Peru. The people of Huacho, with their Bishop leading them, renders a heartfelt homage to Fr. Eusebio Arróniz Gómez, a simple Claretian missionary, to remember him 50 years after his death. What is it that remains in the heart and in the memory of the people to keep such a deep affection toward him?
This saintly missionary (this is how they know him) stood out for his missionary passion, his cordial dealing with the people, his untiring dedication to the pastoral work, his joy, his creativity, his simplicity and his dedication to the poorest, the prisoners, the children and the eldest. He was a veritable popular missionary.
He was born in Zúñiga – Navarra (Spain) in 1885 and was sent to Peru in a very early age. He worked in a first stage in the diocesan seminaries of Lima and Trujillo as a professor of different disciplines, where he stood out for his closeness with the youth and his great capacity to form them in values. In a second moment he worked in the rural parishes of Cajabamba and Huacho. He stayed in this last city from 1945 to 1958, the year when the Claretians left that city. He was assigned to Arequipa, where he died the following year, on November 1st, 1958, Solemnity of All Saints.
At the insistence of the people, his remains were transferred to Huacho where they rest at the entrance of the cemetery and receive a strong popular veneration.
On November 1st the Bishop of the Diocese of Huacho, Mons. Antonio Santarsiero, presided over the Eucharist, in which the Claretian Frs. Carlos Sánchez and Ronel Chipana, representing the Congregation, participated with two diocesan priests. Then a Pilgrimage took place to the cemetery, where the people dedicated to him prayers, poems and different signs of affection and popular devotion. During the previous week there was an exposition of remembrances of his missionary work: photos, letters and different objects. It was inspiring to observe the strong love that the people has for Fr. Eusebio, in spite of the 50 years that have already passed.