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The Beatification of the Carmelite Martyrs of the 20th Century

Fr. Rafael Leiva Sánchez, O.Carm.

CARMELO Mª MOYANO and 9 Companions (Bética Prov.)
and ALBERTO MARCO ALEMÁN and 8 Companions (Castilian Prov.)

On Sunday the 13th of October 2013 the beatification of the Spanish martyrs of the 20th century was celebrated in Tarragona. The martyrs included Blesseds, Carmelo Mª Moyano Linares and 9 Companions of the Bética Province and the Blesseds, Marco Alemán and 8 Carmelite companions of the Castilian Province.

Pope Francis sent a televised message to all who took part in the beatification ceremony, some 20,000 people, before the Eucharist, recalling that the martyrs were the Christians who were won for Christ, disciples who learned very well the meaning of loving to the very end, sharing in the love that led Jesus to the Crucifixion.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints presided at the beatification and at the Eucharist, at which all the members of the Bishops Conference concelebrated along with the major superiors of the martyrs who were to be beatified, and an enormous number of diocesan and religious priests.

Following the moment of beatification of the 522 martyrs, among whom there were the Carmelite Martyrs, Carmelo Mª Moyano Linares, José Mª González Delgado, Eliseo Mª Camargo Monter, José Mª Ruiz Cardeñosa, Antonio Mª Martín Povea, Pedro Mª Velasco Narbona, José Mª Mateos Carballido, Eliseo Mª Durán Cintas, Jaime Mª Carretero Rojas y Ramón Mª Pérez Sousa (Prov. Bética) and Alberto Mª Marco Alemán,  Daniel Mª García Antón, Silvano Mª Villanueva González,  Adalberto Mª Vicente Muñoz, Aurelio Mª García Antón, Francisco Mª Pérez Pérez, Ángel Mª Reguilón Lobato, Bartolomé Fanti Mª Andrés Vecilla and  Ángel Mª Sánchez Rodríguez (Castilian Prov.), a group of deacons brought to the altar the urn with the relics of the newly beatified, flanked by palms on either side, the symbol of the martyrs, and carried by the people connected to the different causes. The archbishops and bishops of the dioceses that promoted the 33 causes of beatification then approached the Presidential chair along with the postulators and Cardinal Angelo Amato gave them the Apostolic Letter by which each beatification was proclaimed.

During his homily at the Eucharist, Cardinal Angelo Amato said: “Today here in Taragona, Pope Francis has beatified 522 (Five hundred and twenty-two martyrs who shed their blood in order to give witness to the Lord Jesus.” It was the largest beatification that had ever taken place in Spain ... We note that the martyrs were not people who died as a result of the civil war, but rather the victims of a radical religious persecution, that pursued a programmed extermination of the Church. These brothers and sisters of ours were not combatants, they did not bear arms, they did not stand on the frontline, they did not take the side of any party, they were not agitators ...... They lost their lives out of hatred for the faith, simply because they were Catholics, because they were priests, or seminarians, or they were religious men or women, they were lay people who believed in God. .... they had no hatred for anybody, they loved everyone, they  did good for others. Their apostolates were catechesis in the parish, teaching in the schools, looking after the sick, showing charity to the poor, assisting the elderly and the marginalised. In the face of the atrocities being committed by their persecutors, they did not respond with rebellion or with arms, but only with the gentleness of the strong, with forgiveness”.

The Carmelites who attended were the Prior General Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral, the Postulator General,  Fr. Giovanni Grosso, the Prior Provincials of the Iberian Region, Rafael Leiva Sánchez (Bética), Luís Gallardo Ganuza (Arago-valentina), Manuel Bonilla Gutiérrez (Cataluña), Miguel Ángel Pérez Gutiérrez (Castilla), and the Commissary General of Portugal, Agostinho Marques de Castro, numerous Carmelite friars from each of the provinces and the general commissariat, the 10 novices from the international novitiate in Salamanca, the  Superior General of the HH. Carmelitas del Sagrado Corazón, Rosa Calvo, and Sr.Mª del Carmen Lera, Councilor General, and sisters Gloria Jurado Perea (a sister of Fr. Manuel Jurado) and Victorina Alvárez. As the Superior General of the Hermanas de la V. María del Monte Carmelo, Sr. Maria del Carmen Aparicio, and the Vicar General, Maria del Carmen Hernandez Belmonte, could not attend, the General Councilors, Rita Mª Dwiningsih,  Rosario Ávalos Coloma y Josefina Martínez Tomás,  the Regional Vicar for Spain and Portugal attended. A large group of lay Carmelites came from Osuna (Sevilla), Montoro (Córdoba), from the youth movement JUCAR from Madrid, Jerez, Hinojosa del Duque,  and members of the Carmelite Third Order from Seville and other places came on their own account, the same as large groups of families of the beatified Carmelites, that included the blood sister of Blessed Jaime Mª  Carretero Rojas. 

On the 19th of October, the official Masses of Thanksgiving were celebrated in Montoro (Cordoba), and Hinojosa del Duque (Córdoba), led by the Bishop of Cordoba. On the 23rd, 24th and 25th of October a Triduum was celebrated in honour of Blessed Alberto Marco Aleman and on the 6th of November in Seville, the Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated, led by the Archbishop, Juan José Asenjo Pelegrina. 

The details and photos of the beatified Spanish Carmelite martyrs may be found on the website of the Order.

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As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."