Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - This morning the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorized the promulgation of several decrees, including the one concerning the martyrdom of the Servant of God Jesús Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve, of the Institute for the Foreign Missions of Yarumal, Bishop of Arauca; killed in hatred of Faith in 1989, near Fortul (Colombia).
Mgr. Jaramillo, the first Bishop of Arauca (Colombia), was seized by armed bandits on 2 October 1989 along with three priests and a seminarian while he was on a pastoral visit to Fortul, 800 km east of Bogotá. He was found dead the following day, killed by four bullets in his head.
Born on February 14, 1916 in Santo Domingo (Colombia), he entered the Institute for the Foreign Missions of Yarumal. He was ordained a priest on 1 September 1940. He held several important offices: professor, spiritual director of the Seminary, novice master, rector, assistant to the Superior General, parish priest of the Cathedral of Buenaventura, Superior General, national delegate for the Apostolate of the Laity. On November 11, 1970, he was appointed Apostolic Vicar of Arauca. On July 19, 1984, Pope John Paul II elevated the Vicariate to Diocese. Two months later, on 19 and 20 September, the inauguration of the new Diocese took place and Jesús Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve was the first Bishop.
The Episcopal Conference of Colombia announced his tragic death with these words: "Bishop Jesús Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve carried out exemplary service for 18 years and with the true missionary heart of the Javerianos fathers community and with generous solicitude to the particular Church of Arauca. With his word inflamed by the love of Christ, he was always at the service of the Gospel, peace, reconciliation, coexistence and the defense of the sacred rights of the human person ... In this blood, we see the hard price paid by the Church. The violent, those who trample on life and, with the mind blurred by hatred and insensitivity, sow death, tragedy and bitterness, will not prevail. The good, the love of Christ, will triumph over the forces of evil".
Agenzia Fides recalled: "Zealous pastor of souls and fervent missionary, Mgr. Jaramillo carried out an intense work of evangelization and promotion of the local Church, which was elevated from Apostolic Vicariate to Diocese of Arauca. Mgr. Jaramillo himself had confided to Fides, in a conversation, the complex pastoral problems that tormented the diocesan Church and his heart: the vastness of the territory, the diversity of contexts and population groups, without taking into account the new immigration and living conditions created by the discovery and exploitation of petrol, also due to smuggling and drug trafficking" (cf Agenzia Fides, October 7, 1989). (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 7/7/2017)