Saint Miguel Febres Cordero

Feast day February 9

Saints Stories for All Ages

How would you like to have a teacher who was described like this: He was kind to everyone and treated all of his students, rich or poor, the same. He liked to be with the students, and they liked to be with him. All of the children in the school loved him. That is exactly what a saint said about today’s saint.

Miguel was born in Ecuador where his family was influential in politics. As a child, he suffered from a disability that kept him standing and walking like other children. He could not stand alone until he was five years old, when it was said he experienced a vision of Our Lady. Miguel was educated at home until he was 14, then went to school taught by the Christian Brothers. He was a gifted student, and when he was only 17, he published the first of many books, a textbook on Spanish grammar.

Miguel joined the Christian Brothers, and was a teacher for 32 years in Ecuador. As a teacher he was always looking for new ways to present the material. He wanted to make the lessons and work more pleasant for students. He laughed with his students and was understanding and patient.

Brother Miguel continued writing, and his scholarly works in literature earned him academic honors in South America and Europe. But Brother Miguel did not think he was very important. He thought the most important ones were his students.

In 1907, Miguel was called to the Motherhouse in Belgium to translate some books. On the way he stopped for a short visit in New York City. From Belgium he went to a school in Spain where young men were preparing to become Christian Brothers. In 1909, during the Spanish Revolution, the school came under attack. Brother Miguel took the Blessed Sacrament from the chapel and led the novices across the bay to safety in Barcelona. He died on pneumonia a year later. He laid to rest in Ecuador and the people welcomed him with a great procession through the streets of Quito, Ecuador.

from Saints and Feast Days, by Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio