Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tito Yupanqui could become the first Bolivian saint


The bishops of Bolivia have opened the beatification process of Francisco Tito Yupanqui. If approved, he would become the first blessed Bolivian. He was born in 1550 and was one of the first indigenous people to convert to Catholicism. 

He carved the image of the Virgin of Copacabana, which is an extremely important figure in Bolivia. The miracles attributed to the image have prompted the possible holiness. 

Carlos Federico de la Riva -Bolivia's ambassador to the Vatican
"The attribution of the miracle is not directly related to the sculptor, Tito Yupanqui. Rather the miracles are linked to the image of the Virgin. That's simply a fact."

The sculptor is so popular in his native country, there's actually a village in the western part of Bolivia, named after Tito Yupanqui. Now, Catholics in Bolivia are hoping his beatification will come soon. 

Carlos Federico de la Riva -Bolivia's ambassador to the Vatican
"In a way Bolivians see it as justice. People say, 'gee, all the saints are from other countries,' as if there was no room for holiness in Bolivia.”

If he does in fact become a blessed, the ambassador says it will promote a Christian way of living” in his home country.

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