Gárate, Francisco, Bl.
GÁRATE, FRANCISCO, BL.
Jesuit brother, affectionately called "Brother Courtesy"; b. Feb. 3, 1857, Azpeitia (near Loyola Castle), Spain; d. Sept. 9, 1929, Bilbao. Francisco Gárate, the second of seven siblings, was raised in a devout farming family in which three sons became jesuits. He entered domestic service (1871) as a house servant at the new Jesuit College of Nuestra Señora de la Antigua at Orduña. Because the Jesuits had been expelled from Spain (1868), Francisco sought entrance into the Society of Jesus (1874) at the novitiate in Poyanne in southern France. After professing his initial vows in 1876 and spending another another year in Poyanne, he was assigned as infirmarian and sacristan (1877–87) at the College of Santiago Apostolo in La Guardia, Pontevedra in western Spain, where he was known for his extreme kindness. He professed his final vows in August of 1887. In March of 1888, he was transferred to Bilbao in northern Spain because his service in the infirmary was affecting his health. For the next 41 years, Brother Francisco was doorkeeper at the Jesuit university in Duesto Bilbao. There he became renowned for the evangelizing power of his humble, joyful service to all he encountered. Pope John Paul II beatified Francisco on Oct. 6, 1985 for his Christian perfection in the way of humble service.
Feast: Sept. 10 (Jesuits).
Bibliography: j. iturrioz, H. Francisco Garate, S.I.: "Portero" de Deusto (Bilbao 1985). j. a. de sobrino, Tres que dijeron 'si' (Madrid 1985). Acta Apostolicae Sedis 79 (1987): 7–10. j. n. tylenda, Jesuit Saints and Martyrs (Chicago 1998) 297–9. L'Osservatore Romano, Eng. ed., no. 42 (1985): 6–7.
[k. i. rabenstein]