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Marino's story and evangelizing work
The Catholic Church is our spiritual mother on earth, it is our cradle and our exile from the snares of the world and the evil one. The apostolate of the Pilgrims of love propagates this reality in the day to day of ordinary people around the world, we believe that it is a valuable contribution for the Church today because the materialism of this civilization of death has robbed the Catholic of today, the sense of the Church as spiritual home.
My primary role as an instrument of the new evangelization and of the entire Pilgrims of Love fraternity, is to be witnesses with the facts of a radical change of life, where it is demonstrated that Jesus is alive in our lives and that he acts in everything: what we do, think and preach.
My greatest desire is to be able to give the Church my gratitude, my fidelity, all my love and dedication, to work with her and for her for all the days of my life and to invite all the people I meet along the routes of the gospel around the world, to do the same.
A personal encounter with God
Marino Restrepo was born in the Andes Mountains of Colombia in a small coffee-growers town. His family was one of strong Catholic faith, endorsing all of the Catholic traditions and teachings. Marino was the sixth child in a family of ten. At age fourteen he moved to the capital of Colombia, Bogotá, where he achieved his high school education. He got married shortly before he turned twenty, and moved to Hamburg, Germany, where he attended the University of Hamburg and studied arts. His two sons were born there, and after spending six years in Germany, he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he has lived ever since. He engaged himself in the entertainment industry as an actor and musical composer. In 1985 he was signed to Sony music of New York as an exclusive artist with his band Santa Fe. Marino lived in this world of entertainment for twenty years, and he spent all those years away from the Lord.
He had started to drift away from Catholicism ever since he moved to Bogota in the sixties. His life took a sharp turn towards the life of a worldly human being, focused on shallow materialistic matters such as money, fame, and pleasure. He involved himself in Eastern pagan religions and all kinds of esoteric sciences.
Marino’s life took a drastic turn during his visit to his hometown in Colombia at midnight on Christmas Eve in 1997. While he was driving into the ranch of one of his uncles where he was to spend the night, he was kidnapped by the Colombian rebels of the FARC (Revolutionary Arm Forces of Colombia) and taken to the jungle as a hostage for six months. During the first fifteen days of his kidnapping, he was kept in a cave with bats and different kinds of bugs while the captors were waiting for the rebels to pick him up. In that very cave, and after finding out that he was sentenced to death by his captors, he went through a mystical experience with God that changed his life forever. Five and a half months later, Marino was miraculously released from captivity after a miracle of God, and after his release he went back to his catholic faith. Eighteen months later he became a full time missionary for the Catholic Church leaving all of his past, and his worldly possessions behind. Constantly on the road of the mission around the world.
Marino’s testimony has been published in a book called "From Darkness into the Light" that he wrote and also has been recorded in many missions around the world.
In these pages you will find a human life intertwined in the most serious errors and dangers resulting from an existence that lacked spiritual awareness and was flooded with the mundane ambitions of a heart that always wanted to do good and was able do so only after great effort. You will also find the fruit of the author's encounter with his Creator; in it, God's mercy and forgiveness rescued a wasted life from the ashes of sin and transformed it into bread of evangelization for the whole world. You will also be able to appreciate the Gospel telling us as how God takes the fool to embarrass the sage.
Marino Restrepo never studied theology, neither was he educated in the religious sciences. However, during his life as a missionary, he has made possible for theology academicians and high-level ecclesiastic scholars to hear the simplicity of a Gospel infused in the author's heart by the Holy Spirit.
You are kindly invited to navigate through the paths of God's miracle.
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