First journalist to be beatified by Catholic Church

Manuel Lozano Garrido, a Spanish journalist of the 20th century, is expected to become the first journalist to be beatified by the Catholic Church. He will therefore become known as one of the “Blessed” when he is so recognized in a ceremony to be held on June 12. Lozano Garrido lived and died in the Andalusian town of Linares in southern Spain where he worked for several magazines and newspapers. Catholic bishop Ramon del Hoyo greeted the news “with joy.

Known by the nickname ‘Lolo,’ Lozano Garrido’s cause for beatification was promoted by the Association of the Friend of Lolo. His sisters, Expectation and Lucia, are still alive and hope to be present for the beatification ceremony.

Bishop Del Hoyo noted that this will be a special case, since Lozano Garrido was “a layman, with a very rich spiritual profile.” The prelate said that he expects the beatification to “enrich the lives of Christians with examples of saintliness.”

The process of beatification, the second step in the Catholic Church eventual recognition of a person’s sainthood, is long, complicated, and costly. To be recognized as one of the ‘blessed’ or in Latin ‘beati,’ a miracle must be attributed to the person in question. A second miracle is ground for declaring sainthood. In 2009, the Vatican office in charge of investigating these matters approved the report of a miraculous healing through the intercession of Lozano Garrido. A boy who had suffered from a severe infection following two operation, and fecal vomiting, was miraculously cured. He will be present at the beatification ceremony.

Manuel Lozano Garrido known as 'Lolo', was born in Linares in the province of Jaén on August 9, 1920. He died there in 1971. After completing his university studies, he was to contract a sickness that within just a year render him almost entirely invalid. He lost his sight and became paralyzed.

Nonetheless, he was able to carry out his journalistic profession by writing for ‘Telva’, ‘Vida Nueva’, ‘Signo’, and the Associated Press. His efforts were recognized by his Church was the ‘Bravo’ prize. In 1956, he founded a magazine for the disabled. He also wrote two books; the first was entitled 'El sillón de ruedas' (The Wheelchair, 1961), while his book ‘Las Estrellas se ven de noche’ (Stars come out at night) was published posthumously.

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