Loading
Pope's plan to visit Bonaria shrine thrills pastor
The statue of Our Lady of Bonaria. CNA file photo.
The statue of Our Lady of Bonaria. CNA file photo.

.- Father Giovannino Tolu said his heart began racing when he heard that Pope Francis will the visit the shrine he oversees on the Italian island of Sardinia, making it the fourth time he has received a pontiff.

Pope Francis announced at the end of his May 15 general audience that he will travel to the city of Cagliari in September to venerate Our Lady of Bonaria at the basilica of the same name.

“Can’t you hear my heart going tick, tick, tick?” Fr. Tolu, the basilica’s pastor, asked in reaction to the Pope’s declaration.

“We still don’t know yet if Pope Francis will be here one day or if he will be here several days because we just found out yesterday about this,” Fr. Tolu explained in a May 16 interview with CNA.

But regardless of how long the pontiff stays, Fr. Tolu said, “I feel my heart has accelerated; we have the joy of already having had three Popes here.”

Pope Paul VI visited the shrine in 1970, Blessed John Paul II in 1985 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2008.

“The shrine has a special tie to this Pope because he is from Argentina,” the priest explained.

The link between the two places a world apart is that the city of Buenos Aires is named after Our Lady of Bonaria.

The city’s Spanish founder, Pedro de Mendoza, wanted to name the area “City of the Most Holy Trinity,” but Sardinian sailors, who knew of the special devotion to the Mary, wanted to name the city after her.

They then agreed to call the city “City of the Most Holy Trinity and Port of Our Lady of Bonaria.” But because the name was so long it was eventually shortened to “Bonaria,” which is translated into Spanish as “Buenos Aires,” which means “good air.”

“Our basilica here is an old sanctuary from the time of the Spanish soldiers who came here and built a small church for the soldiers,” said Fr. Tolu.

“But in 1704 they felt the need to expand the basilica, and there is a lot of devotion here,” he added.

Fr. Tolu revealed that the connection between the city and the basilica will soon be further strengthened by a small, blessed replica of the Madonna that measures around four feet (1.10 meters) and will be sent to Buenos Aires on July 1.

The devotion to Our Lady of Bonaria originated in 1370 when a violent storm began to strip all of the equipment from a Spanish sailing vessel.

But when a heavy wooden chest fell overboard and hit the water, the sea suddenly calmed.

The box was found on the shore at the port of Bonaria by some friars, who discovered a locust-wood statue of the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus in her left arm and a lit candle in her right hand.

Devotion to the Madonna soon took root among the island’s inhabitants and especially among the sailors who looked to her for protection.

 

Tags: Papal Visits, Pope Francis


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Aug
21

Liturgical Calendar

August 21, 2014

Saint Pius X, Pope

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 19:23-30

Gospel
Date
08/19/14
08/18/14
08/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ezek 36: 23-28
Gospel:: Mt 22: 1-14

Saint of the Day

Pope St. Pius X »

Saint
Date
08/19/14
08/17/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 19:23-30

Homily
Date
08/19/14
08/18/14
08/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: