Blessed Mariano de la Mata
Mariano de la Mata (1905-1983) was an Augustinian missionary in Brazil known for his faithful observance of his religious obligations, for the loving way in which he ministered to his people, for his oneness with nature and for his special concern for the needs of the poor.
Born in Barrio de la Puebla, Palencia, Spain in 1905, Mariano was raised in a profoundly Christian family. When he entered the Order of Saint Augustine in 1921, he was the fourth brother in his family to do so.
After completing his studies in Valladolid and Santa Maria de la Vid in Burgos, he was ordained a Priest.
After ministering in Spain for two years, Mariano was sent to Brazil, where he continued to minister for the next 50 years.
He was a companion to young and old, especially those who were sick or in need. He was supportive and caring towards his fellow friars. He thoroughly enjoyed being out in a natural environment. He loved flowers and animals and was an avid stamp collector.
He organized more than 200 Saint Rita Workshops, which employed poor people to make sturdy clothing that the poor could afford.
He was frequently seen walking down the streets of Sao Paulo on his way to pastoral visits, even as he aged and his strength waned and his vision grew dim.
Mariano was diagnosed with cancer in early 1983. He underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumor, but the cancer continued to spread. He died April 5, 1983.
His remains are preserved at the Church of Saint Augustine in Sao Paolo.
The cause for his beatification and canonization was officially opened in 1996. The diocesan investigation in Sao Paolo, with additional inquiries in Palencia, Spain and Cafayate, Argentina, concluded in 1997. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved in 1999 the continuation of Mariano's process. A miracle attributed to the intercession of Mariano de la Mata - the healing of a child who had been run over by a truck - was unanimously approved February 2, 2005 at the Ordinary Theological Meeting of the Congregation for Causes of Saints. Mariano was beatified November 5, 2006 in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Josef Sciberras, O.S.A., the Augustinian Postulator of Causes, oversees the progress of the cause.
The Beatification of Mariano de la Mata, O.S.A. took place November 5, 2006 in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal José Saraiva, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, to represent him and to preside at the Beatification.
“We give thanks to God who pours out abundant love on all of us so that we too will give witness to the Kingdom, as Fr. Mariano did in such an outstanding way,” commented Fr. Robert F. Prevost, O.S.A., Prior General (world leader) of the Order of St. Augustine.