April 22, 2012. (Romereports.com)
For years now, Brother Rodolfo Meoli has been looking into the life of Cuban priest Felix Varela
. He's actually the postulator for his cause of beatification. Most recently Varela was declared a 'venerable' by the Catholic Church. “It's a culmination of work that theologians, historians and scholars have done for years. They all focused their work on recognizing that he actually lived out all virtues.”
Said Rodolfo Cosimo Meoli, postulator the cause of Father Felix Varela.
He died in 1853. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved the process in 1985, but it actually began 11 years after that.
Regardless of time, Cubans still show great respect for Felix Varela and his legacy. RODOLFO COSIMO MEOLI
Postulator, Felix Varela“He was a scholar, a philosopher, a politician, a patriot. He was one of three people sent to Spain to represent Cuba when it was still a Spanish colony. It was a very important task. He was also a priest, a holy priest, which is why he was declared venerable.”
The Cuban priest was also a violinist and journalist who promoted the newspaper 'El Habanero.' He was also an inventor. While he was exiled in America, he designed an air purifying machine for patients who suffered from respiratory problems.
His impact was recognized by Benedict XVI as the Pope he celebrated Mass in Havana's Revolution Square.
52:32 – 53:09
“An illustrious son of this city of Havana, who has taken his place in Cuban history as the first one who taught his people how to think. Father Varela offers us a path to a true transformation of society: to form virtuous men and women in order to forge a worthy and free nation, for this transformation depends on the spiritual, in as much as “there is no authentic fatherland without virtue.”
On Easter Sunday, New York Cardinal, Timothy Dolan, officially announced the appointment of Felix Varela as venerable.
Cubans remember this priest as a teacher, an advocate of human rights and freedom. Many have said that he was “the first who taught us to think.” In fact a Cuban prize that honors cultural achievement bares his name. It's called The Felix Varela Order.
His impact is also recognized by the country's Communist government.
RODOLFO COSIMO MEOLI
Postulator Felix Varela
ORIG. ITALIAN “When John Paul II visited Cuba in 1998, Fidel Castro gave the Pope the biography of Varela, which was written by Ignacio Rodriguez. It was one of the few copies that still existed. He also gave him the Medal of the Varela Order.”
Now that Varela has been declared 'venerable,' Meoli says, the work of people comes to a close so to speak, and the work of God begins. Before being considered for sainthood, Varela must first be beatified- and for that to happen, it must be proven that a miracle took place through his intercession.