Civil war in Spain
Between 1936 and 1939 Spain erupted into a bloody and dramatic civil war: It was a conflict which ignited ideological enmities, resulting in a battle between democracy and fascism, between republicans and rebels led by General Franco. The Spanish Church also paid the price, subjected as it was to anarchic militias, and violent persecution.
Many members of Salesian Family massacred
Thousands of priests, religious men and women and lay people were massacred, simply because they were Christians. Amongst these were many members of the Salesian Family: 39 priests, 22 clerics, 24 Brothers, 2 Salesian Sisters, 4 Salesian Cooperators, 3 Salesian Aspirants and 1 lay Co-Worker; 95 in all. Three separate causes were introduced, finally reduced to two:
Two causes pursued
The group from Valencia – 32 martyrs – with Fr Joseph Calasanz at the head of them, the two groups from Seville and Madrid – 63 martyrs –with Fr Enrico Saiz Aparicio at the head of them. The first group was beatified on 11 March 2001 together with the other martyrs from the diocese of Valencia; while the second group were Beatified on October 28, 2007.
Fr Joseph Calasanz
Fr Joseph Calasanz (1872-1936) was born in Azanuy. Nel 1886 in Sarrià he saw Don Bosco by this time tired and suffering. He became a Salesian in 1890, and a priest five years later. He was secretary to Fr Rinaldi and following that superior of the Province of Perù-Bolivia. After returning to Spain he became Provincial of Terraconense (Barcelona – Valencia). He was a man of great heart and a hard worker, interested in the salvation of his confreres from the outset. He was captured together with other Salesians while he was running a Retreat in Valencia. He was killed while being taken away, with a single shot to the head.
José Batalla Parramón (1873-1936),
José Bonet Nadal (1875-1936),
Jaime Bonet Nadal (1884-1936),
Antonio María Martín Hernández (1885-1936),
Sergio Cid Pazo (1886-1936),
Juan Martorell Soria (1889-1936),
Julio Junyer Padern (1892-1938),
Recaredo de los Ríos Fabregat (1893-1936),
Francisco Bandrés Sánchez (1896-1936),
Julián Rodríguez Sánchez (1896-1936),
José Otín Aquilué (1901-1938),
José Castell Camps (1901-1936),
José Giménez López (1904-1936),
Alvaro Sanjuán Canet (1908-1936),
José Caselles Moncho (1907-1936).
José Rabasa Bentanachs (1862-1936),
Angel Ramos Velázquez (1876-1936),
Gil Rodicio Rodicio (1888-1936),
Jaime Buch Canals (1889-1936),
Agustín García Calvo (1905-1936),
Eliseo García García (1907-1936),
Jaime Ortiz Alzueta (1913-1936).
Miguel Domingo Cendra (1909-1936),
Félix Vivet Trabal (1911-1936),
Pedro Mesonero Rodríguez (1912-1936),
Felipe Hernández Martínez (1913-1936),
Zacarías Abadía Buesa (1913-1936),
Javier Bordas Piferrer (1914-1936).
Lay co-worker: Alexandro Planas Saurí (1878-1936).
Maria Carmen Moreno Benítez (1885-1936, vice provincial, directress and confidant of Blessed Sr. Eusebia Palomino who prophesised her martyrdom),
Maria Amparo Carbonell Muñoz (1893-1936).
The decree of martyrdom was published 20 December 1999; they were beatified 2001 by John Paul II.