Echo of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Leaders come in many different sound waves. They can slowly plunge their own citizens into a bloody world war that resembles a series of strategic strikes but is actually one overarching plan, or they can crush those who do such things, using their military and missiles. Sometimes leaders can be charismatic—inspiring and challenging people appropriately like a seasoned maestro—with planning and foresight, or they can be merely a puppet quietly dancing on a string, seeking their own gain at the expense of others.

Sadly, in leadership’s history of official photos, there is a large collection of almost forgotten faces. Most are not remembered at all by the masses. But every once in a long while, a leader emerges that so exemplifies the perfect model of the servant leadership of Jesus Christ that we are fired up to see this witness, to reflect on this “echo of Christ,” to learn from a life so well lived that we cannot ignore it. And heaven will never ignore this kind of a life.

In fact, our Blessed Mother took note of a certain servant leader and was given revelation about him. Our Lady of Good Success of the Purification prophesied about him four hundred years ago to a holy nun, Servant of God Mother Mariana of Jesus. This leader emerged in the republic of Ecuador and began to lead the nation in 1860. He would so exemplify Catholic leadership and honoring the Sacred Heart by his remarkable presidency, that our Mother Mary would give him acclaim in the very prophesy spoken about him.

Recently, in full disclosure, I wrote a book about these prophecies of our Lady with a chapter on Gabriel Garcia Moreno, entitled Our Lady’s Prophecies: God’s Messages for Our Time (available from Sophia Institute Press). Gabriel Garcia Moreno fits the full description our Lady gave of him 278 years before he came on the scene:

In the nineteenth century a truly Christian president will come, a man of character to whom God our Lord will grant the palm of martyrdom in this very square where my convent is. He will consecrate the republic to the Sacred Heart of my beloved Son, and this consecration will sustain the Catholic religion throughout the following years…
(Luis E. Cadena y Almeida, A Spanish Mystic in Quito: Sor Mariana de Jesus Torres, Hanover, PA: The Foundation for a Christian Civilization, Inc., 1990), p.63.

Now the prophecies in my book were given for our generation, but this singular prophecy was about Gabriel Garcia Moreno, an echo of the Servant Leader above all, Jesus Christ. And most magnificently, president Moreno consecrated Ecuador to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Let’s take a brief look at this extraordinary president.

He might carry the sound wave of a peace-maker, a nation-builder or an authentically Catholic president. The reality was that he was very successful and loved by his people. His first term as president was in 1860. Gabriel attended daily Mass and visited the sick in the hospital daily. Besides overhauling the unfair electoral system which favored the radicals and revolutionaries, Gabriel reformed the economy of Ecuador. On a personal note, president Moreno donated half of his salary to the national treasury and the other half to public charities. The reforms were gradually transformative.

Ecuador and other nations began to notice that outsiders were pushing Ecuador’s credit rating upward. This was an excellent thing for a country so pillaged over the decades by corrupt men that its credit rating was poor.

Moreno cleaned up the corruption in the military; he sent in chaplains and got rid of corrupt leaders. The men were given the latest military equipment. The Army became a protective force and not a cause for concern among the citizens. In a civil society, the army or law enforcement cannot become the gestapo of whoever is in power; this only happens when corruption takes deep root and produces such  discord and disregard for the constitutions of countries. And when evil leaders had power in Ecuador they misused the military.

As a man who believed in universal literacy, president Moreno expanded educational opportunity on every level. He brought religious orders back to the country to give the poor and all in Ecuador the chance to better themselves via learning. When he was exiled, Garcia Moreno learned in France that a nation must have Catholicism to genuinely progress.

Gabriel Moreno did not rest on his accomplishments but sought to do more. He worked with Church officials in Ecuador and set a date for the consecration of the republic to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He also worked with the clergy liaison to help the Church based in Rome when she was in need. Gabriel Garcia Moreno, the echo of the Sacred Heart, continued to serve his people and all who merited such service.

In Germany, foes of the president Moreno decided he needed to be taken out. Intel reached president Moreno that opposition forces in Germany wanted him dead, but he did let this lock him in fear or excessive worry. Gabriel Moreno knew his source and relationship with Christ the king. The “echo of the Sacred Heart” died forgiving his assassins much like his Master did upon the Cross. Therefore, his call to us becomes our echo to follow Christ, to forgive those who have harmed us, and live out our baptismal promises to make a difference in this world.

Author’s Note: The author’s book, Our Lady’s Prophecies: God’s Messages for Our Time, is available from Sophia Institute Press.

Photo by Matea Gregg on Unsplash

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James Valois, the father of two adult children, reverted to the Catholic Faith from Evangelicalism while a student at Franciscan University, where he earned a B.A. in theology. He has worked in business, in youth ministry, and in teaching and administrative roles. His articles and book reviews have appeared in the Wanderer, Soul Magazine, Catholic 365, and Catholic Life Magazine. His book, Our Lady’s Prophecies: God’s Messages for Our Time, is available from Sophia Institute Press.

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