Catholic World News

522 martyrs beatified in Spain

October 14, 2013

522 martyrs who were killed during the persecution of the Church in Spain in the 1930s were beatified on October 13.

The beatification took place in Tarragona, a city of 130,000 in the northeastern region of Catalonia. Eight cardinals, including Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera and Cardinal Claudio Hummes, were present at the beatification, along with 96 other bishops.

The martyrs included three bishops, 82 diocesan priests, three seminarians, 15 priests who belonged to the Brotherhood of Diocesan Priest Workers, 412 religious, and seven laity.

Most of the martyrs came from various parts of Spain; others came from Colombia, Cuba, the Philippines, and Portugal. The largest group (147) came from Tarragona. L’Osservatore Romano noted that some martyrs were killed in Asturia in 1934, two years before the Spanish Civil War began.

In the week preceding the beatification, opponents of the Franco regime that emerged victorious from the war urged Pope Francis to cancel the beatifications. In a video message for the occasion, the Pontiff said that the martyrs imitated Christ their love “to the end” and called on those present to imitate the martyrs by dying to self.

“They are all innocent victims who endured prison, torture, unfair trials, humiliations, and unspeakable punishments,” Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, preached during the Mass of beatification. “They were killed in hatred of the faith, just because they were Catholic, because they were priests, because they were seminarians, because they were male religious, because they were female religious, because they believed in God, because they held Jesus as only their only treasure, dearer than life itself.”

In tendentious headlines, Agence France-Presse and The Guardian put quotation marks around the word martyrs.


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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Oct. 14, 2013 7:32 PM ET USA

    The MSM holds the Spanish Republic in high honor, at least partly because it was anti-Catholic. So we can't expect them to celebrate with us. It sounds too pro-Franco.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Oct. 14, 2013 6:57 PM ET USA

    But of course AFP and The Guardian used quotation marks to try to dispute the status of martyr concerning in these cases. After all, writers at both places are the spiritual heirs of those who did the killing in Spain. The tactic of trying to portray this in political terms as some kind of endorsement of the Franco regime is beneath contempt. It merely demonstrates for the umpteenth time the intellectual bankruptcy of the Spanish (and European) Left.