Biography of Fray Rafael Almanza Riaño (1840-1927)

Colombian Franciscan priest. He/She was born on August 2, 1840 in Santafe de Bogota. He/She died in the same city on June 27, 1927. When Fray Rafael was carrying out his studies in the novitiate in the convent of San Francisco, was the secularization decreed by the general Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, which forced him to leave the religious life and take refuge in Engativá (Boyacá) to then go to Pamplona.

Ordained a priest in 1866, began his priestly ministry as coadjutor of the Bishop of Peralta and then as pastor of San José de Cúcuta. Here he/she fortuitously saved his life during the catastrophe that destroyed the population on 18 may of 1875, given that that day had gone out to the countryside with a group of children.In 1881, when it was again allowed to religious life, he/she returned to the Franciscan, represented the Colombian community in the chapter General of the Franciscan order, in Rome (1895). In 1898, due to misunderstandings with the provincial visitor father, he/she left legally belong to the Franciscan order and devoted himself to his office of chaplain of the Church of San Diego, in Bogota. Here he/she continued preaching the Gospel and exercising the apostolate for over thirty years with such dedication and commitment, that all those who frequented it, outside any social class, admired in him his breath of Holiness.