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José Gálvez, gynecologist and mayor in process of beatification


The Vatican is studying the life of another layman who could be beatified, José Gálvez Ginachero. He was the mayor of the Spanish city of Malaga. He was born in 1866 and passed away in 1952.

A doctor by profession, he was 22 years old when he decided which field to specialize in. His mother pointed out a large number of women who died giving birth. Thus, José recognized this problem and dedicated his life to gynecology. 

He studied in France and Germany and brought the most modern European techniques to his hospital. Some of his comrades criticized his success. They said the only difference was that Gálvez washed his hands before operating.

The truth is that he lived his profession out like a true vocation. Sometimes he slept in the hospital in order to better care for the sick. He organized courses for midwives and even paid for them himself. After lunch, he prayed a rosary and after work, on the way home, he stopped at a convent to pray. 

FR. SALVADOR AGUILERA
Postulator of the Cause of José Gálvez
“His vocation to dedicate himself to the needy was also transferred to his family. His granddaughters shared to us that they went to the nursing home on Sundays to help feed the needy. When there was a patient in serious need, José Gálvez stayed to sleep in the same hospital on a large trunk.”

Gálvez married and had two daughters and a son. During those times in Spain, Catholics were viewed with suspicion. He was arrested twice, once for alleged conspiracy against the government. He spent three days in jail and his own patients bailed him out.

FR. SALVADOR AGUILERA
Postulator of the Cause of José Gálvez
“It was these lepers who went before the Civil Governor to ask for his release. They even said that if he did not get out of jail, all the lepers would move around the streets. Let's say that act of charity defended Dr. Gálvez at a hostile time.”

The other arrest was during the Civil War. They accused him of being bourgeois and of taking advantage of the poor. When they asked if he worked, he replied bluntly:

“More than all of you, who surely all were born in my arms late at night, and then early in the morning, I would continue working in the hospital curing the diseases of your mothers. You all have fixed hours of rest, but I do not.” Immediately, the court released him.

Gálvez was such a well-respected person in the city that he became mayor. The influx of people to his funeral was massive. They defied the heavy rains to say their last goodbyes. The chroniclers of the time said that even the sky of Malaga mourned his loss.