Celebrations begin for 500th anniversary of first Mass in Chile

Punta Arenas, Chile, Nov 15, 2018 / 10:56 am (ACI Prensa).- A Eucharistic procession through the Patagonian city of Punta Arenas launched the 500th anniversary commemorations of the first Mass celebrated in Chile.

Friar Pedro de Valderrama, the chaplain for the expedition of the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, offered Mass on Sunday, Nov. 11, 1520 in Fortescue Bay on the shores of the Strait of Magellan.

This Holy Mass at the extreme southern tip of Chile became the first Eucharist celebrated in the South American country.

On Nov. 11, the faithful from different communities gathered at the Human Rights Plaza in downtown Punta Arenas, the capital of the Magallanes Region, for a period of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament to help launch this major celebration, which will close on Nov. 11, 2020.

Bishop Bernardo Bastres of Punta Arenas, led the prayers and a Eucharistic procession to the Punta Arenas cathedral.

When participants arrived at the cathedral, the bishop said they were giving “public witness to the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.”

“Processing down the main street of our city, we gather in our common home, which welcomes us with love, warmth and hope,” he said.

The celebration of the Eucharist then followed. Bishop Bastres reflected on “the mystery of the Eucharist in its two dimensions, that of the celebration which makes Christ really present in the bread and wine, and at the same time the Eucharist invites us to break it, distribute it and share it with others.”

The second dimension, the bishop said, is that “if Christ gives himself to us as food for our lives, we must help everyone to have the necessary food to live in the dignity of a child of God.”

Credit: Diocese of Punta Arenas.

 

This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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