VENERABLE FAUSTINO PÉREZ-MANGLANO MAGRO
Born in Valencia (Spain) on August 4,1946, he was a student at "Colegio Nuestra Señora del Pilar" from the time he was six until he died on March 3,1963, of Hodgkin's disease, while he was studying pre-university courses.
Joyful and congenial, he was enthusiastic about sports, camping, and everything good. Few could have suspected the greatness of soul hidden in the small body of this boy who was everybody's friend: his fidelity in every trial,his iron will, his intense love of Christ, his filial affection for the Virgin. He was a member of the Sodality-State of Mary Immaculate from 1962, and on February 9,1963, after receiving the Sacrament of the Sick, he made his definitive consecration.
From 1960, feeling the call of the Lord, his great ideal was to consecrate his life to the salvation of souls as a Marianist religious. Before he died, he promised to concern himself with vocations in Heaven.
Through his diary, one can see the work of the Holy Spirit in his soul, totally dedicated to the Lord.
On January 14th, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI declared Faustino as Venerable.
"I am very happy. I don't know what's happening to me. I feel something 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 marvellously 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 recieve them with such pleasure that they are joys".
FAUSTINO, HERO OF THE ROSARY
Faustino Perez-Manglano was born in Valencia, Spain, and died just short of his seventeenth birthday. His cause for beatifícatíon is currently under consideratíon by the
Congregation for the Saints, at the step of examining the heroicity of his virtues.
What did he do that was "heroic"? He led the very simple life, typical of a young man of his age: he loved soccer, swimming, nature, the movies, and novels. But he loved Christ and Mary even more. He was always willing to be of service and help to others, even if it meant a sacrifíce on his part. He decided one day to "seek perfection." He wanted to be a Marianist, a priest, a missionary in Latín América. Hodgkin's disease prevented him from pursuing these goals. Now, however, he is a missionary from heaven. His life, published in eight languages, has appealed to many people: young and not so young. Hundreds of letters attest to this fact.
At the heart of his holy life was the recitation of the Rosary. If he eventually is declared "Venerable" it will be clear that at the foundation of his heroic virtues is the daily praying of the Rosary. He can be a marvelous example for this "Year of the Rosary" proclaimed by Pope John Paul II. His life is like a living commentary on the recent letter of the Pope, "The Rosary of the Virgin Mary." Here are four glimpses into his short life demonstrating the role his daily Rosary played in it.
"They will surprise even adults...."
"If the Rosary is presented well, I am sure that even young people will he able, once again, to surprise adults, by taking to this prayer and reciting it with the enthusiasm
typical of their age. "(42)
I was just finishing reading the wonderful letter of Pope John Paul II on the Rosary when this paragraph moved me deeply. I then remembered an event which truly affected my life. It was a meeting with an adolescent young man who "surprised" me with his
Rosary, just as the Pope had said.
A debt of Rosaries.
It was October 1959 and Faustino was thirteen, a student at the Marianist Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Valencia. I was just a young priest. He came up to me and said: "Father, I have to talk to you about something. I think I owe a debt to the Blessed Virgin". Imagine my surprise: a debt to the Virgin Mary?
"Yes, Father. You see, two years ago I promised the Virgin that I would say the
Rosary every day until 1961. And I was doing it, usually alone on my way to school". I
was silent in my amazement, and he contínued: "…but during our vacatíon time, when we were playing so much of the time, I sometimes forgot. But, you know, I counted up how many times I missed and I want to make up the debt".
I asked him how much he fígured he owed. I think he said it was about a
hundred. To myself I thought: what a wonderfül fídelity this young man shows! At the
age of ten, without talking to anyone about it, he had made this promise, way beyond his tender age! And he had kept it with total fidelity! And when he forgot, he sought to
determine how much he had missed so he could make it up. And this without worrying
excessively about it or blaming himself unduly, as if this were the most natural thing in
the world. What could I say to this young man who so amazed me with his simplicity
"Let's see, Faustino. Do you like to say the Rosary?"
"Yes I do, Father, very much."
"So, look Faustino, when it comes to mothers there is no such thing as bills or
debts. And when we're taiking about the Virgin mother, this is even more true. Let's
consider the bill paid. You can simply continue to recite the Rosary every day without
making promises or burdening yourself with obligations or worrying about the past. And for your whole life, if you want."
His face brightened up and his eyes shone with joy: "Yes, Father. Nothing else
John Paul II said, "The Rosary will help us grow, even to accomplishing the goal
"I say the Rosary while I am on tbe way to school."
On the 14th of September in 1960 -he was fourteen- he decided to begin a journal. A very simple journal. He put down the happenings of each day: his classes. his grades, scores of games, movies he saw, books he read. This continued more than a year. As time passed the entries became fewer, but more insightful and profound. What is never missing is the reference to his recitation of the Rosary the day before. He started repeating entries like: "I said the Rosary at such and such a time... I said the Rosary spread throughout the day....I said the Rosary on the way to school this morning... I said the Rosary while I was undergoing radiation treatments... The last few days I said the Rosary at midnight. when I was in great pain."
In these notebooks there are more than three hundred references to the saying of
the Rosary. Occasionally he simply admitted, "I forgot." But this was not frequent.
One of his classmates remembers: "One day on the way to class I saw Faustino a
little way ahead of me. I hurried up and caught up to him at the Puente del Mar. Only
then did I realize he was saying the Rosary. He didn't say anything, but just kept goíng.
This simple practice led Faustino to a deep interior life, a hidden friendship with
Christ and Mary. The Virgin Mary, his "wonderful mother in heaven," as he used to say,
became a constant companion in his life. Outwardly he appeared just like his friends and peers, with the same likes and interests. But inside he had embarked on a new spiritual path in his life. All this shows how true is what John Paul II says, "The Rosary is really a spiritual journey in which Mary is at once mother, teacher, and guide. " (37)
The 22nd of October 1960 was a pivotal day in his life's journey. He was on retreat and mentíons in his diary: "We were talking about many things, but there was one which impressed me most: what vocation should I choose: doctor, chemist, or wíll I maybe be a priest? This last one impressed me the most. Could God have chosen me? He will tell me. Today and the little remaining time of my retreat I will spend in total silence and maybe God will speak to me."
And that day I spoke with him. He said he had never thought about a religious vocation. He had thought about being a chemist. But that evening at supper, as he told me later, he saw it clearly: "I must become a Marianíst religious." It was a sort of bolt out of the blue, yet in actuality the foundation for it had been laid by thousands of "Ave Marias" said over long períod of time.
"You are very young," I told him, "Don't say anythíng more, and let us discern
whether or not the Lord ís actually calling you." But he never doubted the call. He
wanted to act on it right away. "It is wonderful to think I am going to spend my whole
life at the service of Jesús and Mary...." But just a few months later he was diagnosed
with an illness which after many ups and downs would end his life. Why, O Lord, why?
In time I realized the answer was: he was to be a missionary from heaven.
A prize for saying the Rosary.
In July of 1962 Faustino and a group of his friends spent a day on retreat. They wanted to prepare for spending the upcoming summer vacation in a Christian manner, We can follow the work of that day from his journal. Among other things he thought about his religious vocation which had strengthened in the preceding years. He wrote: "Lord, every day I want more and more to reach that time when I can become a Marianist."
You can imagine my profound emotíon when after his death I found the following in his journal:
"Father suggested to me that maybe the Virgin had rewarded me with the prize of my religious vocation because of my fidelity since I was a child in reciting the Rosary. How wonderful and good to me has been my Mother in heaven. It is a prize which can never be adequately measured. It ís a prize worth more than all the goods ofhis world put together. Thank you, Mother, for such marvelous goodness. Some twenty months ago, in this same place, I discovered my vocation. Today, the 2nd of July in 1962, I have concluded that I want - and Jesús wants me - to be a missionary, and also in this same house 1 realized that my vocation is a reward from Mary for having been for so many years faithful to the holy Rosary."
The Rosary always has a reward. John Paul II writes: "Reliving with Mary the
mysteries of the Rosary is to go to the "school" of Mary in which we contemplate Christ
in order to discover his secrets and understand his message." (14) In the "school of
Mary, by reciting the Rosary, Faustino attained: "a fuller likeness to Christ, a true pattern for Christian living." (26)
PRAYER TO OBTAIN FAVOURS THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF FAUSTINO
Lord, You have given us in Faustino an admirable example of fidelity to the demands of your divine love. We come to You asking that, if it is your will that he be glorified in your Church, you show this by granting us the grace we desire to receive. (Indicate the grace or favor).
We ask for his glorification also through the intercession of your Mother, Mary, whom he loved so much on earth.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be ...
(For private use-with ecclesiastical permission).
Those who receive any grace through the intercession of Faustino are asked to communicate this to:
Jose Maria Salaverri, S.M. Colegio del Pilar
Avda. Blasco Ibañez 35
46021 VALENCIA, SPAIN.
For everything related with Faustino, for example, writing after reading one of the books about Faustino, please address to: FAUSTINO, Avda. Blasco Ibáñez, 35, 46021 Valencia (Spain) E - mail:
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