70 years ago the Spanish civil war had already raged for two years and by that time most of the priests, monks, nuns and Catholic lay people that gave their life for Christ and his Church between 1936 and 1939 had already been slaughtered by the red mob.
As a follow up to the "Los Curas"-entry, here is an aspect of Catholic Spain that is at the same time terrifying and edifying. To think that over 10.000 men and women were killed solely for being Catholic, sometimes after unspeakable suffering, by a rabid communist mob that did shy away neither from age (victims were between 16 and 80+) nor gender ("You're a woman? Who cares! You're catholic, so you have to die!") nor dignity (13 bishops were among the victims and the cathedral chapter of Toledo was almost entirely wiped out) nor character ("You're popular with the people and never did anybody the slightest harm? Who cares! You're a priest, so you have to die!") always brings tears to my eyes. But to read how these people met their end, how they sometimes didn't even seem to pay attention to the fact that they were being torn to pieces, because in an opening between the clouds gathered above their heads they could already see the palm branch being handed down to them, this gives me hope and fills me with even more love and gratefulness for the ones who gave their blood to further fill the vast treasure from which weak people like myself can draw strength.
Here is just a small selection of pictures, showing some of the martyrs. Take a look at these pictures and tell me how degenerate you have to be to kill men like these simply because they are priests.
Juan Aguado García-Alcañíz: Born March 18th 1901, ordained a priest June 14th 1924, parish priest of Villamuelas. Arrested and beaten to within an inch of his life on August 8th 1936. Transported to Madrid, where he was shot the following day.
Juan Bautista De La Asunción Borrás: Born on January 18th 1881, ordained a priest on June 5th 1909, chaplain of the convent of the Immaculate Conception in Toledo, where he took shelter when the civil war began. On August 6th 1936 everybody at the convent was arrested. The nuns were separated from the chaplain and his brother, who also was seeking shelter in the convent. Both men were rifled immediately.
Prudencio Leblic Acevedo: Born on April 28th 1876, ordained a priest in 1898, archpriest of de la Mancha. In his parish he devoted himself to catechesis and care for the poor, widows and orphans. According to the testimony of his parishioners, they always had in him a father and a friend, near and dear to all. On July 20th 1936 Don Prudencio was arbitrarily detained by militiamen of the Frente Popular without trial or justification whatsoever, except that of being a priest. He shared the prison with other detainees, in good spirits and humor, comforting them until the last minute. On August 17 he was taken from the prison along with eleven other priests to be shot in the La Matilla in Los Yébenes. In that place there where a hundred people, among them priests, religious and laity. D. Prudencio asked his executioners to be the last to be shot to give absolution to the others. He died blessing and forgiving his murderers.
Ursinio Pérez Chozas: Born on September 27th 1897, ordained a priest on March 20th 1920. When the war broke out he was parish priest in La Romeral. The mayor of that city asked him to leave because there were rumors about priests being shot and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Don Ursinio went to Tembleque to stay with his parents and siblings. The militia found him and for the first months ordered him to do field work. On December 4th militiamen knocked at the door and in front of the whole family arrested "the priest" and led him away to the cemetery at La Guardia. There he was shot with another priest and a teacher.
Vidal Díaz-Cordovés Sánchet-Perdido: Born on April 28th 1872, ordained a priest on September 21st 1895, he was the last of the cathedral canons who were slaughtered by the republicans. When the civil war broke out he was in his hometown, Consuegra. He was arrested on August 11th 1936 and released again. He locked himself away in his home, praying while constantly receiving shocking news about the murders of priests. On November 14th he was arrested again and shot the same night.
Augustín Sánchez Mansilla: Born May 5th 1872, ordained a priest December 20th 1902, dragged from his rectory in La Estrella and shot in the road on July 25th 1936
Balbino Moraleda Martín-Palomino: Born on October 17th 1898, ordained a priest on June 10th 1922. Already before the outbreak of the civil War, Don Balbino had to leave his parish in Rielves because of serious death threats. He moved to Toledo and then to Consuegra. Arrested on August 11th 1936, released days later, arrested again and massacred with other priests and laypersons who were imprisoned in Consuegra.
Emiliano Encinas y López-Ortiz: Born on September 15th 1903, ordained a priest on July 11th 1927, arrested on August 13th 1936, locked away, beaten and insulted for ten days, shot on August 23rd. His body was burned.
Ignacio García-Cabañas Mohino: Born on February 15th 1902, ordained a priest on June 14th 1924. Pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption of Quismondo. On July 1936 he was kicked out of town by the militia. He tried to make his waay to the town of Noves, but was picked up by other militiamen who forced him to go back to Quismodo. On the way there he was beaten, then robbed of his possessions and finally shot.
Depending on how good your Spanish is and on how much you can stomach, there is a good site dedicated to the martyrs of the religious persecution in Spain.