Father Ignacio Larrañaga Orbegozo: Founder of PLW



Father Ignacio Larrañaga Orbegozo OFM CAP

He was born in Spain on the 4th day of May, in the city of Azpeitia, in Baristain, hamlet of Txanton. His parents were Marcelino Larrañaga and María Salome Orbegozo, who formed a big family consisting of: Josefa Ignacia, born in 1924, Jesus in 1925, José María in 1927, Ignacio in 1928, María Ascensión in 1930, Jose Luis in 1931; Francisco in 1934; María del Carmen in 1937 and Javier María, in the year 1943.

In 1940, at the age of 12, he enters the Seminary of the Capuchins in Alsasua. Before his priestly ordination, he becomes a sub-diaconate 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.

He lived in Chile since 1959, from where he 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 within the members of the Franciscan family, which was not limited to emotions and words, but it took shape into beautiful projects.

And since 1974, Encounters - An Experience of God have been given uninterruptedly for 33 years in 34 countries of four continents, with an average of 35 to 40 annual Encounters and an average attendance of 250 people per week.

In 1974, he begins his period as an author, late, at the age of 46; by the year 2004 he had written 16 books. The majority of them have had multiple editions and translated to 10 languages. Nowadays, he is considered as one of the most read authors of religious and self-help literature.

The Prayer and Life Workshops (PLW), 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. The Workshops were founded in 1984 and close to 8 million people have benefited from them. The phrase that clearly summarizes the path traveled in PLW is: from the joy of God to the joy of life.

In his later years he carried out an evangelizing activity to large groups of people, gathered in theaters and stadiums, covering Christological topics, marriage, etc. During the years 2012 and 2013, he dedicated himself to give retreats to Guides of TOV. These retreats were called Weeks of Culmination, which added up to be 56, while he visited around the world the places reached by PLW.

It must have been a joyful, long, and tender embrace, the one Ignacio and our God the Father found themselves in. It was the dawn of the Monday 28 of October 2013. So many sunrises and sunsets and nights, longing and begging, in silence and in solitude: Your Presence, Oh Lord, Your Presence! So many times, over and over, his vehement plea: Oh, my Lord, SHOW ME YOUR FACE!


Interviews to Father Ignacio (in Spanish)


Books by Padre Ignacio


The titles of the books by Father Ignacio include the following:

  • Come With Me
  • The Art of Being Happy
  • From Suffering to Peace
  • Journey Towards God
  • The Poor One of Nazareth
  • The Silence of Mary
  • The Rose and the Fire
  • The Forces of Decay
  • Brother Francis of Assisi
  • Sensing Your Hidden Presence
  • God Inside
  • Psalms for Life
  • The Sense of Life
  • The Happy Marriage
  • Transfiguration
  • Encounter