The Servant of God, Raffaele Emanuele Almansa Riaño

On Tuesday, May 9, the Holy Father Francis received in a private audience, His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience the Pope authorized the Congregation to promulgate the Decree on the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Rafael Emanuel Almansa Riaño, a diocesan priest, who had been professed in the Order of Friars Minor, born in Bogotá on 2 August 1840 and died on June 28, 1927.

Rafael Emanuel Almansa Riaño had been in the religious Province of the Friars Minor in Colombia where he made his profession in 1865. As a result of the subversive and dispersion laws against religious communities, in 1866 he was welcomed by Bishop of Nueva Pamplona and ordained in that same year. He returned to Bogota in 1897 where the Archbishop Mons. Bernardo Herrera Restrepo, who greatly esteemed him, incardinated him into the Archdiocese and appointed him to the Church of San Diego, once held by the Friars Minor. Here Rev. Almansa, who had received permission from the General Minister to wear the religious habit, continued his fervent apostolate in the same spirit of simplicity and humility of Saint Francis. A true “angel of peace,” he had access to the homes of the poor and the rich, of the humble and powerful, radiating around him the love for God and the Church. He carried out the great work of peacemaking and mediation in the critical moments of the history of his country. Poor among the poor, humble and happy, he exercised his ministry of charity up until the end of his life. He died in Bogotá in great fame of holiness on June 28, 1927. His cause for beatification began in 1995, and by 1999 it was entrusted to the General Postulator of the Order.