20,000 Chileans to participate in vigil on eve of beloved priest’s canonization

.- More than 20,000 people are expected to participate in a vigil on October 22, the eve of the canonization of Father Alberto Hurtado, at the saint-to-be’s shrine in Santiago. The Chilean priest will be canonized on October 23 by Pope Benedict XVI at St. Peter’s in Rome.

According to organizers of the vigil, the faithful will begin to gather around 10pm local time on Saturday, October 22, in the plaza facing Father Hurtado’s shrine.  The prayer vigil will be led by Bishop Gonzalo Duarte of Valparaiso.

On October 23 at 10am, thousands of families will participate in a Mass at the shrine in thanksgiving for the future saint’s canonization.

The executive secretary of the Commission for the Canonization of Blessed Hurtado, Father Cristian Precht, noted that during the entire month of October will be a month of joy for Chileans in honor of the famous priest who “invites all to travel on the road to sanctity with him.”

He also said that various other dioceses in the country are planning similar vigils and thanksgiving Masses.

The rector of the Shrine of Blessed Hurtado, Father Juan Carlos Bussenius, expressed his desire that the Shrine and its plaza be a place of welcome for all who will feel blessed during that weekend.

“The idea is that the vigil be a place to celebrate, to pray and better know the multiple facets of Father Hurtado and his spiritual and pastoral legacy.  The Mass will be a great celebration in which everyone will give thanks to God for the gift Father Hurtado,” he added.

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