Fr. Mariono de la Mata Aparicio

Fr. Mariano was always attentive to the needs of the poor, concerned for children and the elderly, a frequent visitor of the sick, and a source of consolation for all.

 The Beatification of Mariano de la Mata Aparicio took place on November 5 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Cardinal Jose Saraiva, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to represent him and to preside at the Beatification. The following day, November 6, the Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, celebrated the first Mass in honor of the newly proclaimed Blessed Mariano, in the parish of St. Augustine.

Born in Barrio de la Puebla, Palencia (Spain), on December 30, 1905, Fr. Mariano de la Mata entered the novitiate in Valladolid (Colegio de los Filipinos) in 1921, and he made his first profession of vows on September 10, 1922, in the hands of another Augustinian who was also beatified, Fr. Anselmo Polanco, the bishop and martyr from Teruel.

After his profession, Fr. Mariano went to the Monastery of St. Mary of La Vid, where he did his ecclesiastical studies. When the Province of Spain was created in 1926, Fr. Mariano became affiliated to the new Province. He professed solemn vows in 1927 and in 1930 he was ordained to the priesthood.

After a brief time in Spain, in 1931 Fr. Mariano de la Mata was sent to Brazil, where he would spend 52 years exercising his ministry as an Augustinian priest. He held a number of different offices, both within the Order and in parochial and school apostolates. He was particularly distinguished as the “messenger of charity,” and was always attentive to the needs of the poor, concerned for children and the elderly, a frequent visitor of the sick, a source of consolation for all and generous in giving alms to the poor. His most noteworthy activity was the assistance he gave to more than 200 “St. Rita Workshops of Charity,” centers widely known in Sao Paulo, that offered assistance to the most needy. Fr. Mariano offered religious and spiritual support to the many volunteers and collaborators who worked with him. He was also largely responsible for seeking financial resources that allowed these Centers to continue their service to the poor. Fr. Mariano was a man of deep prayer, greatly devoted to the Eucharist and to the Blessed Virgin.

On the April 5, 1983, Mariano de la Mata died in Sao Paulo. The process for his beatification began in 1997.

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