Míguez, Faustino, Bl.
MÍGUEZ, FAUSTINO, BL.
Baptized Manuel, also called Faustino of the Incarnation, educator, scientist, Piarist priest, and founder of the Daughters of the Divine Shepherdess (Calasanctian Sisters); b. Xamirás, Acebedodel Rio, Celanova, Orense, Galicia, Spain, March 25, 1831; d. Getafe near Madrid, Spain, March 8, 1925.
Manuel, the fourth child of Christian farmers, studied Latin and the humanities in Orense. There, he was inspired by the life of Saint joseph calasanctius (1556–1648) and entered the novitiate of Calasanz's order, Poor Clerics Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools (piarists), at Saint Ferdinand's in Madrid (1850), professed his vows, and was later ordained. He taught for nearly fifty years in Piarist schools, including those at Celanova, El Escorial, Getafe, Guanaboacoa, Monforte de Lemos, San Fernando, and Sanlúcar de Barameda, while continuing to improve his own education.
His genuine love for children exhibited itself in his kindness and dedication to teaching them the love of truth. At the invitation of St. Anthony Mary claret, Faustino travelled to Cuba to teach in various colleges. Returning to Spain, he used his study of botany to uncover the healing power of plants and manufactured medicines for the sick, poor people of the region. His legacy in this area is the Míguez Laboratory in Getafe.
Míguez was particularly sensitive to the dignity of women, whom he regarded as the soul of the family. Appalled by the illiteracy and marginalization of women in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, he founded the Calasanctian Sisters (Jan. 2, 1885) with the support of the bishop of Seville. The congregation, recognized by the Holy See in 1910, is dedicated to the education and formation of children, especially poor girls. This congregation has continued to endure and prosper in Spain and Latin America.
Míguez, who was also known as a patient, wise confessor, died at the age of 94. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II, Oct. 25, 1998.
[k. i. rabenstein]