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The Virgin of Itatí and religious tourism

Corrientes is a deeply religious province. In every town there is a story that excites. Today we tell you the story of her patron saint.

Itatí, turismo religioso

 Religious tourism  is one of the niches of the growing  tourist market  . The main  destinations  of this tourist typology are the holy places that represent places of devotion and  pilgrimage  , as well as sites highlighted by their historical-cultural peculiarity. This happens in  Corrientes , a province full of religiosity that annually receives hundreds of thousands of Argentines and foreigners participating in the various festivities.

In 1528 the  Franciscan Order  arrived in this region of Argentina and created the so-called Yaguarí Reduction. According to tradition, the image of Our Lady of  Itati was  found by  natives  on a stone (Itatí in Guaraní means “stone tip”) in the Paraná river, near the reduction. The originaries gave it to the Franciscans, they left it in the chapel. However, the next day the picture disappeared and they found it again in the river. That happened twice as much, unavoidable proof that the Virgin Mary wanted to be there. Following his wishes, a chapel was built on the verside of Paraná.

Today instead it is an imposing  Basilica  built between 1938 and 1950. At the top of the dome there is a 7.50 metre high  statue of the Virgin  made of copper, which dominates the homonymous city in the  province  of Corrientes. With its 88 meters it is considered one of the highest domes in South America.

The chapel that served as a sanctuary prior to the construction of the Basilica still persists on one side of it. It is currently the  Sacred Museum . Its three naves are ornate with large columns, murals, bas-reliefs and floor-to-ceiling windows. Through these enters a timid light that gives an atmosphere of serenity to the enclosure.

In July of each year the festivities are held in honor of Our Lady of Itatí. They begin with the novena prior to July 9 where a mass is held at the  Sanctuary . The following day begins the week of preparation to celebrate the Coronation of the Blessed Lady on the 16th of that month. At the beginning of 1979, from Resistencia, in the province of  Chaco , there is a 92 kilometer youth walk to Itatí.

If we talk about religious tourism, Corrientes has a  calendar of important festivities  . Almost every month of the year he has a day for recognition of its patrons and festivities.

Gauchito Gil, a pagan saint?

However, faith not only responds to religions and  saints  established by religious institutions. Faith is everywhere, some who are awarded miracles and are not recognized by the church.

 Gauchito Gil  is a superstitious cult whose practice causes the believer to fall into syncretism, as it is mixing diverse beliefs. Many people worship Gauchito Gil, considered very miraculous. They all come to ask for the so-called patron saint of criminals. A symbol that deserves a separate history and has its sanctuary in the town of Mercedes.

 We suggest you continue reading the following notes: 

The 4 favorite pagan saints of the Argentines
buda-en-misionesA Buddha in Misiones

Publication Date: 01/05/2020

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