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On December 14, 2023, the Vatican recognized the heroic virtues of Ernesto Cofiño, a memer of Opus Dei in Guatemala.
He is now recognized as venerable, and two miracles are required for him to be eventually declared a saint.
Who was Ernesto Cofiño?
Cofiño was born on June 5, 1899, in Guatemala City, where he remained during his early life. After high school he studied medicine at the University of Paris, graduating as a surgeon in 1929.
He returned to Guatemala after his studies and started a family, eventually raising five children.
According to an Opus Dei biography, “His strong faith in God and deep respect for human life led him to foster and defend the right to life from conception and care for life until natural death. He inspired and promoted organizations that work for the good of future mothers, street children and orphans. He worked in many of these organizations himself, and was instrumental in financing homes for the needy and centers of social assistance and served as Director of the National Hospice Center for four years.”
He officially became a supernumerary member of Opus Dei in 1956, and became even more active in his Catholic faith, attending daily Mass and going to confession on a weekly basis.
Cofiño remained active in his many apostolates for many years, dying in 1991 at the age of 92 from jaw cancer.
Even in his later years he was active, as the Vatican biography explains, “He spent the last period leading an almost monastic life, intensifying prayer even more and spending himself on beneficial works.”
The Vatican recognizes his heroic virtue and holds up Cofiño as an example to follow.