115 Spanish martyrs beatified – It happened before, in living memory, it can happen again.

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.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Modern Martyrs, Saints: Stories & Symbols, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. mharden says:

    We were in Barcelona two years ago, and our guide told how she was alive because of two priest martyrs. Her mother was harboring them during the Spanish Civil War, but when the Communists banged on the door, the priests showed themselves and calmly walked with the Republicans around the corner. Her mother then heard two shots ring out.

  2. JARay says:

    I have always admired the hundreds of wonderful Catholics who were brutally martyred in Spain during my lifetime.

  3. FrAnt says:

    Fr. Z, where is “GO TO CONFESSION!”?

  4. Polycarpio says:

    The holy martyrs were not yet beatified. Pope Francis signed a decree recognizing their martyrdom during a private audience with Cardinal Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The beatification will be a public event, presided over by the prefect, probably in Spain, in a few months (date to be announced).

  5. kiwiinamerica says:

    I feel like a martyr during this oppressive, tumultuous pontificate.

    Where do I go to get beatified?

  6. Hoover says:


    An amazing book written by a Polish priest that survived Dachau (which ended up being one of the “nicer” camps that priests endured). Before the war, he recalls his busy schedule as a parish priest hearing confessions well past midnight. What he later endured was hell on earth as his brother priests were beaten to death and worked to death by teenage Nazis, and other criminals and atheists/communists that were political prisoners in the camps.

    If you think that this cant happen again, just look at all pent up rage being vented by “protesters” at Donald Trump rallies. The pure hate fueled by ignorance and uncontrolled emotion is evident on the faces of people as they get violent with people and destroy property. The day is not far off when they’ll be in a position to look to the “intolerant” Christians and vent their rage towards us.

  7. stuart reiss says:

    Low blow. For a Kiwi.
    Let’s pray for the Holy Father. And go to confession. Hopefully we’ll be beatified. One day!

  8. JARay says:

    One thing really gets my ire is that in Glasgow there is a statue which was erected to celebrate that evil woman “La Passionara”. She is the Spanish equivalent of the hordes of women who used to sit around the guillotine in Paris doing their knitting and watching the executions going on and cheering as each head rolled during the French Revolution.

  9. stuart reiss says:

    This is the same Glasgow that invented the deep fried Mars bar……..?

  10. mike cliffson says:

    Can we please up the numbers a bit?
    I mean a thousandfold.
    Read up on it.
    Hundreds only of laity as well in the Spanish civil war 36 – 39 is on the low side, probably by a factor of a thousand , maybe less , easily more.
    I get irritated by people visiting London who LIMIT the martyred Catholics of England (and wales) ( and don’t forget Scotland and Ireland) to the number on plaque on the convent wall near the site of Tyburn tree, the threebeamed triangular mass hanging site in London, OR to the fourty martyrs finally canonized mid twentieth.
    That plaque has butONE DAY’s hanging of many days over many years over many decades, etc at tyburn,NOT the only place for Catholics to be hung in London, let alone over the whole kingdom, let alone that these were at least urban people ,or country notables, given some semblance of a trial… there is mention in lives of St Thomas Moore of whole villages martyred.
    We are talking of names sifted for their lack of political associations etc to avoid possibilitiesof scandal BEFORE any canonization process even being started- at the risk of scandalizing people myself, It has seemed to me that this prior sifting process would have invalidated our Lord himself : he whipped bods out of the temple, called Herod a fox? Respected Pharisees called whitened sepulcres?
    I’ve seen reasoned estimates of half a million for England.
    I think being closer to now and limited to a short time comparatively more names have made it to the processes for Spaniards, but even so, just talking to people who were alive then , over the whole country, a hundred thousand must be the sort of order. So many simply and solely for being Catholics and remaining so, it’s made difficult by the truth that others dragged out and killed by the mob could be, for example unpopular gangstertype” fixers” for rich local bosses. Mobs, secret police, marxist show trials, spys and telltales, and the Tudor equivalents in both cases , mean plenty of people of who could not be easily considered exactly innocent murdered out of hand, but in both cases being catholic was bad for your health.
    We have all Saints for many good reasons.

Comments are closed.