300,000 youths make pilgrimage to Virgin of Itatí in Argentina

Shrine of the Virgin of Itatí The pilgrim image of Maria de Itatí and the multitude of pilgrims in front of the basilica at the Shrine of the Virgin of Itatí in the Archdiocese of Corrientes, Argentina, on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. | Photo credit: Itateñas News

Under the theme “Together with Mary, we meet again as a synodal Church,” more than 300,000 young people from northeastern Argentina made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Virgin of Itatí in the Archdiocese of Corrientes on Saturday, Sept. 17.

The youths representing different dioceses gathered together again in person after two years, expressing concerns, expectations, and a commitment to the reality that they have to live in that region of the country.

“We are experiencing a true festival of brothers because we are family. A Church that journeys, makes noise, as Pope Francis proposes to us,” said Marianela Villar, the coordinator of youth ministry for the Diocese of Posadas.

The young people walked the more than six miles between Corrientes and Itatí, accompanied by 100 support vehicles.

“We are celebrating that the youth embrace our Mother who cares for and protects them. She shows the way, giving us strength and hope every day,” Villar said.

In this encounter with the Mother of Itatí, the pilgrims arrived at Mary’s shrine expressing their joy: “We feel great joy in our hearts because after two long years of waiting and disorientation, we can once again shelter under your mantle,” a teen from the province of Entre Ríos commented excitedly.

Bishop Hugo Nicolás Barbaro of San Roque de Presidencia Roque Sáenz Peña, who gave the homily for the central Mass of the 43rd pilgrimage to the shrine, said that “the Virgin is not indifferent to a child who allows himself to be corrupted.”

“Listen to her sweet motherly voice; she wants you to be happy, capable of loving,” for you to share “the richness of your healthy, good life,” he encouraged.

“I place myself in your hands, Mother; guide me so that I may always do the will of God. You are the cause of my joy, of my peace. Do not ignore our supplications, Mother; deliver us from all danger, oh glorious and blessed Virgin,” the prelate prayed.

Some of the young pilgrims commented: “We look forward to this time with hope and joy. We want, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to walk together, build bridges, and embody the solutions proposed by our region.” 

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.