Guido Schaffer: the Surfing Angel will be a saint | Photo: guidoschaffer.com.br/surffoto.com.br

Guido Schaffer will likely be the first ever surfing saint. The Vatican will beatify the Brazilian surfer who drowned in 2009.

The 30-year-old wave rider, nicknamed "Surfing Angel," lost his life while enjoying his time at Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, just weeks before he was due to be ordained a Catholic priest.

The Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro sent the Vatican numerous documents on the life of Schaffer to show that he "lived in accord with the teachings of the Church."

"He was very sensitive toward others, and was a man of great faith and was passionate for the word of God," explained Father Roberto Lopes, episcopal vicar for the causes of saints at the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro.

"On the day of his burial, the Church of Our Lady of Copacabana was filled with bishops, priests and many believers who saw him a young man who was different and deeply loved God."

Guido Schaffer also loved surfing. He felt inspired by God to help others as he did with the native tribes of Brazil. Now, The Holy See has no objection to the process of assessing Schaffer's suitability for sainthood.

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints oversees the process that leads to the canonization of saints, passing through the steps of a declaration of "heroic virtues" and beatification.

Guido Schaffer was born on the 22nd May, 1974, in Volta Redonda, Brazil. In 1998, he graduated from Medical School and started providing care to homeless people with the Missionaries of Charity.

He initiated his preparatory priesthood studies at the Monastery of St. Benedict, in 2002. Six years later, he joined the Saint Joseph Seminary, in Rio de Janeiro. On the 1st May 2009, Guido Vidal França Schaffer passed away at the beach in Recreio dos Bandeirantes.

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