Sunday, March 3, 2013

Venerable Faustino Perez-Manglano


“I am very happy. I don't know what's happening to me. I feel some- thing within me. Such an enormous love of Him who has always kept his hand in mine, who has never let me fall, not even once, into mortal sin. I don't know what problems are. Thank you, Christ, for giving me such a marvelously good interior feeling. I'm very grateful to you...”

“It is wonderful to think that my whole life is going to be at the service of Jesus and Mary. I'm going to be a fisherman of souls. I've thought about it a lot, and I would like to go as a Marianist religious to South America, where there is a lack of help for the salvation of souls....”

“I am very happy. I want to suffer for Christ who suffered so much for me. I must be a saint. My presence must give witness to Christ...”

“I am disposed to receive from God all the little sufferings he wishes to send me. They are so insignificant, and I receive them with such pleas- ure that they are joys."

On March 3, 1963, in the arms of his mother, and having just made plans to profess private vows as a Marianist the next day, Faustino Perez-Manglano died after a long battle with Hodgkins Disease. His death, fifty years ago this week, was the end of a short life, which was lived with extraordinary grace, but certainly not the end of the life-giving inspiration he brought to those who knew him and to those who, even to this day, have come to know him. In so many ways, Faustino was ordinary: he loved sports, being with friends and going to the movies. Yet, in a special way, he also left much room in his heart for the de- velopment of a rich spiritual life filled with Christ’s loving self-sacrifice and Mary’s maternal guidance.

When he died, he was unafraid and at peace.

In January 2011, Faustino was declared “venerable” by Pope Benedict XVI. His life serves as a model of steadfast fidelity for us all and of particular benefit to young people who may find in his example a model for their own lives.