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Nuestra Señora de Itatí, Corrientes, Argentina

Commemorated on July 9
Nuestra Señora de Itatí, Corrientes, Argentina In 1615 a group of anti-evangelization Indians stole a beautiful image of the Virgin Mary that was in Yaguarí. Another group went to retrieve it and found it resting on a white stone.

She was taken to Yaguarí every day but returned to find the white stone perched on the banks of the Parana, and decided to move all the people there.
In 1624 the first transfiguration of his face and from there are numerous recorded authenticated miracles through the intercession of the patron saint of Corrientes.
Itatí is a capital city of the homonymous department in the north of the province of Corrientes, on the banks of the Paraná River, about 65 km east of the city of Corrientes and immediately across the border with Paraguay.
Itatí comes from the Guarani language "ita", rock, and "you", white, or "white stone" for lime deposits that were along the creek Caleria.
On several occasions during the year Itatí becomes one of the most important centers of Catholic pilgrimage of Argentina.
Thousands of faithful from around the country and in different media (highlighting the walks that leave from Corrientes), flocking to venerate the Virgin, located in the imposing Basilica. 


The survivors of the expedition of Juan Díaz de Solís to the Río de la Plata told that checking the affluent north find large deposits of gold and silver.
The scouts went up the Paraná and reached jumps Yaciretá-Apipé (in the present Province of Corrientes), who could not overcome their large barges. As the place seemed prosperous with animals and lush vegetation, good weather and a friendly native population, men remained in Yaguarí Caboto, indigenous people who received them.
The Franciscan priests came quickly to the region, where they began evangelizing work among the Indians would continue for centuries. Almost a hundred years after the first expedition of Solis, and from the south of Brazil, came to Yaguarí the first image of the Virgin.
Her face was beautiful, and her hair was black. Surprised by its size, because it was higher than usual (it measures 1.26 meters). It was composed of two different woods: the body was timbó a wood indigenous new world knew very well, and the face of walnut, a wood that only existed in Europe. From the old continent had also reached that would wear clothes. This image shows the Virgin Mary, both skin a brunette, standing on a crescent moon, with folded hands holding a rosary. He wears a blue cloak covering his head and a white robe.
The Indians were increasingly devotion to the image of the Virgin. However, in 1615, a group of natives who disagreed with the evangelising work of the Franciscans took the picture and hid. Another group of Indian devotees of the Virgin received the mission to find it in the estuaries of Paraná, no one knew better than them. Great was their surprise when they found a white stone on the bank of the river, illuminated in a light that could not explain, and wrapped in music that did not come from no more than part of the sky.
The Indians took the image to the Franciscan priest Fray Luis de Bolaños, who decided to take her to the chapel Yaguarí. However, the Virgin disappeared once again, to the horror and dismay of all the devotees. He was again found in the same spot on the white stone, which is said Itatí Guarani. Fray Bolaños realized that the will of the picture was to stay there, baby steps of Paraná, not Yaguarí.
It is for this reason that we decided to move all the people of Yaguarí to further reduction, founded on December 7, 1615 around the white stone with the name of Pueblo Indians of the Pure and Immaculate Conception of Our Lady of Itatí . In that place today stands the huge temple where pilgrims million people every year.
The July 16, 1900, the image was solemnly crowned by Pope Leo XIII. He was enthroned with the name of Queen of Paraná and Queen of Love February 3, 1910, Pope Pius X created the Diocese of Corrientes, and April 23, 1918, the Virgin of Itatí was proclaimed the patron and protector of Corrientes.
SPECIAL Transfiguration
The P. Bolaños, accompanied by Fray Alonso de San Buenaventura, performed feats of evangelization in the region, building the temple and the parsonage of the reduction in 1608 and established the parish and the town of Itatí the December 7, 1615.
Was pastor of the asunceno Fray Luis Gamarra, successor Bolaños, when the first Transfiguration of Our Lady took place at Easter 1624. Said about the father Gamarra: "There was an extraordinary move the face, and he was so cute and beautiful'd ever seen."
The Transfiguration lasted several days and was repeated several times in the following years, returning to hear, more than once, the same music that they heard when they found the Indians in the jungle.
In 1624, less than a decade after the founding of Itatí, Father Juan de Gamarra documented the numerous miracles performed Itatí Virgin in her village. He wrote in detail miracles collected from the protagonists and witnesses, endorsed by his superiors and the public notary of Corrientes. They are simple stories, like that of a blind girl whose birth mother asked her daughter to view Our Lady, making a novena, concluding that her daughter saw .
Also a 12 year old boy who was killed suddenly, a bonus tied to the head of a tape measure image, touched by her, the boy was coming to himself, healed and lived.
A similar case happened to an Indian who was bitten by a poisonous snake , it got worse and he was dead, but came the sacristan and tied a ribbon like the one in the head and the Indian came to and was cured. Another poignant case was that of a girl who died suddenly chest, his desperate mother placed him in the neck with a rosary that had touched the image and took running to the church in the temple girl revived.
One day the presence of the supernatural touched all the people, was the October 5, 1631, they were all asking Our Lady to spend the presence of drought and grasshoppers, several times that day an unknown music heard and for the singing of the Salve's face lit image with extreme beauty. The next day he again heard that indescribable music and were all very impressed and amazed.
Among the miracles that Mary did for their children Itatí, is the defense of the people, by the middle of 1700. Itatí stood out as an outpost of civilization, near the city of Corrientes. still in the area were numerous Indian peoples uncivilized and an invasion of these Indians was approaching the city. The weakness of the people against the invaders was known quantity. Some tried to organize a desperate defense. But most went to the temple to cry out for help to the Mother of Itatí. The Indian raid came ready to roll with everything. But the cry was heard, a deep and flowing channel between San José Yaguarí and prevented indigenous progress on saving it from destruction Itatí opened.
Word of mouth was spreading the fame of the favors of the Virgin. Not only miracles, but the immensity of spiritual gifts he has given to his children, and as given in the depths of hearts are difficult to collect.
A clear expression of love to the Virgin of Itatí are pilgrimages and visits to his party. In the early days was celebrated on December 26 and the festivities lasted until 1 January. After 1825 he moved to December 8, Feast of the Immaculate Conception. From the solemn papal coronation of the Virgin of Itatí in 1900, was established on July 9 as his feast day on July 16 and day of the great annual pilgrimage.


The Sanctuary is late Renaissance style. Central plant is in the form of a Greek cross, with the arm corresponding to the headwall, more elongated to accommodate the dressing room.
The measures of the temple are certainly remarkable: the length is 81 meters by 63 wide, covering an area of 2,900 square meters. The capacity is approximately 9,000 people. A 25 meter high roof is a 1,800 square meters.
The total height of the sanctuary is 80 meters, including in it a statue of the Virgin 7.50 meters high, cast in copper of 1,250 kg, blessed on July 16, 1941 and stands as Crown large dome.
In the construction of pharaonic building more than one million two hundred thousand bricks were used, 2500 cubic meters of sand, 1700 cubic meters of stone, two hundred and seventy thousand tons of iron, ten thousand square meters of tables, about 40 miles wooden crosspieces scaffolding and structure of reinforced concrete consumed about 12,500 tons of cement.
The dome of just over 26 meters in diameter is considered a masterpiece of engineering and is recorded among the world's largest , to the time of its construction was the eighth and leads yet in lot, some very famous as the El Escorial which measures 21.13 meters and the Pantheon in Paris that only reaches 20.30 meters. In 1947 he was covered with copper sheets.
The reinforced concrete structure can be said was complete in late 1940, agregándosele the floor, windows and doors, siding and plaster columns that take long and sharpened wit contractors to arm and lift the trusses much weight that served as props scaffolding and workers.
In the chancel is a sober high altar, attached to the wall, pointing the way to the contrast material. Travertine marble is pink and ocher Renaissance taste. At its center a niche that is unique to pierce the wall opens, so that the image of Our Lady of Itatí can be seen both from the nave, and from the dressing room, located behind and above the chancel .
The new temple was enabled on July 16, 1950, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Papal Coronation of the Virgin. authentic same day the holy image was taken from the old church to the new move her monumental sanctuary. Festivals and celebrations for the case were the greatest. Itati was moved to the depths on that unforgettable day. And it was not only Itatí but Corrientes, Chaco, Santa Fe, Formosa, Misiones, Entre Rios, ie the entire coastline and even other provinces during this event sent large delegations. The highest authorities of the nation and of the province, military, judges, Lords Archbishops, Bishops and all the clergy of Corrientes were present. That memorable day the temple of the Virgin is not finished yet lived.
It is concluded however beautiful chapel with an altar of marble, the large mural painting whose motif is the miracle of music as heard in the temple angels Gamarra for the year 1624, the work of Ulysses Tosi. Three bas-reliefs depicting the discovery of the Virgin, the founding of the town and the coronation, with ten windows in the chapel rundowns: St. Cyril of Alexandria and San Bernardo aside, Santo Domingo and Pope Pius IX Immaculate other, the four Evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, plus two of Pope Leo XIII's coronation and the first Bishop of Corrientes, Bishop Luis.


Most tender Mother of God and men, under the patronage of the Pure and Immaculate Conception of Our Lady of Itatí, looked with eyes of mercy for over three centuries, all you have invoked. It serves our needs your best I know them. Give us a great love of your Divine Son Jesus and a pure, humble and wise heart, patience in life, strength in temptation and consolation in death. 



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