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Brother Crisanto and companions, martyrs.

20/07/2011: General House

On Monday 27 June, a phone call came to our general house from the Congregation for the  Causes of Saints. On the end of the line,  Don Claudio Iovine, Vice Promotor of the Faith (once called the ‘devil’s advocate’), was asking for the Congregation to be brought 10 copies of the “positio” of Brother Crisanto and his companion martyrs. The group is composed of 66 Marist Brothers and two laymen killed during the persecution of the Church in Spain from 1936-39.

The copies will allow the theologian censors (8) to read the positio and express their opinions on the validity of the demonstration of martyrdom.

In simple terms, what does this mean? It means that this group of our martyrs has taken the road to beatification and is in its final phases:

1-probably in March 2012 the work of the theologian censors,

2-a year later, 2013, the cause will be examined by a group of cardinals and bishops,

3-then the date of the beatification will be communicated to us. It has the chance of happening during 2014.

That seems a long way away, but three years pass quickly. We have hardly the time to prepare our hearts.

This group of martyrs, to which Br Crisanto gives his name, forms a complex cause. It brings together Brothers killed in many places of Spain on different dates: Las Avellanes, Toledo, Valencia, Vich, Ribadesella, Badajoz, Malaga, Madrid, Chinchon… Huesca, Denia, Arceniega, Barcelone.

It is true that we are not very familiar with these martyrs; if we took a little time, we would quickly come to admire them and be proud of them as members of our family. Before they were killed, many of them were told: « If you renounce Christ, you are free!» But they did not renounce Christ and for Him they lost their lives. These martyrs form part of our family treasure.

If you enter Our Marist Documents, in the book Our Models of Marist Sanctity, you will find more than 100 pages of information on this group of martyrs. Reading is easy because the text is made up of short and vivid chapters.

This news should arouse joy and gratitude: these are members of our family who will be recognized as martyrs, that is, recognized as persons who preferred Christ to their own lives. Gratitude also to Brother Gabriele Andreucci who wrote the Positio: three volumes, altogether counting more than 2500 pages, format A4; a colossal work.

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