Sebastian Elorza

Augustinian Servant of God

ILLUSTRATION OF SEBASTIAN ELORZA BY JÁNOS HAJNAL IN IL FASCINO DI DIO: PROFILI DE AGIOGRAFIA AGOSTINIANA  BY FERNANDO ROJO MARTÍNEZ, O.S.A.  COPYRIGHT © 2000 PUBBLICAZIONI AGOSTINIANE ROME. USED WITH PERMISSION.  ORIGINAL ART PRESERVED IN THE OFFICE OF AUGUSTINIAN POSTULATOR OF CAUSES, ROME

ILLUSTRATION OF SEBASTIAN ELORZA BY JÁNOS HAJNAL IN IL FASCINO DI DIO: PROFILI DE AGIOGRAFIA AGOSTINIANA  BY FERNANDO ROJO MARTÍNEZ, O.S.A.  COPYRIGHT © 2000 PUBBLICAZIONI AGOSTINIANE ROME. USED WITH PERMISSION.  ORIGINAL ART PRESERVED IN THE OFFICE OF AUGUSTINIAN POSTULATOR OF CAUSES, ROME

Sebastian Elorza (1882-1942) was an Augustinian Brother and a man of prayer who was noted for his care of the poor.

Born November 1, 1882 in Idiazábel, in the Basque Country to the north of Spain, Sebastian was raised by an aunt and uncle, both of his parents having died by the time he was three years old.

When he was 16, Sebastian entered the Augustinians at the monastery of Santa María de La Vid. He spent his entire religious life there.

As Porter of the monastery, Sebastian was dedicated in his service to his fellow Augustinian friars, as well as to the steady stream of poor people who came seeking food and clothing. He was always gracious to everyone who came to ask the community's help.

A document written by a friar of the community recounts Sebastian's qualities:

Friar Elorza passed unnoticed in the daily routine of community life, but he could always be noticed around noontime, when, seemingly from practically nothing, he was able to put together meals to feed the poor who would come to the monastery. In these times of much hunger and little bread, the food appeared to multiply in his loving hands. And along with the food, he served words of tenderness and comfort. He lived the words of the Augustinian Rule, "It is better to lack a little than to have too much."

Also recorded is Sebastian's dedication to prayer, especially at night when his other duties had been completed.

Sebastian died December 8, 1942. His last words were, "Don't worry about me; I'm going away with God." His remains are preserved at the monastery in La Vid.

The diocesan investigation of his life took place from 1968 through 1971. The Congregation of Saints officially opened the cause for his beatification and canonization in 1973 and recognized the validity of his cause in 1991. Josef Sciberras, O.S.A., the Augustinian Postulator of Causes, oversees the progress of the cause.