Rafaél Manuel was born in Bogotá, Columbia in 1840. He decided when he was a boy that he wanted to follow God’s call to become a priest. He began studying at the seminary but due to religious persecution from the government, he had to put his plans on hold for a number of years until the seminary was opened. He was ordained a priest when he was 26 years old. He was sent to a parish on the border of Columbia and Venezuela but was soon transferred to another area that was effected by a catastrophic earthquake. He joined the Franciscan order in 1881 and became a parish priest in his hometown of Bogota. It was a big city with great needs. He spent the rest of his life helping the poor in his parish and administering the sacraments. He died in 1927 and over 100,000 people attended his funeral. He was declared venerable by Pope Francis in 2016. In Colombia he is simply known as Father Almansa and the faithful recognized in him his humble way of life as well as his charity and kindness for all.