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The Catholic Defender: Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio "Angel of Mexico"


Born in 1502 into a poor family of Galicia, Spain, Sebastian worked at a domestic servant and laborer. In 1531, he emigrated to Mexico, settling first in Varacruz and later in Puebla of the Angels. After transporting freight and then mail, he became rich by building roads.


his life was saved in a miraculous way during an outbreak of the bubonic plague in his town in 1514. Forced to isolate him from the community, his parents built a hidden shelter for him in the woods, where they left him.


While lying there helpless, due to his illness, a she-wolf found the hiding spot and, poking her head into his hiding spot, sniffed and then bit and licked an infected site on his body, before running off. He began to heal from that moment.


At the age of 31, Sebastian left Spain for Mexico. He settled in the town of Puebla de los Angeles where he took employment as a field hand. However, he soon noticed a business opportunity for Puebla was an important crossroads and he noted, that the goods transported, were carried on the backs of pack animals or on the backs of the native people.


In 1552, Sebastian retired to a place near Mexico City where he cultivated the ground and bred livestock. Later at over sixty years of age he wed twice—but each time he was quickly widowed. At the age of seventy, he felt the call to the religious life. Giving all his wealth to the Poor Clares, he joined the Franciscans in Mexico City.


Sebastian’s roads and bridges connected many distant places. His final bridge-building was to help men and women recognize their God-given dignity and destiny.


Sebastian’s parents were Spanish peasants. At the age of 31, he sailed to Mexico, where he began working in the fields. Eventually he built roads to facilitate agricultural trading and other commerce. His 466-mile road from Mexico City to Zacatecas took 10 years to build and required careful negotiations with the indigenous peoples along the way.

Sebastian was sent to Tecali then to a community of more than a hundred friars in Puebla of the Angels, where he spent the last twenty-five years of his life. He became a begging brother. To obtain food for such a large community, he had to use large carts, drawn by oxen, and traveled donated by charitable people.


Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio undertook, in a carrier of his own, to transport grain and other wares, thus acquiring great wealth. He used the money for worthy purposes, while he himself lived like a poor man. In this way he won the esteem and the love of the natives as well as of the Spaniards. He married twice, each time choosing a poor but devout young woman; and with their consent he lived with them in virginal purity.


In 1552, Sebastian retired to a place near Mexico City where he cultivated the ground and bred livestock. Later at over sixty years of age he wed twice—but each time he was quickly widowed. At the age of seventy, he felt the call to the religious life. Giving all his wealth to the Poor Clares, he joined the Franciscans in Mexico City.


In time Sebastian was a wealthy farmer and rancher. At the age of 60, he entered a virginal marriage. His wife’s motivation may have been a large inheritance; his was to provide a respectable life for a girl without even a modest marriage dowry. When his first wife died, he entered another virginal marriage for the same reason; his second wife also died young.


At the age of 72, Sebastian distributed his goods among the poor and entered the Franciscans as a brother. Assigned to the large (100-member) friary at Puebla de los Angeles south of Mexico City, Sebastian went out collecting alms for the friars for the next 25 years. His charity to all earned him the nickname “Angel of Mexico.”

Sebastian was beatified in 1787 and is known as a patron of travelers.


Sebastian worked day and night without complaining and in union with his Redeemer. as a result, the images of this venerable old man and his large cart have remained inseparably linked in the history and traditions of the City of Puebla of the Angels. He died in 1600, at the advanced age of ninety-eight and was beatified in 1787 by Pope Pius VI.


Sebastian was a Spanish colonist in Mexico shortly after its conquest by Spain, who after a lifetime as a rancher and road builder, entered the Order of Friars Minor as a lay brother. He spent the next 26 years of his long life, as a beggar for the Order and died with a great reputation for holiness. Patronages – drivers, travellers, road builders and the Transport industry in Mexico. His body is incorrupt.


More than three hundred miracles which he worked in his lifetime were cited at the process for beatification.


Nearly 1,000 miracles were reported at his intercession, even before his death and such claims continue to this day. Pope Pius VI Beatified him on 17 May 1789.



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