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  • Marian Reflections

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Marian thought for February

«It was not enough for God to give us his Son on a Cross, but he also gave Mary to us. When we honor the Virgin Mary, we will love Jesus more. When we place ourselves under her mantle we will better understand divine mercy. How great is God, how sweet is Mary!» (St. Rafael Arnáiz)

St. Rafael Arnaiz Baron was born on April 9, 1911 in Burgos, Spain. He studied in the Jesuit school, where he received his First Holy Communion in 1919. He showed a very great openness to the things that had to do with God from a very early age. The first signs of the illness that would mark the rest of his life appeared in 1922. His father, who believed that his recovery was due to the Virgin Mary’s special intervention, took Rafael to Zaragoza in thanksgiving and consecrated him to Our Lady of Pilar. As years went by, he developed many different traits, such as friendship. He also grew in his Christian life. God placed the desire in his heart to consecrate himself in monastic life. He met the Trappist monks of San Isidro de Dueñas and felt very attracted to that life, because he saw that it corresponded to his intimate desires. He entered there on January 15, 1934. He had to leave the convent three times due to the diabetes that God mysteriously used to test him. Each time he returned, he came back with more desires to be generous and faithful. These desires were fulfilled on April 26, 1938, when he left this world at only 27 years of age. He was declared Blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1992 and canonized on October 11, 2009.

St. Manuel Gonzalez

san manuel

"Immaculate Mother, teach me to repeat generously, firmly, and peacefully in everything and every moment, the answer you gave to the Angel Gabriel, "Be it done unto me according to your word."

St. Manuel Gonzalez was born in Seville, Spain, on February 25, 1877. Known as "the Bishop of the Abandoned Tabernacle," he tried to instill the great love he had for Jesus in the Eucharist in his faithful and those around him. Before reaching ten years of age, he was a choirboy who sang and danced before the Blessed Sacrament on the feasts of Corpus Christi and the Immaculate Conception. At twelve years of age, he entered the minor seminary and was at the top of all of his classes. He received his doctorate in Theology and his bachelor's degree in Canon Law after fifteen years of studying. He was ordained a priest in 1901 by Cardinal Spinola. He gave his first parish mission shortly after his ordination. He had an experience that convinced him of his mission to defend the Eucharist from abandonment. In a small down in Andalucía, he was shocked to find an abandoned tabernacle. Four years after his ordination, he was named archpriest of Huelva, Spain. In 1916, he was consecrated bishop of Malaga where he exercised his office for almost 20 years. On the night of May 11, 1931, a mass of people set fire to the Bishop's Palace. Miraculously, the bishop, together with his faithful, escaped from the flames. After this, he never returned to Malaga. As if exiled, he moved to Madrid, but in spite of all that had taken place, his zeal for Our Lord in the tabernacle continued. In 1935, he was named bishop of Palencia until 1940 when, after an illness, he passed away in Madrid on January 4, 1940. He was buried in the Cathedral of Palencia in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel as he had requested. "I ask that I may be buried alongside a tabernacle so that after my death, my bones, just like my tongue and my pen during my life, may repeat to those who pass by, 'Jesus is there! He is there! Do not abandon Him!'" He was beatified on April 29, 2001 and canonized by Pope Francis on October 16, 2016.

 
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