(Beatification is the official declaration that a person is a Blessed of the church - a step possibly to being declared a saint at a later time. See more details at the bottom of this page.)
Mariano de la Mata (1905-1983) was an Augustinian missionary in known for his faithful observance of his religious obligations, for the loving way in which he ministered to his people, for his oneness with nature and for his special concern for the needs of the poor.
Mariano de la Mata was born in Barrio de la Puebla, Palencia, in 1905. He was raised in a profoundly Christian family. When he entered the Order of Saint Augustine in 1921, he was the fourth brother in his family to do so.
He undertook his studies in Spain at Valladolid and Santa Maria de la Vid in Burgos, and was ordained a priest.
After ministering in Spain for two years, Mariano was sent to Brazil, where he continued to minister for the next fifty years.
Mariano was diagnosed with cancer in early 1983. He underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumour, but the cancer continued to spread. He died on 5th April 1983.
His remains are preserved at the Church of Saint Augustine in Sao Paolo, Brazil. (Go to the Brazil section of the Augnet photo gallery named Latin America.)
Mariano was a member of the Vicariate of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, which is within the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of Spain.
For further details, go to http://www.midwestaugustinians.org/saints/c_marianomata.html
"Beatification" is the final step in the process that can eventually lead to "canonization", which is the official declaration of the Church that a person is a saint in heaven.
The process leading up to a beatification -- known as a "cause" -- includes an investigation into the candidate's virtues, writing, public statements, and reputation. The Vatican first authorizes a preliminary investigation in the diocese where the candidate died. If the results of that investigation are favorable, the case is forwarded to Rome, where a panel of theologians is formed to consider the cause. After studying the candidate's life, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints may prepare, for the Pope's approval, a decree that the candidate lived a life of "heroic virtue." With the issuance of that decree, the candidate is formally known by the title of "Venerable," and the approval of a miracle attributed to his beatification is then the only further requirement for his beatification. In the case of martyrs, who died for their faith, the requirement for a miracle is waived.
After beatification, only the approval of a new miracle -- taking place subsequent to the beatification ceremony -- is required to pave the way for final canonization.
The next two pages contain a longer biography of Mariano de la Mata O.S.A.