On October 14th, 2017, a new church, as a meeting place to welcome pilgrims on their way to the Sanctuary of El Cobre, was dedicated in Barajagua, Cuba. A relic of Saint Pedro Poveda, martyr, was placed on the altar of this new temple.
Barajagua is the place of the Province of Holguin where the statue of Our Lady of Charity was first venerated, after being found in the waters of the Nipe Bay. The local Bishop, Monsignor Emilio Aranguren Echeverría, recalled the history and how those who lived in the Hato de Barajagua in 1612: "upon receiving that statue carried by 'the three Juanes', they immediately built a house for the Mother, made of palm wood and ‘pencas of real guano.’ Artillery Captain Francisco Sanchez de Moya sent a copper lamp with oil, so that a flame would always burn to give light to the statue."
At a temple filled with people, the Bishop of the Diocese of Holguin said that from that moment, a story began to weave which is History of Salvation. The Bishop himself wanted to demonstrate what it means to weave and lifted up a skein of yarn and two knitting needles while explaining that there are people outside the faith in God who behave in life on their own, by themselves, "meaning that God does not count for them. These are the people who tend to seek notoriety. They weave with a single needle." He also explained that those who place their faith in God weave with two needles and let God be the protagonist.
The celebration began at 9:30 A.M. outside the temple, which remained closed until the entrance procession began. On the right side, on a cushion rested the relic of Saint Pedro Poveda, protected by Toni Miranda, member of the Teresian Association. In the church, the rite was full of signs and symbolism. The water with which the bishop sprinkled the faithful was blessed. They sang the litanies of the saints imploring their help and proceeded to the placement, in the sepulcher of the altar, all marble, the relic of St. Pedro Poveda Castroverde, martyr, who gave his life confessing his faith and was canonized on May 4, 2003, by Pope John Paul II.
Before finishing his homily, Bishop Emilio Aranguren Echeverría prayed for the new generations of “barajagüenses" “so that they may grow in trust of God's love." And he thanked the Teresian Association, an International Association of Lay People, founded by St. Pedro Poveda, for having provided "a splinter of a bone of the martyred priest so that, as a seed, it remains on this altar." He recalled that Saint Pedro Poveda, a Spanish diocesan priest, before reaching the peak of his martyrdom, knew how to put into practice an attitude of welcoming, both in Guadix and in Covadonga, those who needed to be educated in the light of the Gospel and the practice of the Christian virtues.
"The presence of the relic of this Saint means that this people can trust in his intercession and, as his life is better known, we can also imitate him and be able to witness - as he did - with our life example that which we announce with our lips,” "because our witnessing is what allows our message to be credible."
Information: A. Cantero, published by Holguín Católico de Cuba