St. Henry de Osso y Cervello, Priest

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When Pope John Paul II made his pastoral visit to Spain in June 1993, he canonized a Spanish priest noted for his devotion to religious education: St. Enrique de Osso y Cervello.

Enrique was a native of Tarragona in Spain’s Catalonia, the youngest of the three children of Jaime de Osso and Micaela Cervello, a couple very Christian and very Catalan.

When little Henry was eleven, his father sent him to Barcelona to become an apprentice to his uncle and learn a trade. Unfortunately, the lad soon fell gravely ill, and his first holy communion was administered to him as Viaticum. He did get well and returned home, detouring by the famous shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar to offer thanks for his recovery. Later he was sent to Reus, and apprenticed there to another businessman.

But a business career did not seem to be in God’s plans. As Henry increased in knowledge and wisdom, he became more deeply spiritual. The death of his mother proved especially soul-searing. It moved him to make a retreat at the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat near Barcelona. There he concluded that he was called to the diocesan priesthood.