Next Saturday 60 members of the Vincentian Order who were martyred during the Spanish Civil War will be beatified at a Mass in Madrid, a “celebration of hope, faith and forgiveness.”“The grace experienced by these martyrs is impossible to understand without faith,” said Sister Angeles Infante, a Daughter of Charity who is postulator of the cause for beatification. She praised the martyrs’ “faithfulness to the Vincentian charism, giving their lives, the greatest treasure they had, for Christ.”
The Nov. 11 Mass of Beatification at the Palacio Vistalegre will be a celebration of hope because “these martyrs believed in the beatitudes and their martyrdom summed them all up.”
“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,” the postulator said.
Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid, who will celebrate the Mass, 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 rancor but those of Jesus Christ: the love which engenders life and not death.”
He 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.”
Those being beatified are Vicente Queralt Lloret and 20 companions, and José Maria Fernández Sanchez and 38 companions. They were killed in 1936 and 1937 by Republican forces.
Thousands of priests and religious, accompanied by laity, were martyred during Spain’s civil war. More than 1,800 have already been beatified, and several have been canonized.