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VOCATION: Dominican Vocational Promotion in Barquisimeto, Venezuela.

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IMG 20190108 WA0002The vocational promotion of the Order of Preachers in Venezuela was invited to participate in the EXPO-VOCACIONAL organized by the Archdiocese of Barquisimeto from January 10 to 12, 2019. The activity was developed within the activities for the 163 visit of the Divina Pastora of the capital Larense. The financial and logistical support of the community of friars of the House Espíritu Santo helps the team of the vocational promotion to attend the invitation. The Vocational promotion together with the Dominican Youth Movement of our parish in Barquisimeto (MJD-Espíritu) and members of the Fraternity of laity Santo Domingo installed a stand with information and images of our own charism.

The veneration of the Divina Pastora goes back to the year of 1736 when the parish priest of Santa Rosa commissioned a famous sculptor to make a statue of the Immaculate Conception. By mistake, instead of the Immaculate, the image of the Divina Pastora came to the village. Immediately the priest wanted to return it back, but as much as they tried, they could not lift up the box from where they had placed the image. From this moment the population interpreted this strange event as a sign that the Divina Pastora wanted to stay among them.

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During the earthquake of 1812, the temple where the sacred image was venerated was destroyed, but the image of the Divina Pastora remained miraculously intact. This fact reinforced the belief of the faithful of Santa Rosa about the desire of the Virgin to always remain among them to protect them. Then in 1855, a terrible epidemic of cholera broke out in Venezuela and many families of Barquisimeto were decimated by the terrible evil. Desperate and as a last resort, the settlers decided to process the image of the Divine Shepherdess through the streets of Barquisimeto to implore his mercy, which was granted, since, from that same day, the epidemic of cholera ceased. That is why, in memory of that fact, every 14th of January La Pastoramoves from Santa Rosa to the Cathedral of Barquisimeto in a multitudinous and fervent procession. This procession is considered the second most important in Latin America, only surpassed by the procession of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico.

EXPO-VOCACIONAL 2019 began with the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for different places where the stands of the different charisms in Barquisimeto at 3:00 p.m. on January 10. This was directed by Fray José Luis, Augustinian Recollect Priest and Parish Priest of the Consolation Church. Thus began the work of Dominican preaching. Fray Moisés Diaz, OP., and the young people Andrea and Julio, coordinators of the MJD-Spirit, Mrs. Teresa and Mrs. Luz, members of the Dominican Fraternity, they presented the Dominican charism to the people who visited the stand to share the testimony of Dominican religious life.

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On January 11 at 3:00 p.m., the vocational promotion and the rest of the team were moved to Plaza Santa Rosa and the Dominican stand was re-placed. All this allowed us to encourage visitors to know more about our charism of the Order of Preachers.

Finally, on January 12, the working day was from 9 am to 6 pm in the same place. The day had the participation of the youth ministry of the Archdiocese and other youth movements of the different parishes. At the Dominican stand, a presentation was made with puppets from Santo Domingo and San Martin de Porres.

By Fr. Moisés Díaz, OP.