VATICAN CITY, APRIL 20, 2011 (Zenit.org).- For the first time, a newspaper article has been included in the Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Church that sanctifies the parts of each day.
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments approved the inclusion of an article written by Spanish journalist Blessed Manuel Lozano Garrido (1920-1971) — known as Lolo — into the office of readings for Nov. 3, the day of his liturgical memorial.
Lolo wrote for various publications and services, including the Associated Press. In 1942, at only age 22, he began to suffer from spondylitis, which deformed his body and left him an invalid. In 1962 the journalist lost his sight.
Despite the illness, he received professional recognitions, founded a magazine for sick people and authored nine books, which he dictated to his sister Lucía and his friends.
Last June, Lolo was the first journalist to be beatified.
Father Rafael Higueras, postulator of Lolo’s cause of canonization, told ZENIT that the second reading chosen for those who celebrate his liturgical memorial (which is limited to the Diocese of Jaen, Spain), is an article published by the Associated Press agency on April 8, 1963, which was re-published by at least seven newspapers at that time.
It is titled “Prayer Before a Pierced Hand,” written when Lolo took down the crucifix he had hanging above the headboard of his bed, as one of the nails of the hand was loose.
“The truth is, Jesus, that I have never been so close to your figure,” he wrote. “We are so close that it has occurred to me that the large windows of your hands are good lenses, the best, to see and to certify the truth of the world.”
The rest of the article is a vision of the world through the pierced hands of the one crucified for love: “What is seen is a world suspended, and, as we are seeing it from a round window, noticed immediately is the truth of your offertory with men, the sensation of a heaven with steps on which all go up, as if taking the arm of an older brother.”