I KNEW HIM

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VIDEO
A look at a man of God

Ignacio Larrañaga says of himself that he was born with a particular sensitivity, probably inherited from his mother María Salomé. Endowed with a great gift of piety, with a true hunger for God, he must, however, work hard towards a path of misappropriation and humility, for he was also born with a proud and impatient nature. It was that great pedagogy of abandonment that little by little taught him to master his character in the face of life's vicissitudes.

 

This is how this "determined man", and little patient came to manifest degrees of emotional tenderness and patience at the end of his days. He let himself work for God as he knew to do it: with unwavering faith and unlimited trust in God's mercy. Reaching an unperturbed peace against the demands of "me."

 

His legacy was to instill in people the vital need to live in a state of permanent conversion, always by the hand of prayer alone and in silence, just as Jesus did, with exclusive attention to God. From there, springs of thanks would sprout, which led to the service of others to teach men and women to be a little happier or suffer less.

 

He had a persistent and instinctive demand for authenticity, a deep search for God. This requirement of authenticity is the hallmark of their spirituality and their evangelical and prophetic activity.

 

His prayer time was sacred. While he was at home, he would get up at 5:30 in the morning for his personal prayer, which he did at his desk, a very small room in his house in Santiago, Chile. There, the first hours of the morning he dedicated to his Lord, he felt as he felt, sleepy or very awake, half sick or healthy, wanting or unwilling.

 

He insisted that personal prayer was indispensable to go to community prayer with the brothers, where inevitably, giving is equal to receiving: the fullness of being oneself, of encountering the other or others, has been and remains the dynamic that He left in his spoken and written message.

 

He had a great aptitude for music, which he could not formally cultivate. In his first years of ministry in Spain, he worked as an organist in the Nuestra Señora de Lourdes Church in San Sebastián, a function that at that time required almost exclusive dedication. But he knew in the innermost part of his being that his life as an organist did not satisfy the inner strength that came to develop his priestly and religious vocation.

His love for music was remarkable. He liked to improvise on the old piano in his house that is preserved until today. This gift, over the years, became a peculiar expression of his personality and an element that helped him significantly in his evangelizing mission. At the beginning of all your recorded messages, it includes fragments of simple music, but at the same time evocative, tender, sensitive. He tried to place the auditor in a state of devotion and for that he generally chose baroque music, which he greatly appreciated.

 

Another important hobby of Father Ignacio was reading, he was especially attracted to history books, although not historical novels. In his youth he devoted himself to reading with great delight and profit works by humanist authors, existentialist philosophers, poets and thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Dostoyewski, Paul Claudel, León Bloy, Unamuno, Ortega y Gasset, and others similar. He was also interested in anthropology, sociology, psychology. Special predilection felt for Antonio Machado, he always traveled with the Bible and Machado's poems in his hand.

 

He had great admiration and freshness in amazement; He could be stunned and dumbfounded at the magnificence of the starry sky in northern Chile, for example. His sensitivity led him to be ecstatic both in front of the imposing height of a mountain and in front of a flowering tree.

 

Father Ignacio was a person who liked to live simply, just like his parents who were peasants from Guipúzcoa. Both dress and eat was the same. From his childhood in the countryside comes the love for animals. The Guides knew of their love especially to the burritos and dogs, and they sent him as a gift in all forms and materials, keeping them in a special place in his desk.

 

There are countless anecdotes that could still be told of the many facets of this man of God, who passed through the world doing good, and being faithful instrument in the hands of God, to announce the Good News to those who would like to hear, with the only purpose of love being loved.