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About our Martyrs



A second numerous group of martyrs moves towards Beatification

01/07/2008: General House

Back on October 28, 2007, we all had a happy and satisfying moment when forty seven of our Brothers were beatified in Rome. Because of the exuberance of that joyful occasion and its festivities we have forgotten to give proper attention and gratitude to one person who did so much on behalf of our martyrs. That is Bishop José Luis Gutierrez, who is the “relator” of our causes at the Vatican. As relator his task was to read, correct and constantly guide the work of Brother Gabriele Andreucci, the then Postulator. The Bishop’s task entailed the proofreading of thousands of pages.

In addition, he was the one who composed the preface to the various « positio » which Brother Gabriele had written for Brother Bernardo, Brother Laurentino, and the Crisanto group. At the present time Bishop Gutierrez has begun to reread the “positio” pertaining to Brother Eusebio’s group. The Bishop is bringing to completion an immense work on behalf of our causes. To him we express our deepest thanks. We may add that Bishop Guttierez is a former student of the Marist Brothers of Spain for whom he holds a special affection.

The relator is a member of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. The relator guides and supports the work done by postulators, guaranteeing the validity of the word before other members of the Congregation. Given that causes come in from all over the globe, the Congregation provides itself with relators in different language: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish. The Congregation for the Causes of the Saints has become ever more international, as has the Vatican itself.

On March 14th of this year, the postulators who are promoting beatification on behalf of Spanish martyrs decided to get started on the beatification cause of another group of martyrs, many in number. We have split the group into thirty-four causes, counting 531 martyrs all together. Among these causes are found our own Marist Brothers, represented by Brother Crisanto’s group, comprising sixty Brothers and two laymen. All the same, one must be well supplied, in this work, with patience of the Rome variety. We will not reach the point of beatification before seven or eight years have passed, that is until around the year 2015. Time, however, passes quickly, especially when one is of mature age.

We are in the last phase of the cause of Brother Eusebio and fifty eight other Brothers, the last group of Marist Brother martyrs in Spain. The cause has been slowed up; it has not yet been submitted to the the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. Brother Mariano Santamara is preparing the documentation and Bishop José Luis Guttierrez is the relator.

To cast some light upon our Spanish martyrs, here is a list of the causes and their present status.
1-1909: Brother Lycarion, Swiss, killed in Barcelona. The studies connected with this cause have been completed and the positio written. Brother Lycarion will become part of Brother Eusebio’s group.
2-1934: Brother Bernardo was executed in Barruelo. He was beatified on October 28, 2007.
3-1936: Brothers Laurentino, Virgilio and their forty four companions were executed by fire arms in Barcelona. They were beatified on October 28, 2007, along with Brother Bernardo.
4-1936-1939: Brother Crisanto, sixty five Brothers and two laymen were murdered in various municipalities of Spain. Their cause will be joined to the next group to be beatified.
5-1936-1939: Brother Eusebio and fifty eight other Brothers, murdered in various parts of Spain. The preparatory studies for their cause have not yet been completed.

Our religious family also has other martyrs linked to Oceania or Asia, African or the Americas … All these Brothers convey a message to us: that our type of Marist life leads to faithfulness to the Lord ; our kind of life is a road to holiness upon which young people and adults come together because of God’s love.

Brother Giovanni Bigotto

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