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522 Spanish martyrs to be beatified on October 13th

2013-10-12

These are the faces of the Spanish martyrs that will be beatified on October 13th. They all lost their lives during one of the most brutal religious persecutions in modern history.   

Ángel Sánchez Rodríguez was the youngest. He was only 18 when he was shot and killed in Madrid along with this fellow Discalced Carmelites

MSGR. JUAN ANTONIO MARTÍNEZ CAMINO
Spain's Episcopal Conference

"Most of them were very young. There were some students and young priests. But above all, the victims were religious, so they are a modern examples of martyrdom. They wrote farewell letters to their parents and brothers. After all their suffering, there came a point where they knew they only had one or two days to live.  In those letter they write that they will die in the name of the Lord.”

The beatification will take place in the Spanish city of Tarragona, where most of the martyrs were killed. The list includes Bishop Manuel Borrás and 146 companions. Most of them were killed during the Spanish Civil War. Instead of running away from their fate, they refused to rejecting their faith.

MSGR. JUAN ANTONIO MARTÍNEZ CAMINO
Spain's Episcopal Conference
"They didn't die for political reasons nor did they fight in a war. But they did stand up for their faith. They died because they didn't want to reject it or their love for Jesus Christ.”
That's how they have been remembered for generations. As martyrs who forgave their killers without seeking revenge.

ENCARNACIÓN GONZÁLEZ
Spain's Episcopal Conference

"When a person knows that someone has been a martyr, they usually tell the Bishop so that a canonization process can get started. The whole point lies in proving that it really was martyrdom. Living a virtuous life also matters, of course, but the most important thing is to prove that element of martyrdom.”

It's not the first time Christians have been persecuted in Tarragona. The first three martyrs of the Iberian Peninsula were burned to death in that city back in the 3rd century.

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