Santiago de Chile. The Venerable Fr. Mariano Avellana has integrated the exhibition “Guardians of the Soul of Chile” which was presented for one month by the Catholic Pontifical University of Chile in connection with the bicentennial of the republic.
The initiative wanted to emphasize the figures of the two saints, three Blessed and fourteen Venerable or Servants of God whom Chile has produced, as a bouquet of the best of its spirit in the 200 years of independent life.
In the exhibition Fr. Mariano Avellana has taken the place of a legitimate son of Chile by adoption, since he arrived in the country in 1873 at the age of 29, gave missions tirelessly for more than 30 years and died in a Chilean mining town on May 14, 1904.
The exhibition summarized the life and work of the Chilean saints and those on the way to the altars, through images and texts, relics, personal objects, documents and writings that recounted the extraordinary testimony of the love of God and neighbor of that select group of fellow countrymen.
With this they wanted to emphasize for the community the fruit of God’s word in the Chilean land through a tenacious spiritual and social work done by the church during more than four and a half centuries which left a very deep mark in the independent Chile.
Father Mariano Avellana thus emerged as the exemplary missionary who left family, property and country to give his life, in another land, especially to the sick, the prisoners and the most abandoned; who preached preferably in small towns, rustic shantytowns and mining camps disseminated through the long Chilean land.
His figure, placed side by side with a cardinal, two bishops and a bouquet of religious and lay persons who acted or performed works in fields like education, contemplation, missions, social action, the family and others, gave the impression of being “guardians of Chile’s soul” proposed by the exhibition.
The exhibition has been a privileged opportunity to widen the knowledge and public diffusion of Frl Mariano, who is waiting for the earthly glorification since the Pope Johannes Paul II recognized in 1987 the heroism of his virtues, when de declared him Venerable.