‘A Restless Lover of Justice’

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The Diocese of Southeast Florida offers a tribute to Rt. Rev. Emilio Joaquín Hernández Albalate, retired Bishop of Cuba, who died on April 19:

Bishop Emilio Joaquín Hernández Albalate was born in the city of Morón, province of Camagüey Cuba, on December 7, 1925. His parents were Nicolás de la O Hernández and Micaela Albalate. From this union, also was born Víctor Hugo Hernández.

Bishop Emilio was a restless lover of justice from a very young age. His mother once shared that she once discovered a steak hidden in his pocket. He had planned to offer it to his Afro-Cuban friend Chorizo, who was poor. She also recounted that at other times, when the family went to the movies, he would ask for the cost of his admission ahead of time and leave ahead of the others. When his parents and brother arrived at the cinema, they would hear Millo, as his mother affectionately called him, greeting them from the “henhouse,” what the cinema balcony was called then. The cost of admission was less, so Millo used his admission to pay for himself and invite his friends.

As a teenager, he was once walking with a friend when they met a beggar on the road. His friend began to push and mock the beggar. Emilio struck his friend to stop him. When his friend asked why he had hit him, he replied, “do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.”

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