Fra Ovidio DUEÑAS OFM | Custodia Terrae Sanctae


Jerusalem, Wednesday, 14 March, 2012

Dear Brothers, in the grateful and affectionate memory of his generous service, I inform you of the return to the Father's house of our Brother Ovidio DUEÑAS OFM, before dawn on Wednesday, the 14th of March in the Custodial infirmary.
Brother Ovidio was 71 year old, and had 51 years of profession and 41 of service.
RIP. Amen.

Custodia Terræ Sanctæ

fr. Ovidio Dueñas ofm

n. Villandiego (Spagna) 21 febbraio 1941
† Gerusalemme (Israele) 14 marzo 2012

Our Lady of Regla

“All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death… Happy those she finds doing your will!” – Saint Francis Canticle of the Sun

Dear Brothers,

Fra Ovidio has returned to the House of the Father. He was born on February 21, 71 years ago, in Villandiego, a village near Burgos, in Spain, a small town in central Castiglia, a poor area inhabited by people, working and religious. Fra Ovidio came from a large family. Three of his brothers have already died; among them, Emiliano, at which time he was in the novitiate. Fra Ovidio entered the minor seminary as a young boy, at the age of eleven. He began his studies at the age of thirteen. An illness resulted in the loss of sight in one eye. This did not allow him to continue his preparation for the priesthood; it was decided that he be trained as a lay brother, in the Province of Granada.

Fra Ovidio ws a simple friar like many others. In his early years of service he worked as a cook at Cipiona. He performed miracles in the kitchen with the little food that was available. Fra Ovidio always desired to become a Missionary in the Holy Land. His dream came true on September 11, 1970, when, at the age of 29, he arrived in the Holy Land. thus, he spend 40 years in the Holy Land. The curriculum of our brother does not show grand titles: cook in Convent of St. Saviour during the first six years, vice administrator of the Convent of St. Saviour, in charge of the farm at the Convent in Bethpage. Fra Ovidio desired to serve in a Sanctuary and his superiors sent him to Nazareth. But his service lasted only three months, because he was recalled to St. Saviour to perform the tasks previously assigned. In 1981, his superiors instructed him to direct the shop for religious objects. For more than thirty years, Fra Ovidio carried out this service, becoming one of the most popular and important friars in the world, thanks to his interpersonal relations.Fra Ovidio will be remembered for his outstanding virtues. As a hard worker, who never complained of having too much work or held back in view of difficulties or responsibilities to which he was assigned. We all remember the famous phrase, “A trabajar”; as an honest person, always responsible and accurate in his accounting; as a generous person – a famous phrase of Fra Ovidio, “The more you give, the more you receive”; a joyful person, on whose lips there was always a smile.

He was a true Christian. Fra Ovidio was a authentic Christian, especially in his life. He was a man of intense personal and communal prayer. Every day, at 4:00 in the morning, you could find him at the Holy Sepulchre, helping in the sacristy and attending the first Mass in the Empty Tomb of the Lord. He fasted every Friday, as well as Wednesdays during Lent. He loved his neighbor, a committed Franciscan. He consecrated his life to God serving in the sanctuaries. For 21 years, he carried the banner. He was present each Holy Thursday at Adoration in Gethsemene and, before the sun rose, he prayed at the Holy Sepulchre. Fra Ovidio was a simple man, without pretense. He was always peaceful and smiling with everyone. Who does not remember him with his Bul Bul? “Praised be my Lord with all your creatures.”
Fra Ovidio was 71 years of age, was 51 years professed and was 41 years ordained a priest. As prescribed in the Particular Statutes, each priest will offer three Masses for the deceased. The other friars will participate in three Masses and pray three Way of the Cross. A Mass will be celebrated in common in each fraternal house. The friars are asked to remember Fra Luca in their prayers, in gratitude to the Father who has given Fra Luca to us, until our fraternal union is complete in God’s light.

St. Saviour, March 14, 2012.

F. Silvio R. De La Fuente ofm
Secretary General of the Holy Land