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From Darkness Into the Light
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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, Bogota, 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. They released a number of albums worldwide and toured throughout the world following the release of their records. 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. He then became a pagan, and 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, such as astrology, crystals, candles, aromatherapy, flora therapy, card reading, I-ching, runes, psychics and all kinds of superstitions. 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. He founded a Catholic Mission called Pilgrims of Love with the Archdiocese of Bogota, Colombia and he has visit around 90 countries and an uncountable number of cities. Marino's testimony has been put into a book that he wrote and he is currently developing other teachings in writing, video and audio formats.

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