ARGENTINA, Carlos Cappelletti •
There is a large group of Madrugadores in Nueve de Julio, a city in the northwest of the Buenos Aires, Argentina region, where Servant of God, Cardinal Eduardo Francisco Pironio, was born in 1920. He was the first Latin American to serve in the Roman Curia at the time of the establishment of the cardinal list, and he was president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity for many years (1984-1996). A man of profound theological and spiritual culture, Cardinal Pironio distinguished himself for his affability, his continuous preaching about hope, the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, and for his impeccable ecclesial career. He is presently in the process of beatification.
How did the group begin?
During the early days of July 2014, Analía Guaragna, coordinator of the Schoenstatt Movement in Nueve de Julio, proposed that I form a group of Madrugadores in our city. She explained that we would pray the rosary on Saturdays at 7:00 a.m. and then have breakfast together. I told her I was very busy, and I left.
Fifteen days later, I met her again at the bank and she reissued the invitation. To get rid of her, I replied that I was thinking about it, but in reality, I had completely forgotten about the subject. Three weeks later, I met her again. Since Analía, as you can see, is more persistent than anyone, she invited me again. I told her I was analyzing it in detail, and I turned away ignoring her.
Back home, I began to wonder if it was the Blessed Mother who was following me with the invitation. Truth be told, I have prayed the rosary a lot, getting up early doesn’t bother me, and breakfast after praying a rosary seemed like a good idea. A few day later, Analía called me and told me that she knew two men who would accompany me in this endeavor; I went to visit them. The first one said yes, while the second answered that he prayed the rosary at six o’clock in the morning Monday through Friday, and that on Saturday, he wanted to sleep in a little more. But at least, there were two of us.
We could start with three
We could use one more. I went to see six men from church, who are committed spiritually and to my surprise, all of them, one by one, turned down the invitation. Then I thought if it was “long-tailed” (the devil, Lucifer, or whatever you want to call him), who did not like the idea at all, and he was acting against me. More determined than ever, I went to see a good friend, who accepted the invitation without hesitation. The group could now begin. However I continued to issue invitations, I spoke with the pastor, who liked the idea, and on the 24 September 2014, the priest along with the eight men held the first daybreak prayer in Nueve de Julio.
After the rosary, the first miracle happened: the pastor opened the doors to the parish house and invited us for breakfast (it is not easy to get invited to eat by a priest).
Photo: Madrugadores from Nueve de Julio with Octavio Galarce (Founder of the Madrugadores, Chile) and Roberto Horat (Madrugadores from Buenos Aires)
Now there are 186 men attached to the Blessed Mother
So that is how the group of Madrugadores began in our city. The growth has been dizzying, because in two and a half years, 186 men are praying the rosary at the Blessed Mother’s feet, thanking and praying for their needs, for relatives, or friends with problems. After the prayer, those who are not in hurry to get to their jobs, share breakfast in the parish house, but since the second daybreak we help out in providing the mate, coffee, tea, tarts and other things.
We are convinced that it is the Blessed Mother who gathers us together. There are many Madrugadores, who do not attend Sunday Mass, but every two weeks they go to pray at seven o’clock in the morning. We have several separated Madrugadores, some remarried, and men of other religions who accompany us. All are welcome, and we do not make distinctions.
Photo: Madrugada in the cathedral of Nueve de Julio
Original: Spanish. 12 June 2017. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA