Sixty Vincentians martyred during Spanish Civil War beatified


60 members of the Vincentian Order who were martyred during the Spanish Civil War were beatified at a Mass in Madrid, a “celebration of hope, faith and forgiveness.” They include Vicente Queralt Lloret and 20 companions, and José Maria Fernández Sanchez and 38 companions. They were killed in 1936 and 1937 by Republican forces.

The 11 Nov Mass of Beatification at Madrid’s Palacio Vistalegre, celebrated by Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid, was a celebration of hope because “these martyrs believed in the beatitudes and their martyrdom summed them all up.”

Cardinal Sierra said that “these 60 martyrs gave their lives out of love. They died loving and forgiving, demonstrating a wisdom which comes from above, not taking sides in the conflict or getting involved in the civil unrest, but having a wisdom which came from Jesus Christ.”

“A human being’s weapons are not hatred or rancour but those of Jesus Christ: the love which engenders life and not death.”

The Cardinal also emphasized that these 60 martyrs are a model “more timely than ever because they led the life of God which is always relevant,” especially during “times in history when it seems hard for us to forgive. That’s why it’s good to remember people like these, people who don’t destroy but forgive instead, who give their lives not for an idea, but for a person: Jesus Christ.”

Sister Angeles Infante, a Daughter of Charity who is postulator of the cause for beatification  praised the martyrs’ “faithfulness to the Vincentian charism, giving their lives, the greatest treasure they had, for Christ.”

“The grace experienced by these martyrs is impossible to understand without faith,” she added.

 “It ‘s not a violent death that makes you a martyr, but the cause you die for, which is Christ. They gave their lives for God, embodying the faith through their witness, forgiving and asking their families to forgive,” Sr Infante said.

Thousands of priests, religious and laity were martyred during the  Spanish civil war. More than 1,800 of them have already been beatified and several were canonized.

 ACN Malta