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Route 40 Argentina
Friday, 24 February 2006
Saints and Devils along the Route 40
Topic: Road side Sanctuaries
Road Side Sanctuariesartdealer_ar's Road Side Sanctuaries photoset

Posted by route40argentina at 10:42 AM EST
Saturday, 11 February 2006
Religious Tours and Route 40 Argentina
Topic: Road side Sanctuaries

Religions tours and Route 40 Argentina


Visiting foreign lands and discovering pleasure in traveling is not an unhistorical activity, it actually dates from the Middle Ages. Back then, the main “tourist attraction” throughout the known world were Sanctuaries, such as Santiago de Compostela in Spain or Jerusalem in the Middle East among many others. It was back then, when locals who lived nearby the main roads to these pilgrim places decided to turn their house into a lodging for the travelers, or even turn the local tavern into a homey dinner. Here fore, ladies and gentlemen, there’s one of the many origins of hotels and restaurants.

If we consider these facts as an early beginning for tourism, then there’s no novelty about the latest religious tours. They existed for hundreds and hundreds of years, for after those pilgrim places lost their initial strength there were some other new ones uprising. Rome and the Vatican city, as well as Belen and Jerusalem are fine examples of this sort of tourism.


When I found about all this information I was amazed. It’s really interesting to discover the beginning of a tradition that we’ve already take for granted. I actually had no idea of the power of Saints back in the middle ages. I found out they were somewhat a key to understand a very varied chirstianism. This mini investigation led me to some new doubts about Christianity and the way this religion has evolved throughout history. To my surprise, I not only got to understand a bit better one of the most important beliefs in society, I have a long lost relative that has been sanctified: Saint Paola Frassinetti. Awesome! isn’t it?

For she’s my family, or I’m her family, or actually, she’s family with all of us for she’s God’s child…. Anyway, I searched for information on her and I found out about her interesting life:

Her mother dies when Paola is only nine, and this young kid has to substitute her mother in all her labors. Life is hard to her, but she carries on helping her father and family. Her first Holy Communion and her brother Giuseppe's ordination are moments of deep reflection for her who already feels, in the depth of her heart, the divine call. She’ll be patient and await until God’s time. According to the Vatican biography on her “at the age of 19 she is physically tired owing to the strenuous rhythm which her life as a precocious mother imposes on her, and her brother, Father Giuseppe, who is parish priest at Quinto, offers her hospitality for some time. The pure air of Quinto proves beneficial to her delicate health. Parish life affords her the opportunity of doing good, as little by little, her gentle ways attract the youth of the neighborhood. Every Sunday they go to the woods to speak about God. These encounters occur often and soon other young girls join the group. Paula reveals to them the secrets of a life totally dedicated to God, and she discovers her vocation as an educator. An enthusiastic group which lives in communion of love, forms itself around Paula”. The turns of life would take her to do her good through education and commitment to the Church, and soon the Sisters of Faith would become Sisters of Saint Dorothy when they take on Father Luca Passi’s work when his time has come to join God in Heaven. In 1844 the Pope entrusts Paula with the direction of the Conservatory of S. Maria del Rifugio at S. Onofrio. By her gentleness and charity Paula transforms the place, and because of her presence and activity S. Onofrio becomes the Mother House.

In 1846 an anticlerical spirit spreads throughout Italy. In Genoa even the Dorotheans are molested and the daughters of Paula are exposed to suffering.

Persecution reaches Rome: Pius IX, who has succeeded Gregory XVI, is obliged to take refuge at Gaeta, and Cardinals, Bishops and Prelates all leave Rome. Paula remains alone.

 Paula feels that her earthly days are coming to a close. It is the dawn of June 11, 1882: She is serene, and her passing away is tranquil thus bringing into evidence the richness of her life, as she invokes the Blessed Virgin whom she has always loved so much: " My Mother, remember I am your child ". On June 8, 1930 Paula is declared blessed, and on March 11, 1984, the bells of Saint Peter's ring out again to announce that Paula is a Saint.

What a fantastic story! I believe there are hundreds of these sort of life experiences that can be treasured and are of great interest.

After knowing about this long lost relative of mine, I began to search the facts about Saints and local cults in Argentina.

The result was fantastic, not only there are fabulous buildings related to it such as churches and masques, temples and sanctuaries, but the story behind each cult is fascinating.  Taking two of the most extraordinary saint cults in Argentina there is the one on the Blessed Virgin of Itatí, guardian of the Corrientes Province, and the annual peregrination to the Gauchito Gil Sanctuary also in Corrientes. This location, however is not a stop to the general admiration and devotion to these popular saints. During the last few years, they’ve extended from local cults to national proportions ones. And one is able to trace this spreading out down through route side small sanctuaries.

The bond established with the popular public is unquestionable. At the same time, there’s a conflict of interests established between the Church and these popularly sanctified characters. The situation is not new to Latin Americans specially, for their relationship with the Roman Church has been quite complicated since the beginning of colonial times, for the way local cults and beliefs blended and merged with the Christian cult has not always been approved by the hierarchy in Rome.   It is not our job to judge this relationship or its implications, we just want to share with the travelers interested in religions some of Argentina’s spiritual, social, cultural and architectural heritage linked to all these cults and religions. The cultural richness implied in these sorts of cults is amazing; and it opens up as an alternative door through which to understand and get to know the Argentina.


Bob Frassinetti, Route 40 Argentina and, webzine on art, antiques, collectibles and travelling located in Argentina, wants to broaden it's collaborator's staff.

We daily receive dozens of inquires about lovely Argentina, its culture and treasures, we contribute with several international magazines with specialized articles on Art & Antiques made or found in Buenos Aires.

If you like art and antiques, if you enjoy travelling and want to share your experience with worldwide net surfers, we would love for you to collaborate with us!


We do not care about your lack of experience or if you prefer to research or do journalist works. We only ask for enthusiasm and good will to get to know the world of antiques & art and to share with our readers and us a bit of your free time. is a specialized webzine on Art, antiques, collectibles and travelling. Our contents are periodically updated in order to open our culture to the world, share with all net citizens all our knowledge about Argentinean and Latin American Art and antiques; as well as our insider's tips and facts about Argentina's landscapes, superb locations, outstanding cosine and lodging, and all its hidden treasures.

We would like to keep on informing and sharing outstanding facts about this lovely South American country and its culture, as well as its fantastic artists, craftsmen, objects and vintage items thanks to your input.




Everything on Art & Antiques as well as Travel Information for Buenos Aires and Argentina by Bob Frassinetti


So if you are interested in Art or Antiques, and you are travelling to Buenos Aires, Argentina and need help, please feel free to email us…….Please feel free to contact Bob Frassinetti: For more information: Email: Bob Frassinetti. Press here to go back to web blog:Daily Updates on Art, Antiques, Collectibles as well as travel information for Buenos Aires, Argentina. Phone me thru Skype, ID: Bob Frassinetti or you can also chat with me thru Yahoo, press here:

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Bob Frassinetti Copyright 2007 Roberto Dario Frassinetti

Posted by route40argentina at 1:24 PM EST

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