Dominican Republic (Friday, January 4, 2019, Gaudium Press) On January 6, 1494, precisely 525 years ago, the first Mass was celebrated on American ground, in La Isabela, located today in the diocese of Puerto Plata, in the Dominican Republic, by Father Bernardo Boyl and concelebrated by twelve other priests, who arrived with Christopher Columbus in his second trip to America.
Letter from the Pope
Pope Francisco sent a letter in Latin to Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, his special envoy to the closing ceremonies of the 525th anniversary of the celebration of the First Mass on the American Continent, to be held in La Isabela, Puerto Plata, on January 5, 2019.
The Holy See’s delegation that will be present at the celebration is composed of Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez and Fathers Carlos Manuel Abreu Frias – of the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo and Assistant Secretary General of the Bishops’ Conference – and Bernardo Kiwi, parish priest of the Diocese of Puerto Silver.
In his Letter, the Holy Father says that “the greatest gift bestowed by our Savior to his Apostles at the Last Supper was the Priesthood and the Eucharist.” In the celebration of this sacrament, Jesus Christ is present under the species of bread and wine.
As he ascended into heaven, he said to his Apostles and followers: “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”(Mt 28:20) His promise to be present among them would be their strength. This is the certainty of our faith, that the holy Church of Christ, the Catholic Church, spread throughout the world, remains in Christ through the Eucharistic sacrifice. “
The First Mass was celebrated on American ground on January 6, 1494, precisely 525 years ago, in La Isabela, diocese of Puerto Plata, today the Dominican Republic, by Father Bernardo Boyl and concelebrated by twelve other priests, who arrived with Christopher Columbus in his second trip.
The locality of Isabela preserves the historical memory of the colonization and evangelization of the Americas, with the construction of the first fortress on the continent just discovered by the Genoese navigator, Christopher Columbus, with the support of the Spanish Crown.
This seed planted by Father Boyl and his companions, according to the Dominican Church, “has initiated a great harvest of Christians, who nowadays represent more than half in the world. From this town of the Dominican Republic, God the Father continues to manifest Himself “.
In the year 1500, the city of Isabela was abandoned because of the frequent hurricanes. Over the ruins of the first church of the New World the Temple of the Americas was erected. At that place an image of Our Lady of Monserrat, brought by the conquerors, is venerated.
Source Vatican News