PUERTO RICO. -- Puerto Rico's first saint will be a layman. His name is Carlos Manuel Rodriguez Santiago, older brother of Abbot Jose M. Rodriguez Santiago (Pepe) OSB, first abbot of Abadía San Antonio Abad, Humacao, Puerto Rico.
Carlos Manuel (Charlie), was a lay man who wholeheartedly served his church as a catechist and choir manager, but, above all, he was a tireless pioneer and patron of the liturgical movement in Puerto Rico. Father Godfrey Diekmann OSB, 92, sometime editor of the journal, remembers this man from Puerto Rico who subscribed more than 70 persons to Worship magazine (at first titled Orate Frates).
Ven. Carlos Santiago lived a profound Christian life as a lay person and died with the gift of participating in the Lord's passion and resurrection in his own life: he was gifted with the dark night and finally found his Lord. He himself was enlightened, and he passed on the light of the Paschal Vigil to many others.
The initial process of his beatification was conducted at Puerto Rico from 1993-1994; the heroicity of his virtues was declared in 1996. In December 1999 Pope John Paul II approved a miracle attributed to his intercession. On April 29, the Third Sunday of his beloved Easter Season, he will be beatified.
Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodriguez Santiago was born at Caguas on 22 November 1918, Feast of Santa Cecilia, and died at Hospital San Jorge on 13 July 1963.
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By Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.
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