Framed poster - Blessed Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodríguez Santiago - Puerto Rico - layperson of the Roman Catholic Church
Blessed Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodríguez Santiago - Puerto Rico - layperson of the Roman Catholic Church
Framed poster, printed on thick, durable, matte paper. The matte black frame that's made from wood from renewable forests adds an extra touch of class.
• Alder, semi-hardwood frame • Black .75” thick frame • Acrylite front protector • Lightweight • Hanging hardware included
Blessed Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodríguez Santiago (1918-1963) was a layperson of the Roman Catholic Church, who was beatified by the Catholic Church on 2001. He is the first Puerto Rican, the first Caribbean-born layperson in history to be beatified.
Rodríguez was born in 1918, in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Rodríguez was enrolled to study at the Colegio Católico Notre Dame.
While Rodríguez was working as an office clerk in various towns of the region, he dedicated his resources to promote a greater knowledge of the Catholic faith by promoting a greater understanding of the Catholic liturgy.
Using articles on liturgical subjects which he himself had translated and edited, he began publishing Liturgy and Christian Culture, publications to which he dedicated innumerable hours. Rodríguez organized discussion groups in towns across the entire island, and worked with Catholic social organizations to disseminate his ideas. He also taught catechism to high school students whose study aids he supplied out of his own pocket. He was a Knight of Columbus.
In 1946 Rodríguez enrolled at the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras, to pursue higher studies, where his brother José and sister Haydée were already UPR faculty members. As his disciples grew in number he moved into nearby Catholic University Center and organized another Liturgy Circle (later called the Círculo de Cultura Cristiana).
Despite excellent grades and his love for studies, however, illness prevented him from completing his second year. Nonetheless, he was a voracious reader and, with only a year's study, was able to master both the piano and the church organ.
In 1948, he assembled along with Father McGlone, the parroquial chorus "Te Deum Laudamus".
Rodríguez zealously promoted a renewal of the Catholic liturgy among bishops, clergy and laymen. He professed extreme devotion to the liturgy and worked to repair the loss of liturgical customs that had been abandoned over generations. He advocated for active participation of the laity in prayer, the use of the vernacular and – most especially – the observance of his much loved Paschal Vigil in its proper nighttime setting, after centuries of having this service celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday.
Increasingly convinced that “the liturgy is the life of the Church", he organized a "Liturgy Circle" in Caguas to foment a better knowledge among the people. He expressed special concern over the Easter vigil, saying that it had lost its ancient character as the focal night of the Christian year. To his delight, the Easter vigil was restored to its proper time near midnight by Pope Pius XII in 1952. One of his favorite sayings about this feast was "Vivimos para esa noche" (We live for that night).
This is now the motto on his tomb, which is located in the Cathedral of Caguas.