Blessed José Olalla Valdés
Havana, Cuba, February 12, 1820-March 7, 1889, Camagüey, Cuba
The Venerable Servant of God José Olalla Valdés was born in Havana, the island of Cuba, on February 12 of 1820. The child of unknown parents, he was entrusted to the orphanage of St. Joseph (Havana), where on March 15, 1820 he received the baptism. He lived and was educated at the House of Cuna and the House of Charity, becoming a serious and responsible boy, and at the age of 13-14 years made his entry into the Hospital of St John of God in the hospital community Saints Philip and James, in Havana.
Overcoming the obstacles that seemed to interpose his vocation, he remained constant in his decision, professing his vows as a religious hospital. In April of 1835 he was transferred to the city of Puerto Príncipe (today Camagüey), the hospital San Giovanni di Dio, where he devoted himself for the rest of his life to the service of the sick, in the style of St John of God; In 54 years he was absent from hospital just one night, and for reasons independent of his will. Nurses aide, at 25 years became “more nurse” and the hospital then, in 1856, he became superior of the community.
Visse facing great difficulties and sacrifices, but always with rectitude and strength of mind, his life and hospital during the period of suppression of religious orders from the liberal Spanish governments, which also involved the confiscation of ecclesiastical property. Since 1876, when his last companion died, in 1889, the date of his death, he lived alone working in the service of the sick, ever faithful to God, his conscience, his vocation and charisma without ever come less to religious vows, humble and obedient to all, with nobility of heart, respecting, loving and serving even the ungrateful and envious enemies.
In the war of 10 years (1868-1878) he proved brave in guarding his hospitalized, always cautious and without rancor, working for the benefit of everyone, but with preference for the weak and poor, the elderly and orphans, without distinction of race or religion, jeopardizing his existence in the course of events difficult, seeing slaves, defending the hospital, help the war wounded, assisting prisoners, etc.., and also taking the defense with gentle firmness to all those who had not allowed the government to seek treatment, regardless of their origin or social policy at the time of civil war, resulting in this respect and consideration of the military authorities. He managed to intercede with the military authorities in favor of the people of Camagüey and not letting themselves be frightened by threats or by prohibitions, avoided a civilian massacre.
Persevering in the vocation, through his kindness was sweet and serene fourth vow of hospitality is not just a ministry of love and service to the sick, but a way of burning apostolate, especially in helping the dying and the dying, that accompanied the last hours of their existence, in step towards a better life. It always known to all by his infinite goodness and was remembered as “an apostle of charity” and “father of the poor”, which sums up the altruism of the Venerable Olalla, who lived in complete faithfulness to the charism of Hospitality.
Modest, sober, without any kind of aspirations but to be devoted solely to his merciful ministry, renounce the priesthood and is characterized by his humanity and competence, although self-taught, as a medical surgeon. He lived away from the clamor, by avoiding honor to be able to set his eyes only on Jesus, found that in the face of suffering. His great humility is revealed by his resignation to the priesthood, after an invitation from his rivoltogli Archbishop, since his vocation was completely serving the poor and the suffering, the witnesses speak of full fidelity to his consecration of religious practice in the vows of chastity, obedience, poverty and hospitality.
His death on March 7, 1889, was considered the “death of a fair,” a saint: death, vigil, funeral and burial, with monument-mausoleum, which since then has been visited constantly, expressing his holiness with the veneration by his devotees. He died but remained alive in the hearts of the people who loved to call him “Father Olalla.”
The great reputation of sanctity around him arose from his modest life as a man, just and generous dall’animo, as a model of virtue from the heart of ardent love for “my beloved brothers”: sober, joyful, affable, but especially Mighty Servant charity. He knew how to be a faithful imitator of its founder. God was his life and, consequently, illuminated by love of God, spare so much love in this way. “God took first place in the intentions and actions: his eyes fixed in the well bore nell’anima Jesus constantly.” This heroic charity had its bases in a faith that recognized in “God the Father, Jesus and the entire center of his life, the foundation of his love and his mercy, Jesus was crucified the secret of his loyalty to God that moved all his work. “
Despite being a tenacious spirit, he was always obedient to God to better address and support the harsh and daily hardships imposed by hospital workers and the difficult and delicate situations involving threats to life, always seeking the good of his patients.
With the death of Fr Olalla Valdés and even then, his reputation for holiness was increasing day by day, mainly between the people of Camagüey, which attributed to his intercession ccontinuing thanks and support. The Process of the Case Study was opened in 1990 in the diocese of Camagüey, Cuba, On December 16, 2006 his heroic virtues were recognized.
After the celebration of the diocesan process super miro of the alleged healing of the girl 3 years, Daniel Cabrera Ramos, in the same diocese of Camagüey, the restoration of the little girl was recognized as a true miracle by His Holiness Benedict XVI with Decree of March 15, 2008.
The ceremony for the beatification of Father Olalla Valdés will be held in the City of Camagüey, Cuba, on November 29, 2008, presided over by His Eminence Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins.
SOURCE: Vatican News Service
Raul Castro Attended the Beatification Ceremony.