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Pope on Bl. Father José Brochero of Argentina

Vatican City, 14 September 2013: On the occasion of the beatification of Father José Gabriel Brochero of Argentina on Saturday in Cordoba, Pope Francis has written a moving letter addressed to Archbishop José María Arancedo, President of the Episcopal Conference of Argentina. In the letter Pope praised the priest for his mission, his approach to his parishioners especially the poor and the sick.

This shepherd had the smell of his sheep, wrote Pope Francis, and that he became poor among the poor. He always fought to stay close to God and the people, especially the suffering ones. Pope Francis recalled how Fr Brochero, the pastor on his mule, travelled long and desolate roads of 200 square kilometers of his parish, going from house to house looking for people to ask if they needed anything and to invite them to spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He knew every corner of the parish.

Brochero’s visit was a visit from Jesus to each family. He bore the image of the Virgin, carried the prayer book with the Word of God, and things to celebrate daily Mass. Brochero chatted and talked to them in a way that everyone understood because it came from his heart, faith and love he had for Jesus.

On arrival in his parish, he started to lead men and women to Cordoba for a retreat with the Jesuits. He prayed for long before the crucifix to know, to feel and to taste the great love of the heart of Jesus, and all ended with God's forgiveness in confession with a priest full of charity and mercy.
Pope Francis greatly appreciated his apostolic courage and his compassionate heart, adding his ministry led everyone to receive the sacraments during the spiritual exercises, and to be good children of God, good brothers, good fathers and mothers. He did not stay in the parish office, but travelled on his mule in search of people and ended ill with leprosy. This is what Jesus wants today missionary disciples, wrote Pope Francis.

Brochero was a normal man, fragile, like any of us , but he met the love of Jesus, which let him work the heart by the mercy of God. He knew how to get out of petty selfishness that we all have, said the Pope. Brochero heard the call of God and chose the sacrifice to work for his kingdom, for the common good and for the dignity of every person as the son of God. He was faithful to the end: continued praying and celebrating Mass even as a blind leper. Pope Francis concluded his letter inviting all to imitate his life to understand his happiness.
Source: VR Sedoc


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