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Pope signs decree recognizing the “cowboy priest” as a saint

2016-01-22

He evangelized a depressed area of Argentina on the back of a mule. He went to every last ranch to share a mate and talk about God with the people. 

MSGR. SANTIAGO OLIVERA
Bishop of Santa Cruz del Eje
"He walked with his mule Malacara from ranch to ranch, house to house, looking and inviting people to approach the Lord. He took them to the Lord and went to the meeting too. He was not sitting and waiting. Like Pope Francis, he was one of those clergy who goes out and meets his people.”

Father Jose Gabriel Brochero has been declared a saint. Pope Francis signed the decree recognizing his intercession in the healing of a girl who was able to walk again after a debilitating stroke.

MSGR. SANTIAGO OLIVERA
Bishop of Santa Cruz del Eje
"He is very happy. I see a lot of Brochero in Francis and a lot of Francis in Brochero. He spoke a language that people understand. Without a doubt, Pope Francis has a language that people understand: accessible and simple”.

During the general audience, Argentina's delegation gave Pope Francis this statuette of the man known as the "cowboy priest.”

Jose Gabriel Brochero was a pastor in the mountains of Cordoba, in Argentina. He died in Villa del Transito. A few years later, the name was changed to Villa Cura Brochero. He will be the first saint who was born, lived, and died in Argentina. He is defined as a pastor who was like his flock.

DAVID SILVA
Pastor, Villa Cura Brochero
"Brochero leaves a contemporary message, especially in this experience of a Church that goes out, as Pope Francis invites us. The Church in mission. The Church that doesn't sit still. The Church that goes out to find. And us, our land, we have this really big mission that is possible and from the good that makes our lives and our faith when one goes out to meet others.”

He is also remembered for founding schools, promoting social services, and addressing not
only the spiritual needs but also the material needs of those around him.

SILVIA CORREALE
Postulator, Cause for Canonization of Jose Gabriel Brochero 
"Brochero testified not only the Gospel but he also helped promote humanity. He built roads, schools, telegraphs, banks. He means so much to those people that it's as if he is still alive.”

The cowboy priest was beatified in 2013. He will be raised to the altars more than a century after his death in a ceremony that will likely take place in Rome in October. Pope Francis may even preside over it himself.

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