Blessed Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodriguez Santiago, 1918-1963
As a child in Puerto Rico, Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodriguez Santiago began experiencing the first symptoms of what would later become a severe digestive disorder. This illness would cause him much suffering and inconvenience for the rest of his life. However, it never undermined his commitment to Christ and his Church.
Carlos Manuel founded a Liturgy Circle in his hometown of Caguas and used his modest salary as a Spanish/English translator to publish two Christian magazines, Liturgy and Christian Culture. His principal apostolic work was at Catholic University Center, Rio Piedras, where he evangelized students and teachers. He was an active member of the Brotherhood of Christian Doctrine, Holy Name Society, and Knights of Columbus and taught catechism to high school students. He also encouraged liturgical renewal among clergy and laity, the use of vernacular language, and devotion to the Paschal Vigil, which takes place near the end of each day. Many of his reforms were adopted by the Church at the Vatican II Council in the 1960s.
Many of those who knew him, credit him with their growth of a living faith. He lived an exemplary life, dedicating himself to helping others recover or maintain their spirituality. In 1963, he died at the age of 44 after a long and painful illness. So great was his case for beatification that Saint Pope John Paul II beatified him in 1997, only four years after he was declared venerable. He is the first Puerto Rican to achieve that status.
Discuss: Who has taught you about your faith and made a difference in your life because of what they taught you?
Write a Thank-You Note
After discussing the question above, provide art supplies for the young people to make thank-you cards for the people who have taught them about their faith. Encourage the young people to give the cards to the people personally or to mail them.