I was recently in Spain. We visited a lot of churches – as one does. Time after time, we would encounter a church that was seemingly uncharacteristically bare, or where there were great gaps in decorations, only to find that something happened to the place in the 30’s. We know what that was.
Today I read that Pope Francis beatified 115 Spanish martyrs of the Civil War. HERE
The newest martyrs are Servants of God José Álvarez Benavides y de la Torre, Spanish dean of the Cathedral Chapter of Almería, and his 114 companions. They were killed between 1936 and 1938 during Spain’s brutal civil war.
In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI beatified nearly 500 victims of religious persecution who were killed before and during Spain’s civil war. These included two bishops, 24 priests, 462 members of religious orders, a deacon, a sub-deacon, a seminarian, and seven lay Catholics. Collectively their ages ranged from 16 to 71. It was one of the largest mass beatifications in history.
In April 2011, Pope Benedict approved the beatifications of 22 martyrs from the period. In October 2013, another 522 martyrs from the Spanish Civil War era were beatified.
Friends, may I remind you that those events occurred within living memory.
And may I also remind you that if they happened before, they can happen again.
Human nature is fallen and it is not improved by technology or politics.