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Documentary “Ernesto Cofiño, All Can Be Saints”

Ernesto Cofiño – Todos pueden ser santos is a documentary produced by Digito Identidad for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the transit to heaven of the servant of God, Ernesto Cofiño Ubico. In 26 minutes, the film presents the life of Dr. Cofiño based on historical documents and the testimony and memories of family members, colleagues, disciples and friends of the servant of God.


Directed by the Argentinian Juan Martín Ezratty, the documentary was screened on October 26 in the Ciudad Vieja University Center in Guatemala City, and on the following day in the auditorium of the Balanyá University Center. Later on it was presented in many other places both in Guatemala City and in the interior of the country, and was shown on a channel of the national television network.


Dr. Ernesto Cofiño was born in Guatemala City on June 5, 1899. He left for Paris as a youth to study medicine, and obtained his medical degree as a surgeon in 1929 with a specialization in pediatrics. On returning to Guatemala, he married Clemencia Samayoa and started a family that over time would have five children.


He devoted himself wholeheartedly to his work as a doctor. Besides looking after the physical health of his patients, he tried to assist them in their personal and family difficulties as well. He joined the faculty of the University of San Carlos and founded the Chair of Pediatrics at that university. He was also the head of Children’s Medicine at the General Hospital of St. John of God (1939), and created the Anti-tuberculosis Children’s Sanitarium (1942) and the San Juan Sacatepéquez Medical Clinic (1946). From 1940-1946 he was the medical director of the Society for the Protection of Children and from 1945–1946 of the National Struggle against Tuberculosis. In recognition of his personal, academic and professional merits, the University of San Carlos awarded him the University Medal in 1969.


In 1956 he joined Opus Dei. From that date on he intensified his daily contact with God. He had a special devotion to the daily recitation of the Rosary, of which he was a great promoter. He also put great effort into deepening his doctrinal-religious formation.


With supernatural outlook and strong human concern, he fostered the right to life and love for human life. With great charity he supported and carried out many initiatives for the benefit of future mothers, homeless children, and orphans, and tried to find solutions to social problems.


He died of cancer on October 17, 1991, after a long and painful illness borne with fortitude. Private devotion to Dr. Cofiño has spread among thousands of people, who go to his intercession in their material and spiritual needs, and often entrust to him health problems. 

Romana, No. 63, July-December 2016, pag. 354-355.