Pedro Manuel "tells us today that we must continue giving our lives for others," she said.
Bishop Eugenio Arellano Fernández, Vicar Apostolic of Esmeraldas, was also present for the closing and thanked the Córdoba diocese for taking up and advancing the cause of beatification.
Although canon law states that a cause should be opened where the servant of God died, for good reasons the process can be transferred to another diocese, as in this case to Córdoba.
Bishop Arellano said that the life of Salado “is a witness to us”, since he gave his life for the poor children of Esmeraldas “every day.”
At the Mass following the formal closing of the diocesan phase, the Bishop of Córdoba stressed that “he who gives his life for love has won it forever”, and that Salado “has woven the love of Jesus Christ into history.”
Pedro Manuel Salado de Alba was born Jan. 1, 1968 in Chiclana de la Frontera in Cádiz, the third of six children.
Fr. Manuel Jiménez, who heads the Home at Nazareth in Córdoba, said in a video about Salado’s life that “the children loved him very much, they got close to him. Between the children and prayers, he discovered that God was calling him.”
Salado took his final vows in 1990 and lived in the Home at Nazareth in Córdoba until 1998, when he was sent on mission to Ecuador.
“He lived in poverty, which was shown in his ability to adapt to everything. He didn't have shoes and one day when he was going to play soccer they had to lend him a pair,” Fr. Jiménez recalled.
On Feb. 5, 2012, Salado took a group of children for a walk to Atacames beach.
Around noon the tide rose and seven children were swept away. "Manuel quickly realized that this was a matter of life and death. He didn't hesitate to jump into the water and save each one of the children," the priest recounted.
"I’ve got to save my children," Salado said before charing into the water and managing to pull them out one by one. After bringing back the last two to the beach, he was completely exhausted. One of the sisters from the home said to him, "Manuel, you’ve retrieved them all,” after which he died.
“The children gathered around him and prayed that God would not take him, but Pedro Manuel had already completed his mission on earth,” Fr. Jiménez said.
(Story cotinues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
“Brother Pedro Manuel has been, for all of us who have known him, a gift from God”, he concluded.
The Home at Nazareth is an institute of consecrated life founded by María del Prado Almagro in 1978. Its mission is to help homeless children and youths in complicated situations.