Father Ignacio Larrañaga Orbegozo OFM Cap.
Ignacio Larrañaga, a Capuchin priest, writer and evangelizer, who is considered by many a “modern day prophet” or a “21st century mystic” He is the founder of the Prayer and Life Workshops (PLW). His main labor has consisted of leaving, to the world, thousands of lay people prepared and dedicated to teaching deep and personal prayer, which allows a daily encounter with the Lord, in day by day, through a methodology that is entirely based on the experience of the Love of the Father and the wonders that He does in us.
He was born in Spain on the 4th of May, in the city of Azpeitia, in Baristain, hamlet of Txanton. His parents were Marcelino Larrañaga and María Salome Orbegozo, he was the fourth child in a numerous family.
In 1940, at the age of 12, he enters the Seminary of the Capuchins in Alsasua. Before his priestly ordination, he becomes a deacon on the 29th of March of 1952, in the city of Pamplona and is ordained priest on the 20th of December 1952, in San Sebastian.
From an early age he was inclined towards music, in the Seminary he played the piano and the organ. He developed a great sensitivity for music, that is why all his audios and videos were always adorned with pieces from the great masters of baroque music.
In June 1957, being in the small town of Gallipienzo, Navarre, on a warm summer night, staring at the stars, he was blessed with an experience, which he described in his book The Fire and and the Rose, as an enlightenment, a flood of tenderness: LOVE. The love that assails, invades, floods, surrounds, pervades, and drives one mad. This experience is known as an extraordinary infused gratitude. These instants and the infinite nuances of this brilliant experience marked his soul forever and he himself in the Rose and Fire affirms that “the thick and vital lines of his complex work in:books, Encounters, Prayer and Life Workshops, emerged from the experience of that eventful night.”
He has lived in Chile since 1959; he has had a very diverse and fruitful apostolate. He began a series of Weekly Franciscan Gatherings throughout the narrow and long Chilean geography. As a result of this prolonged evangelization, and with the passage of time, a great enthusiasm began among the members of the Franciscan family, that was not limited to emotions and words; but it took shape through beautiful projects.
In 1965 he founded CEFEPAL (Center of Franciscan and Pastoral Studies for Latin America). Dedicating himself self for about ten years to the post-conciliar Franciscan motivation in several countries of Latin America.
In 1974, in Brazil he started the weekly retreats named “Encounters An-Experience of God” (EEG), which he imparted tirelessly until 2011 in more than 40 countries on four continents, with the assistance of thousands of people.
Besides the EEG he has carried out a grand evangelizing activity to large groups of people, in theaters and stadiums, with talks on themes of Christology, marriage, humanizing dimension of prayer, etc.
In 1974, begins his period as an author late, at the age of 46. He wrote 16 books, the majority of them have had multiple editions and have been translated into more than 10 languages. The same as Manuals and other materials written especially for the use of the Prayer and Life Workshop (TOV) Guides. Now-a-days he is considered as one of the best read authors of religious and self-help literature
The Prayer and Life Workshops (PLW), that he founded in 1984, are an ecclesial service approved by the Holy See since 1997, constitute the pinnacle and crown of all his apostolic activity, through the workshop’s explosive force, its fruits, and the high esteem towards them manifested by the Holy See and the Bishops. Millions of people have passed through their experiential sessions. The phrase that clearly summarizes the path traveled in PLW is: “From the joy of God to the joy of life.”
He gave the TOV Guides his spiritual testament in the weekly meetings he called Weeks of Culmination, which began in February of 2012, for which he traveled to numerous countries in order to gather the sentiment of the family of Guides, concluding that process of prayer and community reflection with the Re-Founding of the TOV in the year 2013.
His death on October 28 of that year in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, found him in full mission and only two weeks from completing the program of 62 Weeks of Culmination, which could be totally concluded in full, thanks to the video he left prepared foreseeing that something could happen to him.