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Sunday, 6 April 2014

Christ the Redeemer of the Andes

There has never been a war between Argentina and Chile but in 1899 there was a border altercation, which created such friction between the two countries that war seemed inevitable.

On the following Easter Day a Monsignor Benavente preached a sermon in Buenos Aires where he pleaded for peace. The Bishop of Chile responded in a similarly reconciliatory fashion and gradually a people’s movement was created to resolve the dispute. The two governments listened to the voice of the people and requested the mediation of King Edward VII of Britain.

The king successfully arbitrated a treaty and it was decided to melt down the artillery of the border fortresses and make them into a statue of Jesus with the left hand clutching a cross and the right hand extended in blessing.  In 1904 it was erected and unveiled at the frontier with the message at the base of the statue reading; “These mountains themselves shall fall and crumble to dust before the people of Chile and the Argentine Republic forget their solemn covenant sworn at the feet of Christ.” On the opposite side of the base is a quote from Ephesians 2 v14, “He is our peace who hath made both one.” 

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