BARCELONA, Spain (CNS) — More than a hundred Spanish Claretian missionaries were beatified as Catholic martyrs, eight decades after they were killed during their country’s 1936-39 civil war.
“During the last century, Spanish religious persecution became a virulent epidemic of death and destruction, leaving thousands and thousands of defenseless, innocent victims behind,” said Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Saints’ Causes, at an Oct. 21 beatification Mass at Sagrada Familia basilica.
“Faced by this devastating tsunami, these 109 Claretian religious reacted with the effective weapon of charity and forgiveness. To those wishing to annihilate the Christian presence in Spain, the martyrs responded by forgiving, praying and calling, ‘We are not afraid.'”
He said the beatification was a reminder that Christianity offered “a culture of peace and fraternity, not war.”
The 109 martyrs included 49 priests, 31 lay brothers and 29 students, all killed in late 1936 and early 1937 by Spain’s communist republicans.
Preaching at a separate thanksgiving Mass Oct. 22, Cardinal Juan Jose Omella said the martyrs’ beatification was “not a reckoning with the past, but a song to God’s infinite grace.”
“We need not fear the difficulties of the present time since God is directing human history,” the cardinal said. “His martyrs teach us to put our trust in God, to trust that love will overcome hatred and that no difficulty or persecution can take away the joy of confessing Jesus as Lord.”
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
or by credit card: