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Pope approves beatification of Venezuelan doctor José Gregorio Hernández

Venezuelan doctor José Gregorio Hernández lived between 1864 and 1919. He's considered a point of unity in his country.

Vatican Secretary of State
“The whole country recognizes itself in him and accepts and loves him. Let’s say then that he can be an element that accompanies and unites all Venezuelans in a moment of hardships and divisions.”

He is credited with scientific advancements in Venezuela in the 19th and 20th centuries, including the introduction of the microscope to the country. Following his studies in Berlin and Paris, he was responsible for putting together teams for the laboratory of experimental physiology in Caracas, as well as gathering material for new courses at the Central University of Venezuela where he taught.

Apostolic Administrator of Caracas
“He worked and died serving the poor. What better situation than this, living in our country, with such a deep crisis, in which hate and division have been sown among the people, to have this role model to follow.”

Director of Communications, Venezuelan Episcopal Conference
“Believers and non-believers alike recognize in Dr. José Gregorio Hernández a humble and charitable person, an example of Christianity and good citizenship. That's why he's so important.”

His remains are kept in the Church of Our Lady of the Candelaria, in the heart of Caracas. Thousands of people visit the site each week.

Postulator of the Cause for Beatification
“He had a virtuous life as a layman, coherence, and love for the poor. He was a doctor of international prestige and truly captured people's attention. In this moment, the devotion of the Venezuelan people is impressive.”

His devotion extends beyond Venezuela. Vatican Secretary of State, Card. Pietro Parolin, was apostolic nuncio in Venezuela until 2013, and he confesses he brought a piece of the country back to Rome.

Vatican Secretary of State
“I brought with me many images of Venezuelan saints. Most are of José Gregorio Hernández and Our Lady of Coromoto. I have it outside my office, so when I exit and enter, I always see it. It's a reason to think about Venezuela.

Dr. José Gregorio Hernández is a testimony of the kindness of Venezuelan hearts.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: Claudia Torres