Euse Hoyos, Mariano de Jesús, Bl.

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Also known as Fr. Marianito, diocesan priest; b. Oct. 14, 1845, Yarumal (Diocese of Antioquia), northwestern Colombia, and baptized the following day; d. July 12, 1926, Angostura, northeastern Colombia.

The eldest of the seven children of Pedro Euse (of Norman heritage) and Rosalía de Hoyos Echeverri, Mariano was educated at home in order to ensure a Christian formation. Even as a child he took time from his farming duties to teach other children the catechism. When he decided to become a priest (age 16), he was entrusted to the care of his uncle, Fr. Fermín Hoyos. On Feb. 3, 1869, Mariano entered the Medellín seminary. He was ordained (July 14, 1872), assigned as assistant to his uncle at San Pedro (18721876), then to Yarumal (187678) and Angostura (1878). As assistant to his ailing pastor, Rudesindo Correa, he supervised the completion of the church edifice. Upon Correa's death, Fr. Marianito became pastor and committed himself to caring for the needy during civil war. When his own safety was threatened several times he was forced into hiding. He was known for his poverty, his selfless charity, his simple but effective preaching, and his pastoral zeal, particularly in his ministry to farmers and children. He died after a long illness.

Marianito was buried in the chapel of the Virgin of Carmen, Angostura, which he had constructed. His incorrupt body was translated to the parish church on July 11, 1936. His cause for beatification was introduced Oct. 10, 1980. He was declared venerable (March 3, 1990) and a miracle, the cure of Colombian Fr. Rafael Gildardo Vélez Saldarriaga's prostate cancer, at his intercession approved (March 26, 1999). At his beatification (April 9,2000) by John Paul II, Marianito became the first Colombian-born blessed.

Feast: July 13.

[k. i. rabenstein]