Mario Hiriart was a young Chilean professional who dedicated his life to the works of the apostolate. He could be raised to the altars if his cause for beatification passes the first phase scheduled to begin on September 8.
Hiriart was born in Santiago in 1931 and raised by virtuous, but not particularly religious, parents. Towards the end of his schooling he joined Catholic Action and at 17 become one of the founders of the Schoenstatt Movement in Chile.
He decided to major in engineering and after earning his degree, he worked with companies in the economic development of Chile, a job which eventually gave up to become a professor of engineering at the Catholic University in Santiago.
He was mentored by the Schoenstatt founder, Fr. Jose Kentenich, who discerned in the young man a vocation to the consecrated life as a member of the Secular Institute of the Brothers of Mary.
According to those promoting his cause, Mario lived “his apostolate by performing his daily duties well, spending time with students and young married couples and giving them counsel, and motivating many young people to be leaders in the building of a Christian order in society and in public service.”
At 27, he wrote in his personal diary, “I want to be a saint, a saint of daily life, an unknown and nameless saint, only for God! I hope to be the unknown saint.”
At 33 he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, which took his life in matter of weeks. He offered all of his suffering for the return of Fr. Kentenich, who was forced to leave Chile and go to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hiriart was visiting Fr. Kentenich there when he died on July 15, 1964. He is buried in the Schoenstatt Shrine in Bellavista, Chile.