Last modified: 2021-12-24 by rob raeside
Keywords: itatí department | corrientes province | argentina |
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The municipality of Itatí (7,902 inhabitants in 2010) is located 70 km east
of Corrientes, on the southern bank of river Paraná, here the border with
Itatí was established on 7 December 1615 by the Franciscan friar Luís de Bolaños, as the mission of Pueblo de Indios de la Pura y Limpia Concepción de Nuestra Señora de Itatí.
Natives opposed to evangelization once robbed a statue of the Blessed Virgin in the neighbouring village of Yaguarí. Other natives discovered the statue standing on a white rock lit by a bright light and heard music coming from the sky. Brought back several times to Yaguarí, the statue came back the next day to the white rock, so that it was eventually decided to move the village to the miraculous site. The new mission was named Itatí, from the Guarani words "ita", "a rock", and "tí", "white". The "white rock" refers to the limestone deposits located near brook Caleira (itself named for Spanish "cal", "limestone").
The original statue, brought in 1589 by Friar Luís de Bolaños, was black-skinned and of unusual height (1.26 m). The body of the Virgin was made of local timbó (Pacara earpod tree, Enterolobium
contorsiliquum (Vell.) Morong) wood, while its face was made of European nut tree wood. The clothes of the Virgin (a blue cloak and a white tunica) were also imported from Europe.
The first transfiguration of the statue was reported in 1624, during the Holy Week, by Friar Luis de Gamarra. Several miracles were subsequently recorded. In 1700, the inhabitants of Corrientes, threatened by hostile natives, implored the help of the Virgin, who opened a deep ravine between Yaguarí and San José, stopping the advance of the assaulters.
The statue was canonically crowned on 16 July 1900 by Pope Leo XIII under the name of Queen of Paraná and Queen of Love. The Virgin of Itatí was proclaimed on 23 April 1918 by Pope Benedict XV the patron saint of Corrientes, a diocese established on 3 February 1910 by Pope Pius X.
The monumental basilica dedicated to the Virgin of Itatí was consecrated on 16 July 1950, 50 years after the pontifical coronation of the statue. The sanctuary is among the most important places of Marian pilgrimage in Argentina.
The structure of the monument, made of reinforced concrete, weights 12,200 tons. The cupola, of more than 26 m in diameter was the 8th biggest cupola in the word at the time, superseding San Lorenzo de El Escorial (21.13 m) and the Panthéon in Paris (20.30 m). The cupola was covered in 1947 with copper sheets.
The flag of Itatí is divided celestial blue-white by the descending diagonal. In the middle is placed a red disk charged with a golden Marian crown and surrounded by the words "PATRIA", "DIOS" and
"FAMILIA" in black letters.br>
TThe celestial blue colour evokes the national flag, while the white colour evokes the provincial flag [but the two colours are used on both flags].
The arrangement of the fields is a reference to the provincial flag [?].
The motto uses the fundamental postulates of the life of every inhabitant of the town: unwavering devotion, faith and Catholic and Marian beliefs, sworn loyalty to the homeland and its flag, reverent respect for the family and its blood.
The crown is odelled on the crown of the statue of the Virgin of Itatí.
TThe red disk evokes departmental heraldry and the Federal ideals: Homeland, Liberty, and Constitution.
http://noticiasitati.blogspot.fr/2015/03/la-bandera-de-itati-flamea-en-la.html - Noticias Itateñas, 12 March 2015
The flag was inaugurated on 20 June (the Argentine Flag Day) 2013 and blessed by Roberto Simionato, Rector of the basilica.
Ivan Sache, 5 May 2017