The last day of his visit to Andalusia was, for Father General, an opportunity for fraternal sharing with his companions in Malaga. He visited the infirmary of the Saint-Stanislas community where he presided at the Eucharist and had lunch. But he had first gone to the Church of the Sacred Heart to pray, with the Jesuit community, at the tomb of Father Tiburcio Arnaiz, beatified in October 2018 in Malaga, during a Eucharist presided over by Cardinal Becciu.
Father Arnaiz (1865-1926) has been venerated since his death by the inhabitants of Malaga. Every day, pilgrims come to his grave to pray, asking for his intercession and support. Moreover, on the 18th of each month, many faithful participate in the Eucharist in his memory. In 2005, a public fundraising campaign was carried out in support of the erection, by the municipality, of a monument in his honour.
What did Father Arnaiz do specifically to deserve such a popular cult? Nothing very unusual at first sight: he was an apostle of his time, a Jesuit fully committed to his ministry as a preacher of the Gospel. He had special care for the rural and abandoned areas of his country and, to serve them, founded a female association of consecrated laity. His “missions” were in the image of the popular religiosity of his time; they would easily be described as “traditional” since they centred on the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, on God’s love expressed through devotion to the Sacred Heart and on the recitation of the Rosary.