Bishop and Martyr (1916-1989)
+ Jesús Emilio was born in Santo Domingo, Colombia, and entered seminary at the age of 13. Ordained a priest in 1940, he entered the Xaverian Missionaries of Yaramul, professing perpetual vows in 1946.
+ While pursuing doctoral studies in Bogotá, he served as a chaplain in a women’s prison and, beginning in 1945, he also served as a spiritual director for seminarians and novice master for his community.
+ Having served as a seminary rector and as the superior-general of his congregation (1959-1966), Jesús Emilio was named Vicar Apostolic of Aracua and he was consecrated as a bishop in 1971. In 1984, the Apostoic Vicariate of Aracua was raised to the rank of a diocese and Bishop Jaramillo was named the first bishop.
+ The region entrusted to the care of Bishop Jaramillo was scarred by the ravages of the Colombian civil war and drug trafficking was rampant. Through his efforts, he was able to bring a certain degree of stability and security to the region, despite the powerful influence of the drug cartels and rebel groups.
+ As bishop, Jaramillo championed the rights of the poor and was known as a dedicated shepherd who tirelessly worked for justice.
+ Bishop Jaramillo was kidnapped on October 2, 1989, as he and another priest were making parish visits. The leftist rebels eventually released the priest but murdered the bishop in reprisal constant criticism of the rebels and his work for peace for the people of Colombia.
+ Blessed Jesús Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve was beatified by Pope Francis on September 8, 2017. His memory is celebrated on October 3, the anniversary of his martyrdom.
Beatified with Blessed Jesús Emilio was another Colombian martyr: the priest Pedro Ramirez who was killed at the start of the Colombian civil war in 1948.
“Jesus is the Emmanuel who is born and the Emmanuel who accompanies us daily, the God-with-us who is born, and the God who walks with us until the end of the world. This promise is fulfilled also in Colombia: Monsignor Jesús Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve, Bishop of Arauca, and the martyred priest of Armero, Pedro María Ramírez Ramos, are signs of this, the expression of a people who wish to rise up out of the swamp of violence and bitterness.”—Pope Francis
O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by adorning blessed Jesús Emilio with the victory of martyrdom, graciously grant that, as he imitated the Lord’s Passion, so we may, by following in his footsteps, be worthy to attain eternal joys. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs)
Profiles prepared by Br. Silas Henderson, S.D.S.