New biographical documentary: “Fray Mariano, the good recollect”

The Augustinian Recollect Mariano Gazpio (1899-1989), missionary in China, trainer of missionaries and spiritual director, was declared "Venerable" by Pope Francis a year ago (05/22/2021), a further advance in his recognition process official as a saint of the Church. To celebrate, we premiere today a biographical documentary.
News | 2022 May 23

The Province of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine of the Order of Augustinian Recollects presents on this day the new 32-minute biographical documentary entitled "Fray Mariano, the good recollect", which reviews in its entirety the life of this religious who is in the process of being recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church.

Just one year ago, on May 22nd, 2021, Pope Francis published the decree recognizing that Fray Mariano had lived the Christian virtues in an intense, full and complete way, thus declaring him "Venerable". To celebrate this first anniversary of this declaration, the Province to which he belonged presents this biopic in public.

Fray Mariano (1899-1989) trained for twelve years as an Augustinian Recollect priest and then, for 29 years (1923-1952), he was a missionary in Cavite (Philippines) and later in Chengliku, Yucheng, Chutsi and Kweiteh (currently the municipality of Shangqiu). , Henan, China).

He came to dominate the Chinese language in such a way that his own missionary companions named him official preacher, teacher of the missionaries who, recently arrived from Spain, had to first learn the language, director of the School of Catechists who gave a tremendous role evangelizing and social to the laity and, finally, professor of the minor seminary that the religious founded in the mission with a surprising success of local vocations.

Due to his kind, understanding, friendly, moderate and intuitive character, he was appointed religious superior of the mission, episcopal pro-vicar, general vicar and delegate in various meetings with religious, ecclesiastical, military and civil authorities, in an exhausting process of dialogue nothing easy in an environment as rarefied as that of China in the second quarter of the 20th century.

Mariano and his companions experienced a succession of four stages of open violence belonging to three wars: the Chinese civil (in two stages), the Sino-Japanese and World War II. Together with the presence of armed gangs, this aspect of dialogue and negotiation of some foreign religious in such a context was constant and important.

After his work in China, up to 37 classes of Augustinian Recollect religious have relied on Fray Mariano's closeness, example and kindness while they were being trained to fully live their religious vocation and their service to the People of God with dedication and joy.

In the year 2000, the diocesan process of canonization of Fray Mariano was opened, closed in 2004. 65 witnesses testified and it was validated and continues in Rome since 2006. In 2014 his remains were transferred to the Sanctuary of Our Lady the White of the Marcilla convent. And as we have pointed out, on May 22, 2021, Pope Francis declared him “Venerable” and recognized his heroic virtues.

The documentary has had a previous script by the Augustinian Recollect Francisco Javier Legarra Lopetegui, adapted for television by the Communication and Publications Commission of the Province of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine of the Order of Augustinian Recollects (CCP-PSNT), which has also led direction, production, editing, editing and post-production.

It has original images recorded in Puente la Reina, Monteagudo, Marcilla and Pamplona (Navarra), San Millán de la Cogolla (La Rioja) and Shangqiu (Henan, China). There are also a large number of photographs from the historical archives of the Augustinian Recollects in Marcilla (Navarra) and Rome (Italy) that review the entire vital arc of Fray Mariano.

In addition, a search for subsidiary images has been carried out on up to 17 channels of a well-known video social network, among which we can highlight beautiful drone images of the current Shangqiu and the current Recollect mission.

The locution in Spanish has been provided by Susana Collado, Alberto Muñoz, Pablo Jian Yong Xing and Agustín Martínez Urcey; and even the author of the pre-script himself, Francisco Javier Legarra Lopetegui, who represents his uncle, the Augustinian Recollect Martín Legarra, with his voice.

The voiceover in Portuguese has been provided by Samara Said da Silva and Railson Gomes, both members of the communication team of the Prelature of Lábrea (Amazonas, Brazil).

This video would not have been possible without the collaboration of a good number of people. In the Navarran town of Puente la Reina, the help provided by the Parish of Santiago and the Dehonianos community that cares for it was important; the welcome of the Ezcurra family, related to Fray Mariano, and of the historian Alberto Aceldegui, who with his research located the birthplace of Fray Mariano after studying the old street map and the variations in the numbering of the portals.

The Recollect communities of San Millán de la Cogolla, Marcilla, Monteagudo and Saint Rita in Madrid have collaborated in the production of the video, as well as the historical archives of the Augustinian Recollects in Marcilla and Rome (Italy).

Lastly, the Augustinian Recollect José Javier Lizarraga, the main biographer of Fray Mariano with his book “Un camino de fidelity” (2017) has been in contact with the family and local historians in Puente la Reina.

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Augustinian Recollects Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine.

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