From September 13-16, volunteers and friends of the Ecuadorian organization Blessed Pius IX Circle and of Brazil’s Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute joined in a campaign that started in Brazil and extended to several Amazonian countries. Collecting signatures for a petition asking for “A Catholic and Prosperous Amazon,” they toured most capitals of the Ecuadorian East: Tena, Puyo, Macas, and Baños de Agua Santa.
The inhabitants of these cities approached the young volunteers, collecting signatures amid proclamations and songs, to thank God for the grace of evangelization and the great natural gifts of the Amazon region.
The caravanners explained to the public the reasons for the petition. Very few people knew about the Synod that started in Rome this week, which has given rise to considerable controversy over the paradigm shift that would ensue concerning the evangelization of Amazon areas.
The cities visited by the volunteers of both organizations have close links to the Catholic Church and particularly to Our Lady of the Rosary, who commands great devotion in the Amazon region. Puyo, also called Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii of Puyo is a city founded in the eighteenth century by the Dominican friar Alvaro Valladares and consecrated to Our Lady of the Rosary to this day.
Macas, another provincial capital visited, is even older, as the area was first evangelized in the sixteenth century by Friar Hernando de Benavente, who founded the city along with several indigenous chiefs that embraced the Catholic Faith. Also from that time is the invaluable miraculous image kept in the city’s cathedral, the Most Pure Virgin of Macas (photos), an old and smoked print that, as tradition recounts, in 1592 took on vivid colors in front of all the area natives, who then fervently embraced the Faith.
The last stop, the city of Baños de Agua Santa, keeps in its central church one of the most miraculous statues of Ecuador, which has been the protagonist of numerous prodigies. As a way of thanking for graces received, those who benefited from miracles paid for the commissioning of great paintings (with a size proportional to the scope of the miracle) attesting to Our Lady’s generosity when caring for her children. The statue remains in the Church to this day.
The more than 2,000 people who signed the petition welcomed this initiative to support the right of our indigenous brothers to know the true Faith and to move forward with a healthy and Christian development of our Amazon region under Our Lord Jesus Christ and his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. The signatures add to over 22,000 others delivered to the Vatican by representatives of the Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute, the institution leading this initiative.
We ask Our Lady of the Rosary, Protectress of the Amazon and of the souls living there, to intercede and obtain the grace of evangelization for the vast Amazonian lands and for the apostolic zeal, which did so much for Amazonian villages and their peoples, to resurface at the current Synod in Rome.
Our Lady of the Rosary of Macas, pray for us.
Translated by the staff of Pan-Amazon Synod-Watch.
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