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Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Journalist "Lolo" to be beatified

This Saturday at Linares in Spain, Manuel Lozano Garrido, ("Lolo") will be beatified by Archbishop Angelo Amato. Garrido (1920-1971) was a journalist who wrote for various media, including Associated Press. He also wrote nine spiritual books. The Spanish site for Lolo's beatification has an English translation of a short biography.

At the age of 22 Garrido contracted spondylitis which confined him to a wheelchair. He continued writing while he physically could, and then dictated articles. He was blind for the last nine years of his life. At one point, while he still had some use of his fingers, he was given a typewriter. The first words he wrote with it were:
"My Lord, thank You. The first word, Your Name, may it always be the strength and soul of this machine ...May Your light and clearness be the mind and heart of all that type on it, so that everything written may be noble, fair and promising.”
He started up "Sinai" groups which consisted of twelve sick people, teamed up with a contemplative religious house, to pray for a specific section of the mass media. The name recalled Moses when he was on Mount Sinai and could not lift his arms but prayed to help Israel. So also the sick who were unable to carry out physical works, could intercede for those forming opinion.

Lolo had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and received Holy Communion daily. He also had a tender love for Our Blessed Lady. At the site for his canonisation, there are many articles, prayers and reflections, many relating particularly to journalism and the importance of the press. I hope that some of them will be made available in English before too long.

Back in February, John Hooper wrote in the Guardian about "Journalism's first saint". Hooper writes a sympathetic article and makes this good point:
[...] despite the fact that Lozano Garrido will be the first lay journalist to be beatified, his progress towards sainthood has scarcely been covered by his own profession. The only report I have seen on him this week was put out by the specialist Catholic news agency, Zenit.
I think that bloggers should take a special interest in Lolo as another patron saint.
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