Reygadas attended and spoke on behalf of the other miners, thanking God “for protecting us and that we came out safe and sound.”
“We are going to need time to thank everyone around the world for their prayers and the tears they shed for us,” Reygadas said.
As he celebrated Mass outside the mine, Bishop Quintana thanked the government, the rescue team, and the volunteers who offered help last year, as well as those in Chile and around the world who prayed for the success of the rescue operation.
After noting Christ's care for the handicapped and sick, Bishop Quintana called for better safety conditions for miners and all workers.
The end of the Mass featured the laying of the cornerstone for a memorial that will commemorate the mine accident and the rescue. Bishop Quintana led the effort to mark the events with a memorial, which will include a large cross as well as a grotto dedicated to Our Lady of the Candelaria.
Chilean First Lady Cecilia Morel attended the Mass and called last year's rescue was “an epiphany,” because the miners “ were born again after 70 days beneath this gigantic mountain, which our faith helped us move.”