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Los Angeles archbishop pays tribute to César Chávez

Catholic World News - April 06, 2011

Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles has paid tribute to César Chávez (1927-93), founder of United Farm Workers, on the occasion of César Chávez Day, a state holiday in California.

“His vision was deeply Catholic at heart,” said Archbishop Gomez. “He learned his prayers and popular Mexican devotions from his mother. Good priests instructed him in the labor encyclicals of the popes and the Church's rich social teaching tradition. Throughout his life, he went to Mass almost every day and he also spent an hour daily in prayer.”

“He chose to live in voluntary poverty, and he practiced what he preached - the simple joys of serving his brothers and sisters in Christian love,” the archbishop added. “He placed his life and his work under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe. All his major initiatives began with the celebration of the Eucharist.”

“When I read his words and the accounts of his life, I find a man who took Jesus Christ to be the model for how he lived. His absolute commitment to non-violence was rooted in the spirit of the Beatitudes.”

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