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Blessed Ceferino Namuncurá

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On 26th August, the day of his birth in 1886, we remember Ceferino Namuncurá, the 'Prince of the Pampas'. He was a Salesian student and aspirant, the son of the last great Chief of the Mapuches, the indigenous people of southern and central Chile and southern Argentina. His mother was a Chilean captive, one of the Chief's three consorts.

As a young boy, he witnessed the destruction of his people's way of life, following the 'Conquest of the Desert' which brought tremendous suffering and desperate poverty, and from an early age, he sought a way to help them. Ceferino embraced the Catholic faith and the charism of Don Bosco, seeing a Salesian education as the path to a better life for all of his his people. He wished to become a Salsian priest to return to his own land and share the benefits he had received. 

Fr Pascual Chavez SDB, who was Rector Major at the time of Ceferino's beatification, described him as 'a fruit of salesian youth spirituality', and he is seen as an example of how a distinctive culture can be integrated with faith to create harmony in times when there are so many tensions and conflicts between cultures.

Ceferino died of tuberculosis in Rome at the age of 19. He was beatified in 2007.

Read more about his life






A Pocketbook biography, Zepherin: the Last Cura,  is available from our online bookshop: £1.60 inc UK p&p


Last modified on Wednesday, 10 July 2019 09:33


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