Immigrants flock to see statue of beloved saint - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Immigrants flock to see statue of beloved saint

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Ohio State band marches on after director's firing

    Ohio State band marches on after director's firing

    Friday, July 25 2014 7:12 AM EDT2014-07-25 11:12:49 GMT
    The Ohio State marching band is moving forward without its director; a day after he was fired they're performing with the Columbus Symphony in what's often considered the band's unofficial season kickoff.More >>
    The Ohio State marching band is moving forward without its director: A day after he was fired, the band is performing with the Columbus Symphony in what is often considered its unofficial season kickoff.More >>
  • Cause sought for gunfight between patient, doctor

    Cause sought for gunfight between patient, doctor

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:44 AM EDT2014-07-25 10:44:24 GMT
    Authorities hope to learn if a psychiatrist had concerns about a patient who allegedly killed a case worker at a suburban Philadelphia hospital before the doctor pulled out his own gun to protect himself.More >>
    Authorities are attempting to determine why a patient fatally shot a caseworker at a hospital complex in a Philadelphia suburb and whether a psychiatrist who pulled out his own gun and wounded the patient had concerns...More >>
  • Family feud sparks revolt at grocery store chain

    Family feud sparks revolt at grocery store chain

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:24 AM EDT2014-07-25 10:24:21 GMT
    It's been called a David vs. Goliath story, a "Tale of Two Arthurs" and even the "ultimate Greek tragedy," but the characters in this drama are not Biblical or literary figures.More >>
    It's been called a David vs. Goliath story, a "Tale of Two Arthurs" and even the "ultimate Greek tragedy," but the characters in this drama are not Biblical or literary figures. They're grocery store owners.More >>

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Immigrants are flocking to churches in Southern California to see a wooden statue of a saint cherished by border-crossers who make the perilous journey to the United States.

The 4-foot-tall statue of Santo Toribio Romo Gonzalez was flown from the Mexican state of Jalisco, and is making stops in churches in three California counties, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday (http://lat.ms/1zyVTwu).

Many immigrants say Romo Gonzalez has appeared to them during difficult moments on their journeys north, with some carrying a photo of the saint in their wallets.

"I owe him everything," said Jose Ochoa, a 32-year-old cook who welcomed the statue to his church in Lake Forest. Before Ochoa crossed the border illegally in 2005 with his 4-year-old son to reunite with his wife and family, he had been given a small, laminated photo of the saint by his grandfather. "I couldn't imagine dying without coming to see him to say thank you."

Romo Gonzalez was a priest killed during a 1928 religious uprising and was canonized 14 years ago. His statue will be received at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles next Sunday.

In his Mexican hometown Santa Ana de Guadalupe, tens of thousands of pilgrims arrive weekly to pay tribute to the saint's bones, which are kept in a small casket. Locals peddle saint-themed key chains and figurines to tourists and businesses ranging from a pharmacy to an ice cream shop bear his name.

In the United States, immigrants, especially those from Mexico, have come to cherish the saint. A church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, built a shrine to Romo Gonzalez after a tough anti-immigration law was passed in the state.

Church officials say while beloved to many, Romo Gonzalez, has not been officially recognized as a patron to immigrants.

"He's the people's saint," said Ed Benioff, director of the Office of New Evangelization for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. "His legend has grown from the start in the most grass-roots way."

In Commerce, parishioners celebrated the statue's arrival with song and dance and took turns touching its chest, where a bone from the saint's ankle is kept behind a piece of glass.

Francisca Romero, 56, said she came to see the statue out of concern for relatives and friends and the thousands of immigrant children arriving on the U.S. border in Texas in recent months.

"I want this saint to keep them safe from all harm and to please help us all," she said.

___

Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KDUH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.