Famous Religious Icons of Bolivia

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The following are some famous religious people in Bolivia. You can read about more famous Bolivians by visiting our Famous People from Bolivia home page where you'll find many other categories. You can also ask questions about any famous Bolivian person or add another famous person from Bolivia to our list.

Clemente Cardenal Maurer
Archbishop of Sucre and later Cardinal, he is originally from Germany. He arrived in Bolivia in the mid 1920’s sent by his congregation, the priests of the Order of the Redeemer. He was initially the Bishop of La Paz, then became Archbishop of Sucre, and finally was named Cardinal in 1967, the first from Bolivia. He remained as Cardinal until his death in 1983.

Julio Cardenal Terrazas
First an Archbishop of Santa Cruz and now the Cardinal, he was born near the town of Vallegrande (Santa Cruz) in 1936. He was Archbishop of the Santa Cruz diocese when, in 2001, Pope John Paul II named him Cardinal, the second from Bolivia and first who was actually Bolivian. He is known for defending people’s basic freedoms and for being critical of the political classes.

Virginia Blanco
A school teacher and secular religious servant born in Cochabamba in 1916, she was educated in the local schools, and at a young age showed a strong religious vocation. However, she couldn’t become a nun as she wished for her health, and when the government excluded the priesthood from teaching this subject, she became a secular religious school teacher, the first female Religion teacher, which back then was part of the school curricula. She was also involved in social works, and created the first “comedores populares” (communal/welfare kitchens) for the poorest inhabitants in Cochabamba. For her labor in helping the poor, and her half a century teaching and her evangelization work to the indigenous peoples, after her demise she was proposed formally before the Vatican for canonization in 2001 and was accepted during the rule of Pope John Paul II. The process towards sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church has five stages, and Virginia Blanco has gone through the first steps, and her cause is currently postulating to the Beatification stage. If approved, she would become the first Bolivian saint.

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