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First female Argentine saint brings together Pope Francis and Milei

2024.02.10 19:11

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Argentine Catholics rejoice Pope Francis’ tenth anniversary as pontiff throughout a mass on the Basilica de Lujan, in Lujan, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina March 11, 2023. REUTERS/Tomas Cuesta/File Photo

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By Alvise Armellini

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Sunday will elevate to sainthood the primary female saint from his native Argentina, an occasion that will likely be attended on the Vatican by his former sturdy critic, Argentine President Javier Milei.

Milei, a maverick right-wing libertarian, previously known as Francis an “imbecile”, a “son-of-a-bitch preaching communism” and the satan’s man on earth – however has softened his tone since taking workplace in December.

The pope, for his half, has mentioned he didn’t pay an excessive amount of consideration to the insults, telling Mexican broadcaster N+ that what issues is what politicians do in workplace, relatively than on the marketing campaign path.

Francis is because of lead a canonisation Mass for Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa, higher often called “Mama Antula”, an 18th century girl who renounced her household’s riches to deal with charity and Jesuit non secular workout routines.

The ceremony comes as Argentina is going through its worst financial disaster in many years, with inflation at greater than 200%. Francis has mentioned he hopes to have the ability make his first journey again to his homeland since being pope in 2013 within the second half of this 12 months.

The Argentine chief, who has mentioned he might convert to Judaism, will attend the service in St Peter’s Basilica together with his entourage, and is ready to have a non-public viewers with Francis on Monday.

Mama Antula was the daughter of a rich landholder and slave proprietor.

She promoted the non secular workout routines — a mixture of prayers and meditations — strolling 1000’s of kilometres barefoot, involving the wealthy and poor, regardless of the Jesuits having on the time been banished from Latin America.

Francis, himself a Jesuit, described her on Friday in a gathering with pilgrims from Argentina as a “gift to the Argentine people and also to the entire Church,” praising her dedication to the poor.

Quoting from his previous writings, the pope condemned the “radical individualism” that permeates at present’s society as a “virus”, in phrases which will jar with Milei’s radical free-market instincts.

On Monday, wrapping up a week-long abroad tour that took him to Israel earlier than Italy and the Vatican, Milei can be as a consequence of meet Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

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