Saint Ezekiel Moreno - 19th August

He was born in Alfaro (Spain) and, following the example of his brother, in 1864 he joined the Augustinians at their convent for contemplatives at Monteagudo. He was sent to the Philipines in 1871, was ordained priest and commenced his apostolic work.

At the Provincial Chapter of 1885 he was appointed Prior at the convent of Monteagudo. Nobody, as a missionary of great experience and holiness, had the ability to nuture so well in the hearts of youths, a love for the missions. After he completed his mandate as Prior he expressed a wish to volunteer to reorganise the Order in Colombia. His main aim was to reintroduce an observance of religious life in that community. He was certain that only good religious were true apostles and he had a great wish to restart the mission of Casanare where the Augustinian Rikolletti had spread the Gospel for mnay years.

In 1893, at a time when he was well known for his fervour for the missions and for his virtues, he was appointed Apostolic Vicar at Casanare and after two years he became Bishop of Pasto. In this new mission he had to face humiliation, derision, calumny, persecution, to the extent that his superiors abandoned him. However, as he loved the truth and for those entrusted to his care,as the Good Shepherd, he did not think twice of placing his own life at risk for his lambs. In one of his battles to defend the faith in 1898 in the course fo his “ad Limina”, he presented his resignation to Pope Leo XIII. However, the Pope did not accept this. He returned to his Diocese where a civil war awaited him.

In 1905 he fell sick to a severe illness and he suffered greatly. He returned to Spain for some surgical interventions and, so as to get closer to Christ, he even refused to accept annesthesia and he did not complain nor cry for support; this to the amazement of the professors and their assistants. When he knew that he was about to die he wanted to pass the last days of his life at the Monteagudo convent that was so much close to his heart. He died on 9 August 1906 and was buried under the laltar of the Church of the Vergine al-Cammino.

He was canonized in the city of Santo Domingo on 11 October 1992 by Pope St. John Paul II, who presented him to the world,during the Centenary of the Evalgelization of America, as a shepherd and exemplerary missionary,.

Romualdo Rodrigo, o.a.r.

MINGUELLA, T., OAR., Biografía del Ilmo. Y Rvdmo. Sr D. Fr. Ezequiel M. y Díaz, Obispo de Pasto, Barcelona 1909 (translation in Italian1924); Sacra Rituum Congregatione, Beatificationis et canonizationis Servi Dei Ezequielis M. Díaz. Positio super virtutibus, Rome 1944; Ib., Nova Positio super virtutibus, Rome 1959; MARTÍNEZ CUESTA, A., OAR., ID., S. Ezequiel M. Fraile, obispo y misionario, Madrid 1992; *LAZCANO B. 495-525; *AYAPE, E., OAR., Semblanza de S. Ezequiel M., Madrid 1994; El Santo de Alfaro. Simposio sobre S. Ezequiel M., Alfaro 29 sept, - 1 Oct.1994, Rome 1994.

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