Blessed Francisco Gárate Aranguren

detail of a statue of Blessed Francisco Gárate Aranguren, date and artist unknown; in the Church of Sagrado Corazón, Bilbao, País Vasco, Spain; photographed on 26 April 2009 by Zarateman; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Brother Kindness



Second of seven boys born to Francisco and Maria Aranguren, a pious farm family in the Basque region of northern Spain; three of them grew up to become Jesuit brothers. Francisco left home at age 14 to work as a domestic servant at the newly opened Jesuit College of Nuestra Señora de la Antigua in Orduña, Spain. By age 17, he had felt a call to join the Jesuits himself, and travelled on foot to Poyanne in southern France to enter the initiate, the Jesuits having been expelled from Spain following the revolution of 1868; he made his initial vows as a Jesuit lay brother on 2 February 1876, his final vows on 15 August 1877. Beginning in early 1877, he served as a sacristan and infirmarian at the La Guadia college where he was in charge of the medical care for 200 young men. Assigned to the Jesuit Duesto college as doorkeeper, sacristan and infirmarian in March 1888; he served there for the next 40 years. Francisco became known for his prayer life and simple living, his kind care and charity for the students, and as a source of wisdom and advice for all; he prayed constantly, carried a rosary everywhere, and was a beloved example of living a ordinary life with piety.



  • at 7:00am on 9 September 1929 in Deusto, Bilbao, Vizcaya, Spain of complications involving a block urethra
  • at his funeral, former students placed rosaries and crucifixes on his coffin, asking for his posthumous blessing on them
  • re-interred in August 1946
  • re-interred in 1964





To the extent that it is possible for me to do everything well, I do it. Our Lord does the rest. With his help, everything becomes easy and beautiful because we have a Good Lord. Blessed Francisco

The message of sanctity that Blessed Francisco Garate gives us is simple and clear. From his youth, Francisco opened his heart wide to Christ who knocked at his door inviting him to be his faithful follower and friend. Like Mary, whom he loved tenderly as his mother, he responded with generosity and confidence without limit to the call of grace. His generosity is attested to by the students, professors, employees and parents at the University who affectionately called him ‘Brother Kindness’ and who saw in him the welcoming and pleasant attitude of one who keeps his heart anchored in God. Blessed Francisco gives us a real and concrete testimony of the value of the interior life of the soul of every apostolate as well as that of religious consecration. In effect, when a person hands himself over to God and centres his whole life in him, one does not have to wait for apostolic fruits. From the entrance of the university, this Jesuit brother made the goodness of God present to others by the evangelizing force of his quiet and humble service. Pope Saint John Paul II in his beatification homily for Blessed Francisco

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Francisco Gárate Aranguren“. CatholicSaints.Info. 18 November 2021. Web. 27 November 2021. <>