Journalist and Servant of the Poor
Luis Manuel Larrosa was President of the Superior Council in Argentina.
The path of the poor was taken by brother Luis Manuel Larrosa. He would seek out and care for them with material and spiritual support. His service, though, went above and beyond: as a faithful Vincentian, he pondered on the words of Bl. Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam: “Prior to saving their souls, we should arouse in them an inner emotional urge stemming from deep within them, their soul”.
He was born in 1924, at a time when the poor had urgent and pressing needs for help and support. He grew up in this context and had a keen eye, as a “servant of charity”, for future Vincentians he barely knew. Mindful that the Good News of Christ had to be brought everywhere, he turned his profession as a journalist into a generous service to make God’s love known. He became an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion to the sick as a divine relief.
He had a deep love for the indigenous peoples of Argentina, even though he was well aware that their welfare relied on the State. However, as a Vincentian and 14th President of the Superior Council, he understood that the SSVP should be present in the daily life of these peoples, helping them to bear the cross of discrimination. His main goals were literacy and quality education, which he regarded as “the key to open the door to equality”.
Hardly had this Vincentian brother asked someone to minister in far-off places than he was already there and got down to work with the enthusiasm of an apprentice. If someone did not know him, someone else used to say: “His smiling face is unmistakable”.
Spiritually enlightened, he had an in-depth knowledge of the Vincentian saints. As a matter of fact, in public and private speeches, he would evoke Bl. Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam, depicting him as an outstanding role model for Christians. His book In Love with God summarizes how he was bound to Our Father Creator.
He married Ana Maria, his friend and companion for over 70 years. He was a loving and caring father and grandfather to his two children (Alejandro and Gabriela) and to eight grandchildren.
As a SSVP President for 10 years, he always served the Society selflessly, young at heart. Indefatigably, he would go to and fro to reach out to those in need. No one would have guessed he was 97 years old. That is why, his favorite quote was: “I just can’t fathom why God made me to do nothing”.
Born to the Vincentian life within the Conference Our Lady in Buenos Aires, he sent a video a few days ago to be shared by all Argentinean members. He recorded this video, packed with his good spirits, to greet a friend, who brought the Holy Communion to him every week, and said: “I am very happy, on my way to the Holy Kingdom. I don’t know when or how, but I’m going to get there, even if it’s on crutches. A huge hug.”. On June 5th, he departed for the Lord’s House in a state of grace.
On behalf of the poorest and the Argentinean members, we would like to express our gratitude to his widow, his children and grandchildren for the generosity with which they shared Luis with us. Let us pray together: “Dear President, Luis Manuel Larrosa, may you rest in peace. You deserve it. You were a great man and a great Vincentian role model”.
Text sent by sister Celeste Godoy, on behalf of the Vincentians in Argentina.