Blessed Carlos Manuel Rodriguez Santiago

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez experienced a terrible loss at the tender age of 6—the family home and a small attached store were gutted in a fire. Left with hardly any means of sustenance whatsoever, the young family had no option but to move in with Carlos’ maternal grandparents.

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Providence thus brought the youngster under the strong influence of his deeply devout grandmother, an influence that, coupled with Carlos’ reception of Jesus for the first time in Holy Communion, would infuse him with a life-long love for the Eucharist.

As an Altar server, he began to experience the riches of the faith through the sacred liturgy of the Church.

Early on in high school, he experienced the first symptoms of what would later be diagnosed as “ulcerative colitis”, a severe gastro-intestinal disorder that caused him much suffering, even hindering his pursuit of a university degree.

 

Nevertheless, a voracious reader, he retained both his commitment to Christ and the Church, and to his interests which ranged from art to philosophy, and from science to religion.

 

Using articles on liturgical subjects, which he himself translated and edited, Carlos began publishing Liturgy and Christian Culture, organized a Liturgy Circle and formed the Te Deum Laudamus Choir besides organizing Christian Life Days for students. Carlos was wont to say, “Vivimos para esanoche!” i.e., “We live for the night of the Resurrection!”

In 1963 he was diagnosed with advanced terminal rectal cancer and soon passed on to his eternal reward, aged barely 45 and was beatified in 2001.

Reflection: “The center of Liturgical life is the Mass, from which flow the Seven Channels of grace, the sacraments. The liturgy is the life of the Spirit of Christ” (Blessed James Alberione).

 

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