The Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, as well as that which led up to it by way of the Asturias' revolution in October of 1934, are historical events which are extremely complex in all their intermingling factors: social, political, military, economical and, of course, religious. However, whatever the historical judgment of this convulsive epoch might be in its definitive form, there is no doubt that in the midst of a very warlike and revolutionary situation, a true religious persecution did occur as well.
The behavior of the governing republican leftist leaders took on a clearly antireligious bent from the very beginning. The separation of Church and state proclaimed by the constitution meant much more than a simple official laicization. It was interpreted _ and the interpretation was carried out _ as a justification for attacks on Church institutions and for shutting down their activities: any teaching, benefices, worship, and even the very existence of orders and religious congregations.
The worst thing was that underneath these official sanctions, which were more or less respectful of legality, a parallel activity of a revolutionary character was going on that threw all legal limits overboard. The burning of churches came first, then the assassination of priests, religious women and men, and active, militant lay Catholics. All of this created a growing rhythm that reached its peak in the first stage of the Civil War. That was when the Spanish Church offered up so much life blood, which had no other parallel since the persecution of the Church by the Roman Empire. These made up a veritable multitude of victims, who deserved the title of martyrs from the very first instant which, in many cases, was later ratified officially by the Church.
The Congregation of the Mission suffered as much misfortune as the rest of the Spanish Church. The initial geographic arrangement of safe and unsafe zones was such that, just after the uprising or some weeks after it, the majority of the CM houses fell in the zone that became known as "national." This was good. Along with that, the Visitor of Madrid took some preventive measures by moving the Internal Seminary and the Theologate to more secure zones. The number of possible victims was also reduced by the coincidence that the Visitor found himself in Palma de Mallorca, the college of Barcelona, to celebrate the second centenary of that house, when things became most serious. As for the rest: the 12 houses of the Province of Madrid and five houses of the province of Barcelona (all of them, except Palma de Mallorca), were situated in the so-called "red zone." These were the ones who would offer up their lives as martyrs of the Congregation: seven priests and 19 brothers immolated by those who hated the faith, of which 23 belonged to the Central House in Madrid.
On other pages of this study the reader will find the detailed account of these martyrdoms. But we cannot wait to mention the names of the youngest of the victims, the novice coadjutor brothers Vicente Cecilia and Manuel Trachiner from the Hortaleza house. They were killed for being discovered with cassocks in their poor suitcases on their way home to their families. The cassocks gave away their religious identity. And how can we forget the wise and notable Fr. Benito Paradela, archivist and librarian of the Central House of Madrid. As the revolution drew near, he was able to safeguard the legacy of our archives and the most treasured books in the library, with great patience and foresight. Yet, he was not able to save his own life!
No less generous, although less numerous, was the tribute paid by the Daughters of Charity. Thirty of them suffered heroic deaths due to their fidelity to their faith and to their vocation. Twenty-eight were from the Spanish Province and two from the Hispano-French Province.
It is also important to underline the admirable witness of innumerable members of the lay associations of the Vincentian Family who were killed for the simple motive that they were known to be active Catholics. There are also the martyrs of the Association of the Children of Mary Immaculate: four priests and seven lay people. The Miraculous Medal Association of Spain gave 69 martyrs and the St. Vincent de Paul Society gave 586, whose names are listed on the wall of the church of St . Robert Bellarmine in Madrid.
Surely there are many others who belong by their right to this martyrology of the Church in the 20th century, for which Pope John Paul Il has such great interest. Let us hope that they do not remain lost in the pages of some catalogue without being written in the book of the canonized saints! (José María Román, CM)
1. Martyrs of the Congregation of the Mission
a) Alcorisa, in the Diocese of Terruel
1.Fr. Fortunato VELASCO TOBAR, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 1 June 1906 in Tardajos, Burgos (Spain) and died on 23 or 24 August 1936 in Alcorisa, Terruel.
On 29 July 1936, Feast of St. Martha, patroness of the brothers, while the feast was going on the parish church bells rang out an alarm. About 15 truckloads of Marxist troops made their entrance into Alcorisa. The superior of the house shouted "save yourselves if you can." Each confrere ran in a different direction except the Servant of God and Brother Aguirre who thought that they might be able to do something for the good of the people of God and for the material goods of the community, especially since the Servant of God was the econome of the house. A large group of Marxists entered the house, took out everything from inside, and set fire to the Servant of God and took hold of the Servant of God as well as 50 neighbors that were known for their piety. They were threatened with a group killing. The following day the populace was summoned to the Ayuntamento Plaza and the prisoners were taken out in groups of 60, and one by one they were brought out on the balcony and publicly judged. When the Servant of God had his turn, the people asked that he be killed because he was a brother. One person said that he should be condemned to death, not because he was a brother, but because he had taken up arms against the Republic. Since no one could accuse him of this, he was declared free. He was set out on provisional liberty and vigilance as he lived at the home of the coadjutor of the parish, who was to be his prison companion and fellow martyr. Their living in the same house began on 30 July 1936 and lasted about one month.
At this time, some Communist chiefs arrived at the village. The Marxist of Alcorisa arrived at the house at one in the morning to take Fr. Fortunato by force. They took him to the national prison putting him with two or more other prisoners. The night of 23 August 1936, they took him out of prison and, on the road to the cemetery, they mortally shot him on the night of 23 August 1936. All the witnesses testified that he died forgiving those who killed him.
2.Fr. Leoncio PÉREZ NEBREDA, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 18 March 1895 in Villarmentero, Burgos (Spain) and died on 2 August 1936 near Oliete, Teruel.
On 29 July 1936, the Marxists made their entrance into Alcorisa (Teruel). The priests were celebrating the Patron Saint of the Brothers when, while having their repast, they heard the sound of the parish church bells clanging alarm. Five truckloads of Marxist troops made their entrance into the city. In the face of imminent danger, the superior of the community shouted the command to disband saying "Save yourself if you can." The Servant of God headed in the direction of Zaragosa and made his first stop that very afternoon in Masia de Arino (Las Lomas). On 30 July, at two o'clock in the morning, looking for a safer refuge, he found a new hiding place in the Masia de los Frailes. On 31 July, he had to seek asylum in a third place, "La Masia de la Mascarada." He only stayed there two days. He changed into old clothing and shoes. On 2 August, he appeared very early in the morning outside of the village of Obon, in the very Province of Teruel. He hid out until he heard the sound of the church bells for early Mass. He edified the people for his great devotion in assisting at the Mass. After Mass, he entered the sacristy and asked the pastor to hear his confession. He later left the town for the same neighborhood from which he entered. He went to the town of Oliete by the highway and he stopped at the bridge where he sat down on a support next to the house situated at the same level as the bridge. He asked for some water from the people in the house where he was resting. He was conversing at the bridge with a man named Paulino Martín Pérez when a neighbor arrived to join them. His name was José Santiago Candeal, and he had a very bad reputation and later on disappeared from the land. This man, José, suspicious that the old man was the priest in disguise, intentionally put his hand on the priest's head and knocked his hat off onto the ground. Thus he saw that the priest had the tonsure on his head. This was sufficient for José to conceive and execute immediately his old plan. In a short time, José showed up with two horses. The Servant of God was already on his way along the road that goes to Oliete. José reached him on that same road and began to intimate to him that he should change his route, knowing that his plans were to go to Zaragosa. About three kilometers from Oliete, José, pretending with deceit to help him, suggested "Do not go on this road, but rather go on this other road. José let him mount one of the horses while he got up on the oth2er.
He led the Servant of God off the road and onto a path, continuing on about one more kilometer until they arrived at an isolated and bare cliff within the very limits of Oliete. Having arrived at this place, José told the priest calmly that he was going to get down from the horse. Then after making the priest dismount, he began to hit the priest in the head and neck with a shovel and some iron bars that he had in his saddle. The Servant of God fell unconscious to the ground and José continued to beat him until he killed him. Then he dragged the priest's body to a rock at the edge of the cliff and he threw a big piece of material and some rocks on top of the body.
The dead body of the Servant of God was seen and recognized by some neighbors from Oliete. All the witnesses testify that the death of the Servant of God was motivated because he was a priest and religious.
3.Brother Luis AGUIRRE BILBAO, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 19 August 1914 in Monguía, Vizcaya (Spain) and died on 29 July 1936 in Alcorisa.
On 21 April 1936, he wrote to his uncles: "Now, everything is reversed, all the criminals are out free and all the good people are in jail! What is the purpose of all this burning of churches, convents, dragging of the Holy Hosts on the ground and doing all those sacrileges that have been done in many places such as removing all the statues outside and burning them?... Prayers and sacrifices we ask for, many prayers for our beloved country. We place ourselves in the hands of God, that his will be done, and we prepare ourselves for a good death, because we will have to die to defend the faith. That is where we are headed. There is no other recourse."
On 29 July, while we were still celebrating the feast of St. Martha, patroness of the Brothers, we received word that the Communist troops were making their entrance in Alcorisa. In the face of imminent danger, the superior of the community gave the shout to disband. Fr. Velasco and Brother Aguirre opted to remain in the house. The confreres, as they left the house, bid farewell to them with a fraternal embrace, and the two of them continued waiting for the terrible events that were about to happen and watching to see if they could do something for the spiritual good of the village and for the material good of the dissolved community.
As soon as the Marxists took possession of the village, they marched toward the residence of the Vincentians. When they arrived at the house they began to violently bang on the door of the house. After having found Fr. Velasco, they obliged him, together with Brother Aguirre, to accompany them in the search of the house. They made a thousand atrocities in the house and in the church. They shot up all the sacred images with many bullets. The martyrdom of the Servant of God took place immediately after the search, as Fr. Velasco relates in his pencil written letter from the Alcorisa prison on 30 July 1936. He says, "Yesterday, in the afternoon, after the arrival of the soldiers, all fled except Aguirre and me. The soldiers arrived. We handed ourselves over to them. They searched the house in our presence. They committed many atrocities in the house and, as they left, they killed him (Brother Aguirre), as I just found out today."
The facts are as follows: Fr. Velasco having been taken prisoner, the Marxists went after the Servant of God (Brother Aguirre). The Brother protested proclaiming his innocence and saying that he had done nothing for which they should kill him. The Marxists made him get down on his knees in front of the High School, today the Diocesan Seminary, and right there they executed him.
Before the shots rang out, the Servant of God declared: "If I have to die, I die for God and Spain. The Marxists intimidated him by shouting: "Long live Communism!" but the martyr shouted "Long live Christ the King:" On that afternoon, 29 July 1936, he died a martyr precisely on the feast day of the Patroness (St. Martha), thus being the first victim of the antireligious revolution in Alcorisa. All the witnesses are unanimous in declaring that he was killed because of hatred for the Catholic faith and because of his being a religious.
b) Guadalajara, in the Diocese of Sigüenza-Guadalajara (6 December 1936)
4.Fr. Ireneo RODRÍGUEZ GONZÁLEZ, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 10 February 1897 in Los Balbases, Burgos (Spain) and died on 6 December 1936 in Guadalajara.
5. Fr. Gregorio CERMOÑO BARCELO, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 9 May 1874 in Saragossa (Spain) and died on 6 December 1936 in Guadalajara.
6.Fr. Vicente VILUMBRALES FUENTE, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 5 April 1909 in Reinoso de Bureba, Burgos (Spain) and died on 6 December 1936 in Guadalajara.
7. Brother Narciso PASCUAL PASCUAL, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 17 August 1917 in Sarreaus, Orense (Spain) and died on 6 December 1936 in Guadalajara.
The Marxist Revolution had begun. On 26 July 1936, the Marxist troops took the Servants of God as prisoners. They were incarcerated in the Central Prison on Araparo Street in Guadalajara. Three hundred persons recognized for their Catholicism in the Alcarrena region were placed in jail with them. Among them were 21 priests and religious placed in a cell apart from the lay people. They suffered many hardships and abuses in the prison. There was very little food, and in October, their own wool mattresses and blankets were taken from them. In the month of November, when they began to really suffer the cold winter, their own coats were robbed from them.
The priests and religious continued to live exemplary lives. They prayed and offered the sacrament of reconciliation to the prisoners who were being executed.
On 6 December 1936, a crowd of Communists from the capital, incited by a gang of soldiers from Alicante, attacked the Guadalajara prison with the intention of killing all of the priests, religious and laity known for their Catholicism. The attack began at 4:00 p.m. First of all, the Marxists closed the dormitories so that the victims were not able to defend themselves. Then they entered into the dorms and dragged out all the prisoners one by one, each one accompanied by a soldier. They took them to the prison courtyard and there they executed them, leaving their corpses on the ground. The first ones to be killed were the priests and religious from the isolated cells. There were some 21 there. Among the very first ones assassinated were the Vincentian priests and brother. It seems that the first ones to be killed were Fr. Ireneo and Brother Pascual. The anger of the Marxist crowd was so strong that some of the soldiers, armed with pistols, began firing on those who had their eyes open, leaving, on the other hand, those who were agonizing without the "coup de grace," so that some of the victims could be heard screaming out anguished cries from the trucks taking them to be buried. They were buried in a common grave, and many corpses were not buried but rather cremated right there on the spot.
c) Oviedo and Gijon, in the Diocese of Oviedo
8. Fr. Tomas PALLARES IBAÑEZ, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 6 March 1890 in La Iglesuela del Cid, Saragossa (Spain) and died on 13 October 1934 in Oviedo.
On the night of 6 October 1934, the Marxists circled the Diocesan Seminary and began to fire. Professors and students ran for cover. Those that were captured were taken to an improvised jail together with a group of seminarians and religious. After three days, they were transferred to another prison, which held all the prisoners (70) in one cell, seated and observed all day and night by the military who were armed and the prisoners were not allowed to talk among themselves. Each one confessed according to where they were seated in the room. Realizing that most of them were priests and religious, the guards intended to kill all of them right there, but the chief of the prison stopped them and to stop the mass killing, he formed a type of trial, even though he knew the condition of all of them. They were transferred to another prison, where they were imprisoned until the day of their martyrdom, and during the three days that they remained in this prison, they were given nothing to eat but a bit of coffee on the third day in the morning. The liquid that they were given to drink was stagnant water in which the Marxists themselves had bathed.
On 13 October, there were two explosions in the improvised jail that were planned by the Marxists. The first explosion took place at midnight, when they saw that the government forces were advancing on the station. The idea was that the prisoners would take off to the stairs, then they would blow up the stairs and eventually the entire building. Before the advance of the troops, the Marxists planned to shoot all the prisoners, in groups of six, but this plan was not put into effect. After 15 minutes, the first explosion took place that left the prisoners without a staircase by which to escape. Three walls of the prison were destroyed and one fell on top of the prisoners without hurting anyone. The assault guards lost control of the situation and shouted "Save yourselves those who can." Some jumped onto the next roof, a little below the third floor of the building. Some began to crawl out. The greater part broke the pavement which was of wood and opened a hole that allowed them to escape to the second floor of the building. As they left, the guards were outside waiting for them to pass in their attempt to escape in order to shoot each one in the escape attempt. Lowering himself by a sheet rope, the Servant of God received a bullet to the head. Fr. Pallares let go of the rope and fell to the second floor where he died instantly. An iron post fell on top of the body of Fr. Pallares. Witnesses were able to recognize the body of Fr. Pallares, which later disappeared and nothing more was know of him.
9.Brother Salustiano GONZÁLEZ CRESPO, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 1 May 1871 in Tapia de la Rivera Léon (Spain) and died on 13 October 1934 in Oviedo.
Brother Salustiano died the same day and under the same circumstances as Fr. Tomas Pallares Ibañez.
10.Fr. Vicente PASTOR VICENTE, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 19 July 1886 in Caudé, Teruel (Spain) and died on 7 October 1934 in Oviedo.
At the start of the Marxist Revolution in Asturias, October 1934, (prelude to the Spanish General Marxist Re2volution 1936-1939, the Servant of God resided at the Diocesan Seminary of Oviedo, then run by the Congregation.
On 4 October, he left the seminary in the morning to celebrate Mass at the Miraculous Medal School run by the Daughters of Charity. At the end of Mass, the Daughters warned him not to leave the school because there was shooting going on outside in the streets. Father took a decisive attitude and said that nothing would happen and he went back to the seminary.
On 6 October at 3:00 p.m., the Marxists attacked Oviedo (Martyr City). They encircled the seminary and a horrible shootout began. This forced the professors and students to disband. After that the enemies of faith seized the seminary and set it ablaze.
The majority of the seminarians fell into the hands of the revolutionaries. A group of them, accompanied by Fr. Dominico, hid themselves in the basement next to the seminary. Another group of seminarians, took refuge in the basement of a neighbor's house, but were set upon by the Marxists and assassinated on the corner of the very street where the basement was. They died bravely shouting "Long Live Christ the King!"
After all the professors and students evacuated the seminary, the Servant of God put on lay clothes and stayed there until the following day, 7 October, then he left in the morning dressed in lay clothes and said Mass in the chapel of the Dominican Fathers inside the seminary. According to some eye witnesses, Fr. Pastor before abandoning the seminary consumed the sacred hosts.
Having said Mass, Fr. Pastor hid himself in the grass of the seminary. He shared his hiding place with two or three Dominicans. The tall weeds were suffocating them and they determined to escape through the back door of the yard which opened out onto the highway. Right at that gate, a short time before, seven major seminarians were shot by the Marxists. The two Dominicans joked to Fr. Pastor, it would be better to smell the grass than smell the gun powder. Fr. Pastor, as soon as he fled out to the highway, was detained by the Marxists and brought to the old "San Lazare Market" or "Old Slaughterhouse," in the San Lazare neighborhood in Oviedo.
The night of 7 October 1934, the Communists led the Chancellor and Secretary of the Archdiocese to the same place and there they were immediately killed along with the Servant of God. Right after the execution, the Marxists themselves gathered the three bodies and brought them to the cemetery of "El Salvador" in Oviedo, where they were thrown into a common grave.
11.Fr. Amado GARCÍA SÁNCHEZ, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 29 April 1903 in Moscardón, Teruel (Spain) and died on 24 October 1936 in Gijón.
At the start of the Marxist Revolution in July 1936, the Servant of God lived in the Community residence of Gijón, Asturias, and there he remained hidden. He shared his refuge with Fr. Gutoerrez and Brother Paulino Jimenez. He was invited to change his refuge, but resisted for fear of compromising the family that would receive him.
Due to much insistence on the part of his friends, Fr. Amado agreed to look for another place of hiding more secure than the home of Sabvina Llado, of the same city, where he remained three or five days, during which he celebrated Mass dressed as a lay person and with a missalette of the people. Then he moved on to the Community residence where he hid out for the second tine so as not to implicate a family which had generously given him so much. He had the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel all the time until he was taken prisoner. He went out sometimes very early in the morning to say Mass and confess people, where on 12 August, he was able to confess some 30 people. On 15 August, he made his last exit for the school where he said Mass and confessed.
On 22 October, he and a brother were taken prisoners and presented before a "Kangaroo" court where he was accused of having said Mass on 15 August, that he was a priest, that he was a marked Fascist and that he made people recite the Creed and the Our Father. Following that, they were both taken to a torture room where the Servant of God was tortured for three complete days.
On 24 October 1936, the vigil of Christ the King, the Marxists came into his cell very early and with a list in hand, the reader said Amado. With that, the Servant of God embraced Brother Jimenez and said "Good-bye! See you in heaven!" Then he turned to his executioners and said, "Kill me, but do not do anything to this poor old man who is just our helper." Fr. Amado was taken in a car up to the municipal cemetery of Gijón (cemetery of Suco, Ceares) and in the narrow entrance to the cemetery, Fr. Amado, together with his three jail companions, was shot. In the moment of death, the Servant of God had words of forgiveness for his executioners and said he was happy to give his life to God. So was to testify the one in charge of the cemetery who saw the arrival of the truck of death and from his house could hear clearly the shots.
12.Fr. Pelayo José GRANADO PRIETO, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 30 July 1895 in Santa María de los Llanos, Cuenca (Spain) and died on 27 August 1936 in Soto del Barco.
A neighbor of Soto del Barco, disguised as one of the local Marxist leaders, called at the rectory asking for clemency for Fr. Granado and protesting the treatment that the troops were giving him. Arriving at the house, he heard the laughs and sarcasm of the military troops who were tormenting him. They were hitting and insulting the priest. They began cutting his flesh in pieces and the neighbor heard them sarcastically saying as they were cutting his flesh, look at the white meat he has!
The last three days of his prison torment, he was enclosed by water, nothing to eat or drink, nor sufficient space to sit down. He asked in anguish for some water to drink, but his torments refused his request.
To these physical tortures were added spiritual tortures. The Servant of God asked for a priest to confess him, but his request was denied by the Marxists.
On 27 August 1936, at night, the Communists came and took the Servant of God from his rectory more dead than alive, and they brought him to the shore of the river Nalon, which passed near to Soto del Barco. There, they stabbed him in the back repeatedly until he expired and then threw his body in to the river. His body was never seen again.
13.Fr. Ricardo ATANES CASTRO, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 5 August 1875 in Cualedro, Orense (Spain) and died on 14 August 1936 near Gijón.
On 14 August, at 4:00 p.m., the Communists removed all the prisoners being held at San José Church in order to execute them. With a smile on his face, the Servant of God was dragged to the death truck along with some 300 companions, among them priests and religious known for their Catholicism.
The trucks stopped at the summit of one of the beautiful hills that surround Gijón, not far from the water shed, which was commonly called "Llantones." The prisoners were immediately put into lines and, with machine guns, the Marxists riddled all of them with bullets. It was 14 August 1936.
14.Fr. Andrés Avelino GUTIERREZ, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 12 November 1886 in Salazar de Amaya, Burgos (Spain) and died on 3 August 1936 near Villaviciosa.
On 3 August 1936, about 3:00 p.m., three or four military Marxists took the Servant of God from prison in a car and brought him to the town and San Justo Parishes in Astuirias.
They made him climb up a steep mountain. Fr. Andrés climbed with much difficulty and was pushed by his torturers. The climb up this mountain of new calvary was very tedious for him. He climbed up praying all the time. When he arrived at the top, about 70 meters, his torturers shot him.
As soon as the Communists left in their cars, the neighbors of San Justo went up the mountain to give honor to the martyr for Christ. The shots were heard from various sectors of the area. Mercy to all those eye witnesses and to the fame that continued to perdure among those good generous people. The missionary lay on his back, with the bullet hole in his left temple and on top of a large pool of blood which flowed down the road like a stream. The beret, full of blood, was knocked off to the side of his shoulders and with the beret were pieces of his skull. His forehead was marked with a bloody cross about the width of two fingers. He made the valiant and generous gesture of sealing his martyrdom with his own blood, with his fingers, soaked with his own blood, he had signed himself on the forehead a short time before the supreme Judge signed his soul with the eternal seal of the heroes of his love. The people of San Justo, eyewitnesses of this act (they saw the arrival of the car of the Marxists with the victim inside, and they heard perfectly the shots), ran up immediately in great numbers and watched the Servant of God executed and witnessed his agony. The next day, the body was put on a ladder that is used in the Asturian region to pitch hay and to pick apples. On this ladder, like on a stretcher, the body was carried down from the mountain and put on a truck to be taken to the Judicial Depot of Villaviciosa, which is in the municipality of San Justo. On 14 February 1940, the remains of the Servant of God were taken to the Municipal Cemetery of Gijón (Suco, Ceares) where they rest in peace today.
d) Rialp, in the Diocese of Urgel (17 August 1936)
15.Fr. Antonio CARMANIÚ MERCADER, CM, member of the Province of Barcelona, born on 17 April 1860 in Rialp, Lérida (Spain) and died on 17 August 1936 near Llavorsi, Lérida.
At the beginning of the Marxist revolution in July 1936, the Servant of God resided in the Central House of Barcelona, 212 Provenza Street. In the afternoon of 19 July, Antonio, like the other priests and brothers, left the Central House to seek refuge in the capital. Upon leaving, like the other priests, he took with him a box filled with consecrated hosts, thus avoiding a profanation of the two thousand hosts recently consecrated. He sought refuge in two houses in Barcelona, but he believed it would be safer for him in his home town and thus avoid dangers to the families that would hide him. Before leaving, he went to see the superior of the Central House who was housed in a Barcelona home. He sought permission for his departure, poverty permissions, etc.
Thanks to a permission received from the Commandant of the Civil Guard in Barcelona, Fr. Carmaniú reached Rialp at the end of July and hid out in his own house where he was born. One day, the Red Committee summoned him to present some declarations which really meant to prepare his death sentence. He was set free, but not allowed to leave the town. One night, between 11:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m., he escaped from his home town. They looked for him in the river, in the mountains, but could not find him. From hiding place to hiding place, he reached Estarón (Lérida) where he spent some hours at the home of a not too distant relative. The Servant of God, accompanied by a family member, began to climb the mountains in the direction of the French frontier, to hide out in a house of the Congregation, but he was detained by the military. They detained him and jailed him in the Red Committee of the town of Estahón where he was held prisoner that day, the 16th, and part of the 17th. They tormented him, hitting him in the head with the butts of the guns and at the same time making gross insults against him. They removed him from that place and took him to different stations. In one of them, he gathered together with him some family members and he warned them they should not be tricked by the Marxist teachings, and he exhorted them not to have fear to die for the faith. In another stop, they bound his hands and feet, and tried to oblige him to drink wine from a chalice (they had removed all the chalices, ciborium, cassocks, albs, sacred ornaments that they could find), but he refused.
The Marxists went down to the shores of Cardós in the valley and they went toward the town. They put before him a bucket of wine and said "Drink, this is your last day" and they continued to insult him and repeat verbal abuses relative to women, nuns and confessions. In Ribbed de Cards, they handed over the Servant of God to their Marxist comrades of the Fall de Tremp (Lérida), and they made him get up onto a truck that was directed to the nearby town of Llavorsi (Lérida), and about two or three kilometers from Llavorsi, they made him get down. It was then about 11 or 12 at night on 17 August 1936. The militiamen sat the priest down on the wall and shined the lights of their trucks on him. They asked him to turn around and face the river but the Servant of God did not do it, saying he would die looking at them and shouted "Long live Christ the King _ Now you can shoot." Upon hearing this, they fired while he shouted in a loud voice "Long live Christ the King." Then they threw a few shovelfulls of sand and gravel on his cadaver. From that very moment of his death, among those who knew him, it was confirmed that he was a saint and martyr and this sentiment was manifested spontaneously and he died a martyr for Christ and his faith and his fame continues to grow.
e.Diocese of Madrid
- "The Casita" (29 October 1936)
16. Fr. Maurilio TOBAR GONZÁLEZ, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 14 September 1869 in Tardajos, Burgos (Spain) and died on 29 October 1936 in Madrid.
17. Fr. Ponciano NIETO ASENSIO, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 9 March 1875 in Valverde del Campo, Valladolid (Spain) and died on 29 October 1936 in Madrid.
In the residence entitled, "The Casita," there lived some sisters, working with the neighbours, social workers involved in the Central House of the Daughters of Charity, and of the Daughters' Seminary, in total about 70 Sisters already professed (vows) and more than 200 sisters still in Seminary formation. After 23 July, the two priests, mentioned above, took refuge in the residence of a cousin of the superior. It is there that they were arrested, all three of them. They were shot dead together, probably on 29 September 1936.
- Vallecas (23 October 1936)
18. Fr. José María FERNÁNDEZ SÁNCHEZ, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 15 January 1875 in Oviedo (Spain) and died on 23 October 1936 in Vallecas-Madrid.
19. Fr. Roque GUILLÉN GARCÉS, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 21 May 1879 in Sarrión, Teruel (Spain) and died on 23 October 1936 in Vallecas, Madrid.
20. Fr. Benito PARADELA NOVOA, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 22 October 1887 in Amoeiró, Orense (Spain) and died on 23 October 1936 at Vallecas-Madrid.
21. Brother Cristóbal GONZÁLEZ CARCEDO, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 21 August 1913 in Lodoso, Burgos (Spain) and died on 23 October 1936 in Vallecas, Madrid.
22. Brother Cesáre ELEXGARAY OTAZUA, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 25 February 1904 in Anteiglesia, Guípúzcoa (Spain) and died on 23 October 1936 in Vallecas, Madrid.
23. Brother Juan NUÑEZ ORCAJO, CM, born on 14 September 1882 in Fontloso, Burgos (Spain) and died on 23 October 1936 in Vallacas, Madrid.
Vallecas is a suburb of Madrid in the cemetery of which eight of our confreres _ three priests and five brothers _ attached to three distinct houses, were shot and buried on 23 October. Some of them were from our Central House and from La Casita (above) and two were from Hortaleza, to which we will refer later. The militiamen wished especially to make them admit to the possession of "riches" hidden by the sisters. They were subjected, at first to privation, then suffering and constant interrogation techniques. Then, on 23 and 24 October, after a spell of less rigorous confinement, they were handed over to the militia of Tcheca de Fomento, who were more fanatical and cruel than the others. These, probably on the same day, massacred them all.
24. Fr. Eleuterio CASTILLO GÓMEZ, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 18 October 1903 in Marmellar de Arriba, Burgos (Spain) and died on 3 October 1936 in Madrid.
25. Brother Saturnino TOBAR GONZÁLEZ, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 24 December 1858 in Tardajos, Burgos (Spain) and died on 28 September 1936 in Vallecas, Madrid
26. Brother Agustin NOGAL TOBAR, C.M., member of the Province of Madrid, born on 5 May 1885 in Tardajos, Burgos (Spain) and died on 23 October 1936 in Vallecas, Madrid.
27. Brother Bartolomé GELABERT PERICÁS, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 4 May 1872 in Consey, Mallorca (Spain) and died on 27 November 1936 in Canillas, Madrid.
28. Brother Pedro ARMENDÁRIZ ZABALETA, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 29 April 1877 in Tracheta, Navarra (Spain) and died on 27 November 1936 in Madrid.
29. Brother Manuel TRACHINER MONTAÑA, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 21 September 1915 in Puzol, Valencia (Spain) and died on 20 July 1936 in Hortaleza, Madrid.
30. Brother Vicente CECILIA GALLARDO, C.M., novice of the Province of Madrid, born on 10 September 1914 in Cabra, Córdoba (Spain), and died on 19 July 1936 in Hortaleza, Madrid.
31. Brother Roque CATALÁN DOMINGO, C.M., member of the Province of Madrid, born on 24 January 1874 in Aldehuela, Teruel (Spain) and died on 22 July 1936 in Hortaleza, Madrid.
32. Brother José GARCÍA PÉREZ, novice of the Province of Madrid, born on 6 January 1915 in Lavadores-Tuy, Poteveora (Spain) and died on 28 July 1936 in Paracuellos, Madrid.
The residence of Hortaleza, a fine big structure. consisting of several farms, was the place of residence of our Internal Seminary and of a Centre of Formation for our brothers. The militiamen, spurred on by a hatred of our religion, and an urgent desire £or money, owned by religious, were very keen to make our confreres admit the possession of vast wealth, likely to be concealed in our houses. Under pressure from violent interrogation and torture, they gained the admission of a hiding place of Chalices and other precious objects belonging to the Community. Some among them, who had tried to flee dressed in civilian clothes, were recognized as religious, and for this reason alone were shot. Another confrere in the presence of a fanatical crowd was struck down by a bullet to the head while holding aloft his rosary beads in his hand. In total, one priest and eight brothers of this house were massacred.
33. Fr. Benito QUINTANO DIAZ, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 3 April 1861 in Lodoso, Burgos (Spain) and died on 12 December 1936 in Madrid.
34. Fr. Teodoro GÓMEZ CERVERO, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 7 December 1877 in Deza, Soria (Spain) and died on 22 October 1936 in Madrid.
35. Brother Isidro ALONSO PEÑA, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 15 May 1859 in Zumel, Burgos (Spain) and died on 14 December 1936 in Madrid.
Though assuming that this quiet little village would be a place of greater security and peace situated as it was about 27 kilometers from Madrid, the confreres were, nevertheless, dislodged from it. They were placed in the basement of the National Headquarters of Security, which was being used as a prison. There, in the company of religious, they were put to death.
- Paracuellos de Jarama
36. Fr. Laureano PÉREZ CARRASCAL, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 4 June 1876 in Valladolid (Spain) and died on 8 November 1936 in Madrid.
37. Fr. Francisco MORQUILLAS FERNÁNDEZ, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 16 June 1889 in Sarracín, Burgos (Spain) and died on 30 November 1936 in Barajas, Madrid.
38. Fr. Victoriano REGUERO VELASCO, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 13 January 1902 in Valladolid (Spain) and died on 7 November 1936 in Madrid.
39. Fr. Pedro Pascual GARCÍA MARTIN, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 6 June 1892 in Monteagudo, Teruel (Spain) and died on 4 December 1936 in Madrid.
- Paracuellos de Jarama.
After a period of imprisonment, they were summarily executed in this village, afterwards known as "Paracuellos of the martyrs," in the company of many other persons known for their religious sentiments, or their opposition to the revolution.
- Central House of Madrid
40. Fr. José IBAÑEZ MAYANDIA, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 26 August 1877 in Puebla de Hijar, Teruel (Spain) and died on 27 July 1936 in Madrid.
41. Fr. Hilario BARRIOCANAL QUINTANA, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 14 January 1869 in Quintanavides, Burgos (Spain) and died on 20 August 1936 in Boadilla del Monte, Madrid.
42. Fr. José SANTOS ORTEGA, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 18 September 1882 in Rabé of the Calzadas, Burgos, (Spain) and died on 23 September 1936 in Madrid.
43. Fr. Benjamin ORTEGA ARANGUREN, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 30 March 1885 in Villalta, Burgos (Spain) and died on 19 October 1936 in Madrid.
44. Brother Estanislao PÁRAMO MARCOS, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 7 May 1885 in Pedrosa del Rio Urbel, Burgos, (Spain) and died on 28 July 1936 in Madrid.
45. Brother Gil BELASCOAIN ILAGORRI, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 1 September 1883 in Legarda, Navarra (Spain) and died on 7 November 1936 in Madrid.
46. Brother Joaquin ZUBILLAGA ECHARRI, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 31 January 1899 in Echeverri, Navarra (Spain) and died on 7 November 1936 in Madrid.
47. Brother Perfecto DEL RIO PÁRAMO, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 18 April 1882 in Pedroda del Rio Urbel, Burgos (Spain) and died on 12 August 1936 in Madrid.
During the night of 24-25 July 1936, the militia forced entry to the house searching everywhere for weapons, but finding none. On the morning of 25th, the superior sent the confreres for refuge to friends and relatives. The above-named priests and brothers were arrested and massacred under different circumstances.
- House of the rue Fernández of the Hoz
48. Fr. Manuel REQUEJO PÉREZ, CM, member of the Province of Aquitaine (France), born on 10 November 1872 in Aranda de Duero, Burgos (Spain) and died on 30 September 1936 in Madrid.
49. Fr. José ACOSTA ALEMAN, CM, member of the Province of Aquitaine (France), born on 27 May 1880 in Cartagéne and died in Totana, Murcia on 31 January 1937.
f) Diocese of San Sebastián (17 August 1936)
50. José Modesto CHURRUCA MUÑOZ, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 15 June 1873 in Motrico, Guipúzcoa (Spain) and died on 17 August 1936 in San Sebastián.
In San Sebastián, the revolutions broke out on 19 July 1936. On the 20th, Fr. Churruca Muñoz was wounded in the face by glass flying from a broken window hit by a stray shot. Then, unjustly denounced as a spy, he was imprisoned, then shot on 17 August 1936.
g) Diocese of Barcelona
51.- Fr. Luís BERENGER MORATONES, CM, member of the Province of Barcelona, born on 4 July 1889 in Santa María de Horta, Barcelona (Spain) and died on 29 May 1937 in Barcelona.
52.- Fr. Manuel BENIMELIS CABRÉ, CM, member of the Province of Barcelona, born on 31 January 1892 in Reus, Tarragona (Spain) and died on 12 September 1936 in Barcelona.
53.- Fr. Vicente QUERALT LLOTRY, CM, member of the Province of Barcelona, born on 16 November 1894 in García, Barcelona (Spain) and died on 30 November 1936 in Barcelona.
h) Diocese of Valencia
54.- Fr. Rafael Vinagre TORRES MUÑOZ, CM, member of the Province of Madrid, born on 24 October 1867 in Feria, Badajoz (Spain) and died on 11 September 1936 in Valencia.
55.- Fr. Agapito ALCALDE GARRIDO, CM, born on 24 Marzo 1867 in Rubena, Burgos (Spain) and died on 30 July 1936 in Valencia.
i) Diocese of Gerona
56.- Fr. Juan PUIG SERRA, CM, member of the Province of Barcelona, born on 21 July 1879 in Los Balbases, Burgos (Spain) and died on 13 October 1936 in Figueras, Gerona.