The end of an exceptional year: In memory of Venerable Fr. Mariano

With the end of the year 2023, the commemoration of 150 years since the Venerable Fr. Mariano Avellana set foot on the borders of America, landing in Chile, also came to an end.

From the Claretian Province of San José del Sur, which currently unites the missionary communities of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay, efforts were made so that, using modern means of communication, especially telematic ones, with the scarce financial resources available, it would be possible to project to the wide international Claretian family the admirable example of one of the greatest apostles that Father Claret’s ‘great work’ has given to the world.

In this way, the testimony of the supernatural strength with which the emblematic resolution “Either holy or dead” allowed Mariano Avellana to offer 31 tireless years of life to the mission entrusted by the holy Founder to his sons, confirmed well beyond the American borders that radicalism in evangelisation, as Claret had dreamed it, can become “heroic”, overcoming for decades sufferings that many others would have self-justified in resting, and doing so to the point of falling dead.

Father Mariano, who, in his last 20 years of untiring mission, endured a kind of daily martyrdom with an extremely painful herpes, to which was added a growing and never healed wound in one leg, which tormented him for 10 years until he died, offers a testimony comparable in a certain way to that of his 184 brothers in the congregation who have now been beatified, who offered their lives as martyrs, facing the bullets of their assassins instead of renouncing their religious and missionary commitment.

In this way, the admirable testimony of Father Mariano as a “missionary to the end” has been able to transcend during this 2023 sesquicentennial commemoration of his arrival at the end of America, as worthy that the whole Claretian family around the world invoke the Lord imploring Him for the miracle that, as the only missing requirement, may give way to his earthly glorification through the beatification.

Encouraging in this way that his intercession be invoked in extreme cases of illness or accidents, constitutes for the Claretian family a commitment of gratitude towards one of the most complete exponents of the Claretian missionary charism, worthy of showing from the altars how fidelity to the will of the Lord in one’s own life can surpass, with the strength of the Spirit, the human limitations, until reaching heroism.

                                                                                                Alfredo Barahona Zuleta

     Vice-postulator, Cause Ven. Fr. Mariano Avellana