Opening of the Cause of Canonization for Dr. Ernesto Cofiņo
On July 7, 2000, the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints granted the nihil obstat for the opening of Ernesto Guillermo Cofiņo’s Cause. On the 31st of the same month, with Guatemala City’s Archbishop Prospero Penados del Barrio presiding, the publication of the Decree of Introduction of the Cause took place in the Archbishop’s residence, along with the opening session of the Process on the Life and Virtues of the Servant of God.
Ernesto Guillermo Cofiņo was born in Guatemala City on June 5, 1899, and died with a reputation for sanctity in the same city on October 17, 1991, as a result of cancer. In 1929 he graduated as a surgeon from the University of Paris. He married in 1933 and raised five children. In 1956 he requested admission to Opus Dei.
He dedicated himself fully to the exercise of his profession with an admirable spirit of service that led him to be concerned not only about his patients’ physical health but also their personal problems and concerns. His deep spiritual outlook and rich humanity led him to defend the right and love for life, promoting and carrying out himself many initiatives for the benefit of future mothers, abandoned children and orphans. He founded shelters and social assistance centers for the most needy.
A pioneer in pediatric research in Guatemala, he was the first professor of pediatrics in the University of San Carlos medical school, where he taught for 24 years. He was one of the founders of the Pediatric Association of Guatemala (1945), and presided over it on four different occasions. He was a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the French Language Association of Pediatrics. He was appointed director of Caritas Guatemala for three years and delegate for Guatemala to the Interamerican Institute for the Child.
The Postulation for the Cause has received reports of favors attributed to his intercession from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, the United States, Australia, Peru, France, Poland and Spain.