February 9: Feast of St. Miguel

Posted By: Brother Larry Schatz On: 2023-02-09
Posted On: 2023-02-09

Francisco Febres Cordero was born into a family that has always been prominent in Ecuadorian politics. Crippled from birth, he had to overcome family opposition to realize his vocation to become a Brother, the first native Ecuadorian to be received into the Institute.

Brother Miguel was a gifted teacher from the start and a diligent student. When he was not quite twenty years old, he published the first of his many books, a Spanish grammar that soon became a standard text. In time his research and publications in the field of literature and linguistics put him in touch with scholars all over the world and he was granted membership in the National Academies of Ecuador and Spain. Despite high academic honors, teaching remained his first priority, especially his classes preparing his students for first communion. His students admired his simplicity, his directness, his concern for them, and the intensity of his devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Virgin Mary.

In the winter of 1910 while in Spain, his health began to fail and on February 9, 1910, Brother Miguel died. He was canonized by St. John Paul II in 1984. His great-grandnephew, the president of Ecuador, León Febres Cordero, was present at his canonization. Today, in the United States, several non-tuition driven middle schools are named in his honor, known collectively as the Miguel Schools.