Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 25 July |
The Feast of Saint James the Great
home iconNews
line break icon

Did Hugo Chavez have a death-bed conversion?

JUAN BARRETO / AFP

Vice President Nicolas Maduro said the Venezuelan leader died “clinging to Christ.”

Catholic News Agency - published on 03/08/13 - updated on 06/07/17

Sources say he requested spiritual direction and the sacraments in his final weeks

Caracas, Venezuela – A source in Venezuela has revealed to CNA that President Hugo Chavez died “in bosom of the Church” and received spiritual direction and the sacraments in his last days.
In announcing Chavez’s death to the nation on March 5, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said the Venezuelan leader died “clinging to Christ.” The source in Venezuela told CNA that during the last weeks of his life, Chavez requested spiritual direction and asked to receive the sacraments.
Ever since he assumed power in 1999, Chavez butted heads continuously with the Catholic Church over statements by the bishops warning of the risks and excesses of his Socialist agenda. In 2002, Chavez accused the Venezuelan bishops of being a “tumor” for his revolutionary goals and demanded that the Vatican not intervene in the internal affairs of the country.
In recent years, Chavez occasionally took part in the religious services of distinct denominations, but he surprised the press in April 2012 when he showed up at a Catholic church in his hometown of Barinas to attend Holy Week services. He wore a rosary around his neck and prayed for strength to fight his illness. Last July, Chavez made public his request to meet with the Catholic bishops.
After Chavez’s death, the Archdiocese of Caracas, led by Cardinal Jorge Urosa who is currently in Rome for the conclave, sent its condolences and asked that those in public office “apply the mechanisms established in the Constitution,” that public order be maintained and that “all political sectors foster peace and harmony among the people.”
The secretary general of the Bishops’ Conference of Venezuela, Bishop Jesus Gonzalez de Zarate, called for national unity. “At this time let us all put forth our best sentiments,” he said during an interview on Venezuelan television.
“Death is not the end of our life,” he added. “Death only opens the way to a life of complete happiness, at the side of God our Father.”

(Originally published by Catholic News Agency on March 6th, 2013)

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
morning
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
2
nightbirde
Cerith Gardiner
8 Powerful quotes from Nightbirde that will fill you with hope
3
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
4
ŁACINA
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
5
MACHAERUS
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
6
WEB2-Benjamin_West_-_Joshua_passing_the_River_Jordan_with_the_Ark_of_the_Covenant_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
Daniel Esparza
Who are the cherubim in the Bible?
7
Tefillin
Zelda Caldwell
Did Jesus wear “tefillin” as some observant Jews do t...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.