The Trappist Monk, Blessed Rafael Arnaiz Baron

December 13, 2008
Trappist Monk, Rafael Arnaiz
Trappist Monk, Rafael Arnaiz

I was delighted to hear that this man, Blessed Rafael, is believed to be nearing sainthood according to some sources. He was beatified by the late Pope John Paul II on 1992 where the Occupier of the Seat of Peter called him, “the model of youth”.

My excitement over the news has nothing to do with his last name but because his mother is a Filipina, having been born here.

Chances are good that his Mother, Mercedes Baron, still have living relatives in the islands.

The Burgos native is known as Brother Maria Rafael inside the monastery, As a young boy he attended a school administered by the Jesuits.

For non Catholics, all of these would be strange – the process of Sainthood is often misunderstood but for Catholics, especially those who have a connection to the person, either by roots or faith, it matters a great deal.

For centuries we have been known for being Catholics. We’re fortunate that some of our churches, towns and schools had been served by men of clothe that would be saints, the likes of Saint Ezekiel of the Recollects and San Juan Bautista of the Franciscan, founder of many towns and churches, martyred on his mission to Christianize Japan.

The holy man is from the Trappist monastery, known for their dutiful hardworking ways, they are strictly guided by the rule of Benedict. They are a contemplative order; the official name is Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance. In our country There’s only one known Trappist Monastery its located somewhere in Guimaras.

One of the rule that they live by is, “live by the work of thy hands”, which means masterful crafts that they would sell to raise money to support the monastery.

If the Benedictines have their wines, the Trappist have their beers, which is considered to be the best in the world. Unlike other beers, the Trappist creations are known to age well like wines.

One other thing that I find really interesting is that they are actually not forbidden to drink; of course they do in moderation.

Blessed Rafael’s family has moved several times due to his fathers different assignments as soldier. Its unclear whether his father  met his mother here or if Mercedes family moved back to Spain, like many Filipino Spanish did during those times.

In Oviedo he was honoured, a street was already named after him.

He’s known to be a mystic and a healer. When he was still living his life outside the monastery, he was known for his liveliness and sense of humour.

He authored mystical and spiritual works. He is also a photographer and is a architecture graduate from Madrid.

He died of Diabetes when he was only 27.

Vatican City (CNA).- The Congregation for the Causes of the Saints has approved the miracle of the inexplicable cure of Begona Leon Alonso, a 38 year-old woman from Madrid who suffered from Hellp Syndrome during her pregnancy and went into a coma when doctors performed surgery to save her child.

Miraculously, she recovered through the intercession of Blessed Rafael Arnaiz Baron, a Trappist monk who died at the age of 27.

According to the newspaper La Nueva España, Bergona Leon fell ill in 2000 during her pregnancy and underwent a cesarean at the Gregorio Maranon Hospital to save the life of the child. Her condition worsened and she fell into a coma, at which point doctors considered her brain dead.

A nun from the Cistercian convent of San Bernardo de Burgos heard about Leon from her family, and the nuns at the convent decided to pray a novena to Blessed Rafael for her healing. From that moment on Leon began to improve until she completely recovered. In order for Blessed Rafael to be declared a saint, the Pope needs to sign a decree prepared by the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.

Let’s all pray for Our Blessed Rafael.

“…to live in order to love.”

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this is something that we can be proud of 🙂