Saints come in all shapes and sizes. Some were blessed with great physical strength and extraordinary intelligence while others suffered from poor health and learning disabilities. No matter the physical or intellectual capability of each saint, they all had one thing in common - love for Jesus Christ.
This month I would like to introduce you to a holy man who never allowed his physical disability to get in the way of his faith; his name is Manuel Lozano Garrido.
During the 1930's the Spanish Church went through a bitter persecution. Many priests, religious and lay people were arrested and executed. During these hard and cruel years Manuel acted as a Eucharistic minister. He secretly brought the Blessed Sacrament to the sick and to those who requested to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord in their homes.
Manuel was a journalist. He wrote for several publications, one of them being a religious periodical. In 1942, at the age of 22, Manuel contracted the disease spondylitis, which inflamed his vertebrae. Even though the disease deformed his back and forced him into a wheelchair for the remainder of his life, he did not slow down one bit. Instead, he lived his faith to the fullest and continued writing. By the end of his life he authored nine books and wrote numerous articles.
From the days of being a Eucharistic minister, Manuel was completely devoted to the Holy Eucharist. In fact, he was a daily communicant. His life of prayer and meditation was intimately connected to the Body and Blood of the Lord. The Eucharist was his strength and love. It united him to Jesus and blessed him with the grace to carry his own cross on his pilgrimage to Heaven.
Even though Manuel spent twenty-nine years in a wheel chair and lost his sight toward the end of his life he never lost his faith. In fact, his faith grew, as did his love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. In my opinion, if there is one lesson we can learn from Manuel it is this - the Eucharist is to be the source and center of our life. By making the Eucharist the center of our life we will be able to endure trials of all kinds and become little fountains of grace in imitation of Our Lord.
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