It's been 100 years since the birth of Manuel Lozano Garrido, Blessed Lolo, who is called to be the patron of journalists.
Lolo was a tireless author and journalist, who spent most of his professional life in a wheelchair, with a serious illness. He was blind for the last 10 years of his life.
His life wasn't easy. He was born in Linares, Spain, on Aug. 9, 1920. His father died, leaving his mother to raise seven children alone. When Lolo was 15, he lost his mother as well. Lolo found strength in the faith, in the Eucharist. From a young age, he was part of the Catholic Action Movement. He was full of energy and always took initiative, but when he was only 22 years old, he was struck by a degenerative disease.
The constant pain he experienced didn't extinguish his curiosity and love for the written word. Those who knew him say he never complained. The doors of his house were always open to everyone. When he could no longer write with one hand, he used the other. If he kept dropping his pen, he would attach it to his wrist. Then he moved to the typewriter, which he could use because he still had some mobility in his fingers. During Mass, he would set it on the altar. That's how he wrote the “Journalist's Decalogue,” which Pope Francis remembered during an encounter with the media.
Sept. 23, 2019
“Despite the illness that constrained him to spend 28 years in a wheelchair, he didn't stop loving his occupation. In his 'Journalist's Decalogue,' he recommends “paying with the coin of frankness,” “kneading the bread of clean information with the salt of style and the yeast of eternity,” and to serve “neither pastries nor spicy dishes, but rather a tasty bite of the clean and hope-filled life.” He's truly a good example to follow!”
For Lolo, journalism had to be noble, clean and hope-giving. He worked joyfully every day of his life, until he succumbed to his illness on Nov. 3, 1971. He left behind dozens of books, essays and articles on all sorts of topics. He also founded the Sinai groups, sick patients and convents who pray for journalists.
The cause for his beatification began in 1994. He was beatified in a ceremony in his hometown of Linares in 2010. He was the first journalist to be made a Blessed.