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UVAQ commemorates Don Vasco de Quiroga’s CDLI Death Anniversary

Jardín de las Rosas, Morelia, Michoacán, March 14th, 2016.- On the CDLI Anniversary of the Death of the Servant of God Vasco de Quiroga, UVAQ’s educational community met to commemorate the legacy that has transcended in Michoacán, an inspiration for being and doing that has been since UVAQ’s birth.

Father Paul Arce Gargollo, Advisor of the Episcopal Commission for Clergy Formation of the Mexican Episcopal Conference, speaker of the event, spoke of the lives of the two men represented by statues that adorn the square called Jardin de las Rosas, whom he called two gentlemen, haloed with unparalleled grandeur.

"On one side, the figure of he who, as the highest authority in New Spain and in its secular status, was elected first bishop of Michoacán. His face is serene. It hides, passed the bronze, a heart that knew how to dispense a "visceral love" to all those who came across him, especially the natives.

On the opposite side of the square is the statue of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra who also awaits sitting for the next April 23rd celebration, which will mark 400 years since the day of his death.

Both are contemporaries. Don Miguel was born in 1547, when Don Vasco returned to Spain in search of the legal instruments needed to preserve their projects in these lands. In life they never met.

Don Miguel tried twice unsuccessfully to come to America, attracted by news of the heroic deeds of so many of his countrymen and must have known what Don Vasco did in the new world.

People are remembered by their deeds. Their greatness and permanency is a result of their lasting legacies to posterity.

Miguel de Cervantes is a multiform example of what a person should do to improve the world. Those who try are lunatics, dreamers and utopians. Today, we need more lunatics, dreamers and architects of a utopia that can be in one place.

When good men die they become history. Some manage, due to their reputation, to revive in their statues, such is the case of Vasco de Quiroga and Miguel de Cervantes. This photosynthesis of death is what we call culture.

 What is it that unites Don Quixote with Don Vasco? The fundamental concept that bonds them consists of two words: yours and mine. Don Quixote notes that during the "golden age", i.e., that first society where everyone lived in harmony, "those who lived in it knew not the two words: yours and mine" (I, XI), that is to say there was no selfishness. That's what Don Vasco did: "He started to love them (the natives) since he laid eyes on them. Don Vasco loved them as neighbors when many denied them that treatment. " (Joseph Moreno). "

Similarly, Arce Gargollo referred to the visit of Pope Francis to this city.  “With you -said Pope Francis-, I want to remember this evangelizer, also known as Tata Vasco, as "the Spanish man who became a native". The reality lived by purhepechan Indians described by him as "being sold by the markets, abused and homeless, collecting waist thrown on the floor”, far from putting him into temptation and lag of resignation, it moved his faith, moved his life, moved his compassion and prompted him to make various proposals that were "a breathing space" to this reality so paralyzing and unfair. The pain and the suffering of his brothers became prayer and the prayer became reply. 

And that earned him the name among natives "Tata Vasco" which in purhépecha language means: Dad."

Father Pablo Arce Gargollo concluded by saying: "Thank you, Don Tata, for your life, for your example, for the works and spirit that you left us.

Don Vasco de Quiroga and Don Miguel de Cervantes, listen well! We are filled with joy and hope. Your death anniversaries announce that you are very much alive. They make us dream that a "golden age” is possible, and will arrive one day, no doubt, when many are able to drown evil in an abundance of good."

In the event, representing the Engineer Silvano Aureoles Conejo, Governor of the State of Michoacán, was present Prof. Francisco Luis Sanchez Alfonso, Director of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education. On behalf of the Engineer Alfonso Martínez Alcázar, Mayor of Morelia, Dr. Fabio Sixtos Rangel, Municipal Trustee. On behalf of Archbishop Alberto Suarez Inda Cardinal, Monsignor Carlos Suárez Cazares, Auxiliary Bishop of Morelia. Dr. Ramon Hernandez Reyes, Chairman of the Electoral Institute of Michoacán. Dr. Marco Antonio Landavazo, Director of the Institute of Historical Research UMSNH. Romeo Amauri Lopez Calderon, Academic Assistant UNLA. Carla Lorena Morales Fernández, Director of the Jefferson International University, among others.

At the end of the ceremony, university, municipal, and state authorities, deposited offerings and stood guard of honor at the foot of the statue of Don Vasco de Quiroga.

At noon there was a mass held at the Holy Cathedral Church, presided by Bishop Victor Alejandro Aguilar Ledesma, Auxiliary Bishop of Morelia.

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