HomeAnzoáteguiThe cult of the patron Saint Celestine is a sign of faith in Barcelona

The cult of the patron Saint Celestine is a sign of faith in Barcelona

Its reliquary is part of the historical, religious and tourist attractions of the capital of Anzoátegui.

Celestino comes from the Latin Caelestis and refers to “celestial” or “from heaven”, and that is the name of the patron saint of Barcelona, ​​and that is why being called Celestino is an honor for the people of Barcelona. That is part of the love, veneration and religious fervor they feel for the presence of the Roman soldier, converted into a saint by the Catholic Church after 1.500 years of death, when he was unearthed and his face and skeleton were found intact.

The complete body, declared a first-grade relic, arrived in Barcelona, ​​capital of the Anzoátegui state, on December 8, 1777 and since then it has been the spiritual patron of the city and is the most venerated of all the saints in the heritage temple. .

How do I arrive?

Pope Pius VI was the one who sent the body of Saint Celestine to Venezuela, after removing it from the catacombs of San Lorenzo, in Rome, Italy. He was taken to the city of Genoa, then to the port of Cádiz, then to San Juan de Puerto Rico and finally to Barcelona, ​​to the beaches of Maurica.

The current sacristan of the main church of the diocese of Barcelona, ​​Rafael Ramos, remembers that the arrival of the saint was reported as a historical event. “That celebration to receive Saint Celestine was with the patrons, Saint Christopher and Saint Eulalia, and they received them on the banks of the Neverí, on what is today the Bolívar Bridge,” he described.

He explained that it was done on a smaller boat, because the ship that transported him from Puerto Rico was very large and he was received by civil, military and religious authorities. Church documents reveal that they took him in a procession to the cathedral, which received these relics from Pope Pius VI as a gift for having been the first consecrated church in Latin America.

devotion

For 247 years, devotees from Barcelona and other states have honored him in the chapel dedicated to the saint in the cathedral, where he has received thousands of offerings in gratitude for favors granted.

Of these manifestations of faith, Ramos remembers how the students wrote on the walls of the chapel to ask for his intervention, writings that occupied about 4 meters in length.

“That beautiful story” with the people of Barcelona begins when the body of the martyr arrives, “who was at the service of the Roman Empire, but when he meets Christ he converts, changes and does not mind suffering terrible suffering.”

Remember historical references which reveal that Saint Celestine bled to death, after having been tortured in a cell, on the same day and at the same time that Christ had done 250 years before. Those who go to the cathedral, the first thing they do is ask where Saint Celestine is. “They come from other states, even other countries. “They are families who live abroad and have come to pay promises.”

Ramos affirms that every day he sees many faithful who come to express gratitude and special affection to the so-called defender of truth and soldier of Christ. He confirms that the cult of the holy martyr is rooted in the people of Barcelona, ​​and that his reliquary is part of the historical, religious and tourist attractions of Barcelona.

The cathedral, converted into a sanctuary of Saint Celestine, is visited every day by those who thank and ask favors from the patron, in front of his body that remains incorruptible, displayed in a glass and wood urn, built in Rome in the baroque style.

The leyends

Barcelona, ​​a colonial city, is also the bearer of legends about the soldier of Christ, fueling the attraction of having the complete body of a saint in the cathedral. The most famous says that Saint Celestine moved one knee and that day he trembled, although few specify the date, they affirm that it was in 1967, when an earthquake hit Caracas with repercussions in the regions.

Another myth is that the body of his patron cannot leave the church, without his consent, because “there will be conflicts and fights, because he was a soldier,” this is what her grandmother told María Hernández. The story has also been woven that the Roman soldier is seen protecting the cathedral along Maturín, Bolívar and Juncal streets, in Barcelona. The parish administrator of the cathedral, priest Eloy García, points out that devotion to Saint Celestine has passed from generation to generation and today regains great importance.

“That has remained in the hearts of all the parishioners, both natives of Barcelona and other towns in the East.”

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