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“I have arrived Home”, father Ignacio Larrañaga

“Our brother Ignacio Larrañaga also knew Jesus Christ, he was open to his gaze, open to his Word; Jesus Christ took possession of his heart, until He became the center of his life.

He experienced the mercy of God, like Zacchaeus, and he dedicated his whole life to communicating the Good News, which filled his heart, the love, the mercy of the Father: he would repeat time and again “If you only knew the Father…” That is why he went to so many places throughout the world, wrote books, spoke with that passion which characterized him. Para phrasing Aparecida we can say that knowing Jesus was the best thing that happened to him in his life, and making Him known to others was his greatest joy. He got to know Jesus Christ in his home. His mother. María Salomé, was a pious woman, in solidarity with the poor, who taught him how to pray in the Basque language. His father, Marcelino, was not as prayerful, but he had a mystical streak that Ignacio inherited. That knowledge of Christ grew during those years when he initiated his life as a Capuchin and prepared the priesthood. Ignacio wanted to be a “Capuchin missionary and saint.” Everything was not easy; Ignacio was a timid child that hardly knew how to speak Spanish when he entered the Capuchin seminary. At the same time, he was pious, idealistic, romantic and a dreamer. Ignacio wanted to be a missionary in faraway places.

When he was 29 years old, he had, we could say, a ”mystical” experience: One night he felt inundated by the tenderness of God the Father. He told us, that this event marked his life and his way of relating to God.

That is when he started periodically withdrawing to the mountain, at the Cajón del Maipo exactly. He would go for half a day, a whole day or a weekend… living what he was to later call, a desert time in order to be alone with God… He prayed with the Psalms, with the Gospels… shouting like Francis in Alvernia: “You are Good, all Good, supreme Good, My Lord, God living and true." He practiced silence, like Mary, the humble servant. He surrendered: ”Father, I place myself in your hands . . . Do with me what you will.” He shared with us that it was a true “intensive therapy” that healed him . . . God proceeded to purify his heart so he could work for the Kingdom.

It was from this fiery kiln of his heart purified by the Holy Spirit that the great mission which Ignacio fulfilled burst forth: The Encounters – An Experience of God, that flowed into the Prayer and Life Workshops.

Remember when he told us: “no one gets drunk speaking about wine; it is necessary to drink it.”It is not enough to speak about prayer. It is not enough to speak about God. It is necessary to speak with Him, and above all to listen to Him."

Extracted from the Homily by Fr. Angel Ariz, Provincial Vicar OFM Cappuccino of Chile, delivered on November 3, 2013.


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