Sunday, July 2, 2006
Cause for Beatification opened for 149 Spanish Martyrs

Pope Benedict XVI has just opened the cause for beatification for 149 Spanish Martyrs murdered for the faith in the Spanish Civil War. Their names are available on the Catholic News Agency.

Last fall on October 29, 2005, several martyrs were already beatified. They were Father Francisco Castells Brenuy, Father José Boher Foix, Father José Juan Perot Juanmarti, Father Jose Tàpies Sirvant, María De Los Ángeles Ginard Martí, Father Pascual Araguàs Guàrdia, Father Pedro Martret Molet, and Silvestre Arnau Pascuet.

Thousands were murdered in the Spanish Civil War just because they were Catholic:

In Spain, one of Europe’s most staunchly Catholic countries, large numbers of Catholics were butchered during the 1936-1939 Civil War solely for being Catholic. Unlike the martyrdom in most parts of the world, whole sectors of the religious community were liquidated. At least 6,832 priests and religious were martyred, including 13 bishops. In the 20th century, probably no country witnessed so much bloodshed among its clergy.

The male religious martyred included 259 Claretians, 226 Franciscans, 204 Piarists, 176 Brothers of Mary, 165 Christian Brothers, 155 Augustinians, 132 Dominicans, and 114 Jesuits. The toll among the female orders was lower, but still shocking when we recall that these women could have had virtually nothing to do with the political struggle: 30 Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, 26 Carmelites of Charity, 26 Adoratrices, and 20 Capuchins, along with many others.

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