Miguel Febres Cordero

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Saint Miguel Febres Cordero
Religious brother
Born(1854-11-07)7 November 1854
Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador
Died9 February 1910(1910-02-09) (aged 55)
Premià de Mar, Barcelona, Spain
Resting placeQuito
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Beatified30 October 1977, Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City by Pope Paul VI
Canonized21 October 1984, Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II
  • 9 February
  • Cassock

Francisco Luis Febres-Cordero y Muñoz (7 November 1854 – 9 February 1910), known as Saint Miguel Febres Cordero and more popularly as Brother Miguel, was an Ecuadorian Roman Catholic religious brother. He became a professed member of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, colloquially known as the La Salle Brothers. He assumed the name Miguel upon his admittance into the order.

He resided in his native home of Ecuador for almost four decades where he promoted education and evangelization before he relocated to Spain where he continued to perform his duties for his order. He also became a prolific writer and penned various manuals and odes amongst other publications.

Pope Paul VI beatified him on 30 October 1977 and Pope John Paul II canonized him almost a decade later on 21 October 1984 as the first male Ecuadorian saint. He remains a national hero in his native land and his tomb has become a site of pilgrimage. His liturgical feast is celebrated on an annual basis on the date of his death.[1]


Francisco Luis Febres-Cordero y Muñoz was born in Ecuador on the 7th of November 1854 to Francisco María Febres-Cordero y Montoya and Ana de Jesús Muñoz y Cárdenas. His siblings were Aurelio Febres-Cordero y Muñoz and Ana de Jesús Febres-Cordero y Muñoz.

He was born with an infirmity of the feet that rendered him incapable of standing or walking. This was cured at the age of five when he received a vision of the Mother of God.[2] At the age of eight he was—attributed as a miracle at the time—saved from being mauled to death at the hands of a wild bull. His mother took great care of him and also assumed charge of his education until he was nine. After the death of his mother he welcomed his stepmother Heloise Santillán and half brother Benjamín Febres-Cordero Santillán.

In 1863 he was enrolled into a school that the Brothers of the Christian Schools ran—an order that was a new arrival in the nation. He was selected to give the welcome address to President Gabriel García Moreno when the latter came to visit the school.[3]

Muñoz became a member of that order on 24 March 1868, the first Ecuadorian to be received in it.[4] He assumed the religious habit on the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation with the name of "Miguel". He entered despite the opposition of his father and after several vain attempts he relented. He held the position of a school teacher in Quito for over three decades where he became known as a gentle and dedicated individual. He published his own school textbooks, including one for the teaching of Spanish, as well as odes and discourses on teaching methods. The government adopted some of his textbooks that were circulated across all schools. He also did research and authored books on literature and linguistics, which earned him membership in the Ecuadorian Academy of Letters in 1892, followed by the Academies of Spain, France, and Venezuela.[5] As a result of his high standing in educational affairs he was elected to educational academies in his home in 1892 as well as in France and Venezuela. He conducted religious retreats and also helped to prepare children for their First Communion. He also served as the novice director for his order's house from 1901 to 1904.[6]

In 1888 he was sent as the representative to the celebration in which Pope Leo XIII beatified the order's founder: John Baptist de la Salle. Muñoz was sent to Europe in 1905 in order for him to translate texts from French to Spanish for the order to use and he worked to that extent in Belgium. His health started to deteriorate in 1908 and he was transferred to Barcelona in Spain where he continued to work until his health would not permit him to do so. Yet strikes broke out and churches were burned which led to the evacuation of the order but despite this he managed to make a pilgrimage to Zaragoza.[7]

He died in 1910 of pneumonia and was buried in Premià de Mar.[8] He was exhumed during the Spanish Civil War and was found to be incorrupt. In 1937 his remains were transferred to Quito where his tomb became a popular pilgrimage site.[9][10][11]



The sainthood process was one that all Ecuadorians wanted open. The process commenced with two local processes in both Barcelona and Quito with one spanning from 1923 until 1924 and another from 1938 until 1943. This occurred despite the fact that the formal introduction of the cause was not until 13 November 1935 under Pope Pius XI which granted him the posthumous title Servant of God. Both processes received formal ratification decrees in 1952 for the cause to proceed to the next stage.

He was proclaimed to be Venerable on 16 March 1970 after Pope Paul VI recognized his life of heroic virtue.


The miracle required for beatification was investigated in a diocesan tribunal that gathered all documentation from 1939 until 1941. The process received formal ratification on 30 April 1971 and was sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome for further evaluation. Paul VI approved the miracle and beatified him on 30 October 1977.

The miracle in question was the instantaneous healing of Sister Clementina Flores Cordero in 1935.


The second miracle needed for sainthood was also investigated in a local tribunal and was ratified in 1983. Pope John Paul II approved it on 7 April 1984 and announced on 25 June 1984 the date of canonization which took place on 21 October 1984.

The miracle in question occurred on the date of the beatification to Beatrice Gómez de Núñez who suffered from an incurable disease. She entrusted herself to the Blessed and was cured of her ailment.


  1. ^ "Saint Miguel Febres Cordero Muñoz". Saints SQPN. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Saint Who? Saint Miguel Febres Cordero". Magnificat. Magnificat USA. 20 (11): 375. January 2019.
  3. ^ "Feb 9 – St Miguel Febres Cordero (1854–1910)". CatholicIreland.net. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Saint Miguel Febres Cordero Muñoz". Patron Saints Index. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Saint Miguel Febres Cordero Muñoz". SPQN.COM. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Saint Miguel Febres Cordero Muñoz". Saints SQPN. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Feb 9 – St Miguel Febres Cordero (1854–1910)". CatholicIreland.net. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Saint Miguel Febres Cordero". Lasallian.org. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Saint Miguel Febres Cordero Muñoz". Saints SQPN. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  10. ^ "St. Michael (Miguel) Febres Cordero". Santi e Beati. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Visitando el Sanctuario". Caballeros del la Vírgen, Heraldos del Evangelio (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 March 2013.

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