Thursday, November 20, 2008

Devotion in Cuba

The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, has authorized the beatification of the Cuban Brother Jose Olallo:

Born from unknown parents, Jose Olallo Valdes was born on February 12, 1820 and a month later was left at the Orphanage of San Jose in Havana. He was baptized just days later on March 15.

Br. Olallo Valdes joined the Order of St. John of God at a very young age and was soon moved to Camaguey to assist the victims of the 1835 cholera epidemic as a nurse.

During his time in Camaguey, he suffered the consequences of the anti-religious laws that suppressed all religious orders in Spanish territories. Nevertheless, he remained faithful to his vows and, due to his popularity with the people, the civil authorities allowed him to remain at the hospital, thus becoming the only remaining Brother of St. John of God remaining in Cuba.

After 54 years of devoted service to the sick and the poor, which included times of both famine and war, Br. Olallo Valdes passed away on March 7 1889. His death so moved Camaguey's citizens, that a vast multitude attended his funeral and mourned his passing.

Br. Ollalo’s beatification will take place at 8 a.m. on November 29 in the Plaza de la Caridad of Camaguey, Cuba. It will be the first beatification to ever take place on Cuban soil.

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