Leda Bergonzi, Argentina’s Church-Backed Charismatic Faith Healer

Leda Bergonzi, the so-called Healer of Rosario, is a popular faith healer who managed to capture the attention of an entire country and even gain the backing of Argentina’s Catholic Church.

Argentina has had its share of religious faith healers throughout history, but none with a meteoric rise quite like that of 44-year-old Leda Bergonzi, a former seamstress and mother-of-five who one day realized she had received the gift of healing from God and decided to put it to good use. According to the Catholic Church, there are over a dozen faith healers throughout Argentina these days, but Leda stands out both through her wardrobe – she favors skinny jeans, T-shirts, and high-top sneakers – her charisma, and the official support of the Catholic Church. She draws tens of thousands of people from all over Argentina to her home city of Rosario and spends days at a time trying to heal them of all sorts of ailments, from paralysis to terminal cancer.

Photo: Nicolas Lobos/Unsplash

Bergonzi’s gatherings seem more at home in an evangelical church, with band-backed singing, spectacular blessings that leave believers lying literally unconscious on the floor, and an entire team filming the events, making sure everything runs smoothly, and managing Leda Bergonzi’s social media presence. But this is more than just an act. Hundreds of testimonies from people who claim to have been healed after receiving Leda’s blessing, and the backing of the Argentinian Archdiocese, which called the healer’s movement a “phenomenon occurring within the Catholic Church,” give Bergonzi the strong credibility necessary to draw even non-practicing Catholics.

“We are Catholics, but the truth is that we don’t go to church regularly,” one person waiting for Leda’s blessing said. “Nowadays, you believe and don’t believe in these things. Some people reach you, and some don’t. She has a charisma that draws you in, she captures you!”

About 20,000 people have been showing up every week in Rosario every week to receive the young healer’s blessing, a phenomenon that has boosted religious tourism in the region to unprecedented levels. Queues at her events can sometimes get a mile long, and people will wait for over 12 hours to see Leda and hear her sing.


Apart from her singing, which apparently has healing properties, Leda Bergonzi will bless sufferers by touching their foreheads and whispering in their ears. The effects of this act range from an inner calmness to crying, convulsing and even fainting. In fact, the latter is so frequent that members of Leda’s staff walk around the hall covering unconscious people with white sheets for privacy.

Leda says that she rarely remembers what she tells people during blessings, and she is often heard talking in tongues, but she can always tell if a person is healed. There are people who swear by her healing powers, claiming that she healed them of partial paralysis, dysautonomia, and cancer, and these testimonies give other desperate sufferers hope that they too can be healed.

The ‘Soplo de Diós Viviente‘, or ‘Breath of the Living God,’ the religious movement that formed around Leda Bergonzi, has sparked a debate among Argentina’s Catholic Church. There are some who believe that her modern approach to healing and her incredible popularity can bring millions back to the Catholic Church, while others worry that too much focus on difficult-to-prove miracles may end up hurting the Church in the long run.


For now, the Catholic Church’s support of Leda Bergonzi is very clear. There are always priests present at her events, holding Mass, hearing confessions, and supervising her blessings.

Last year, following a spike in popularity thanks to the support of several Argentinian celebrities and an ever-growing online presence, Leda Bergonzi’s popularity skyrocketed. Her reputation as a miracle-performing faith healer transcended national borders, and she has recently begun traveling to other South American countries like Chile to perform her blessings.

It’s worth noting that Bergonzi never requests any kind of financial compensation for her blessings. She only accepts donations of non-perishable foods that are donated to those who need it most. This modest, altruistic attitude, so uncharacteristic of evangelical miracle-workers, has made her even more popular.


“I’m a normal person, just like you all, going through a call from God,” Leda said.