Meet the Spanish saint who helps those who suffer from diabetes

A long process of canonization

As early as the 1940s, some of his brothers, convinced of his heroic virtues, proposed placing his tomb in a wing of the cloister, without success. 

In 1944, his uncle, the duke of Maqueda, wrote the history of his nephew, titled “A Secret of the Trappist,” which interested many.

It was not until the 1960s that work began on the beatification process and his tomb was moved to the cloister, as his brothers had wished 20 years earlier.

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During World Youth Day held in Santiago de Compostela in August 1989, Pope John Paul II proposed Brother Rafael as a model to follow. A few days later, he was declared “Venerable.”

Only a year later, a possible miracle began to be studied and in 1992, St. John Paul II proclaimed him “Blessed” in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.

Under Pope Benedict XVI, the miracle for the canonization of Rafael Arnáiz was approved, and he was canonized on Oct. 11, 2009.

Two years later, he was declared patron — together with other saints like the then-Blessed John Paul II — of World Youth Day in Madrid.

This story was originally published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language sister news agency, on Nov. 14, 2022. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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