Role of Church is to lead us to heaven, teaches Spanish archbishop

Role of Church is to lead us to heaven, teaches Spanish archbishop


During a Mass of Thanksgiving for the beatification of Capuchin Friar Leopold of Alpandeire, Archbishop Javier Martinez of Granada recalled that “the role of the Church and the saints is to bring us to heaven.”

Friar Leopold was beatified last Sunday by Cardinal Angel Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, before some 60,000 faithful and dozens of priests and bishops.

“The joy of yesterday and this morning in giving thanks for the beatification of Friar Leopold is pure joy. It is the joy that the redemption of Christ is fruitful, that the Blood of Christ was not shed in vain.”  The new blessed, he said, is an example of living that joy.

Archbishop Martinez also spoke of the role that saints and blesseds play in the Church, underscoring their place as intercessors before the Lord and models of life worthy of imitation.

During the Mass, the archbishop prayed “especially that the Lord bless the Capuchin Order and grant them many saints and many vocations, for the good of the entire Body of Christ and for the glory of God.”

His Life

Francisco Tomas was born a small town in the Spanish region of Malaga on June 24, 1864.  As a boy he cared for a flock of sheep and tilled the soil.  Years later, on November 16, 1899, he entered the Capuchin monastery in Seville, where he continued working in the monastery garden.

In the Fall of 1903 he was transferred to Granada and served as the gardener there. After moving between a few different monasteries, in 1914 he returned to Granada where he remained until his death As a beggar, he visited many towns in the Andalusia region. When he was asked a favor, he always asked the person to pray three Hail Marys in return.

He died on February 9, 1956. Even today, thousands visit his tomb each year to ask for his intercession.

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