BISHOP (FEBRUARY 27, 2017)
HE ENDURED HARDSHIP AS A MISSIONARY FOR CHRIST
Octavio was born in Lima on April 19, 1879. When the first Salesian professional School was opened in Peru in 1893, the future bishop was enrolled as a student in the carpentry section. He joined the novitiate at Callao and made his perpetual profession into the hands of Fr. Paul Albera who happened to be there as an extraordinary visitor. Cleric Ortiz did his Practical Training in the same house and had the future bishop, Mgr.Victor Alvarez, as his pupil.
As Rector of the house of Piura (1911-15) he started the weekly “La Campanilla.” Later he was Rector at Cuzco (1915-20), and Callao. In 1921 he was appointed Bishop of Chachapoyas.
Although his diocese was not a mission territory, he was a real missionary when we consider the vastness of the area and the difficulties involved. He made several mission tours on foot, on horseback, through forests, mountain and rivers. He escaped death many times, but not without broken ribs and limbs.
During his regime, a part of the vast territory under him was raised to the status of Prefecture Apostolic and another to “Prelacy nullius”. With many difficulties he was able to put up a seminary in his diocese. Twice he refused another diocese that was bigger and would have been less tiresome for him.
In 1953 Pius XII appointed Bishop Ortiz “Assistant at the Pontifical Throne.” His zeal for souls was clearly seen in his motto, the same as that of the Salesian Congregation, “Da mihi animas” (give me souls).
He died after an operation on March 1, 1958 and was buried in his Cathedral. Bishop Ortiz enjoys great fame of sanctity.