BRAZIL, Leandra Cruber – Diário SM •
On Wednesday, October 12, dozens of people gathered in the main square of São João do Polêsine to participate in the inauguration of a statue in honor of Deacon João Luiz Pozzobon. In addition to community representatives such as Mayor Matione Sonego (MDB) and the president of the Museum Association Casa I João Luiz Pozzobon, Valserina Bulegon Gassen, the youngest son of the deacon, Humberto Pozzobon, 80 years old, was also present. —
“It is my pleasure to be here today to represent our family. Our father was a man who was very committed to serving the faith. He walked thousands of miles to speak about the Pilgrim Mother, he built homes for those in need, and he visited many schools and families. It is certainly a great recognition in the community where he was born,” Humberto said.
According to the mayor of São João do Polêsine, Matione Sonego, the statue is a sign of recognition for the work of faith of Pozzobon, who traveled thousands of kilometers with the image of the Pilgrim MTA on his shoulders. The movement became known as the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign of the Pilgrim Mother. A total of R$17,000 was invested to produce the work.
“Since 2017, we had planned to place a statue in honor of Deacon Joao Luiz Pozzobon here, since the square is named after him. Now we have finally managed to install this beautiful work in the presence of the family. In the community, there are organizations like the Casa I Museum, dedicated to preserving the history of this great man.”
Testimony of faith
The unveiling of the statue was also accompanied by prayers for the canonization of João Luiz Pozzobon. In 1994, the process for the beatification of the deacon was opened in the Archdiocese of Santa Maria. In May 2009, when the diocesan phase was completed, the case was sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. Since then, João Pozzobon can be called a “Servant of God.” According to Valserina Gassen, there is an expectation that João will be beatified and canonized.
“I was a representative in the canonization process and we are very hopeful. His faith is widely recognized. At the Casa I Museum we have already received pilgrims from more than 15 countries and we know that now it is only a matter of time before a saint is also recognized in the Central Region,” said Valserina Gassen.
A work of concrete
The statue was made of concrete in just over a month by sculptors Mauro Favero and Rossini Rodrigues. People who knew Joao Luiz Pozzobon, such as family members and people from the Schoenstatt Shrine, were able to share details about his appearance. It was the first time the family saw the finished work.
“Our goal was to reproduce João’s appearance, his clothes and even his face as faithfully as possible. One of the most famous images of him is with the Pilgrim Mother on one shoulder and a briefcase in one hand. We also wanted the family to be honored in some way. We were very happy with the final result,” Favero said.
Who was João Luiz Pozzobon, born in São João do Polêsine
João Luiz Pozzobon was born on December 12, 1904, in Ribeirão, a district of São João do Polêsine, and grew up in a very religious family.
In 1950, he received the picture of the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt in Santa Maria, and he began to visit families and schools with the picture on his shoulder. The Pilgrim Mother Campaign covered thousands of miles.
The deacon died in Santa Maria in 1985.
Photos: Nathália Schneider
Source: www.diariosm.com.br – with permission to publish and translate on schoenstatt.org
Original: Portuguese. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org