Priest and Martyrs of Valencia

September 26

Blessed Aurelio of Vinalesa and Companions

Priest and Martyrs of Valencia

Blessed Aurelio of Vinalesa
Blessed Ambrose of Benaguacil
Blessed Pedro of Benisa
Blessed Joachim of Albocacer
Blessed Modesto of Albocacer
Blessed German of Carcagente
Blessed Bonaventure of Puzol
Blessed James of Rafelbunol
Blessed Enrique of Almazora
Blessed Fidel of Puzol
Blessed Bernard of Luzar Nuevo de Fenollet
Blessed Pacifico of Valencia

Aurelio heads a group of 11 friars and five Capuchin nuns who were killed in various places within the Archdiocese of Valencia. After being expelled from their friaries, the religious sought refuge primarily with their relatives, hoping that there they would find some measure of security and even be protected by the people of their hometowns. Nonetheless, many of them met martyrdom at the hands of local revolutionary committees or through the connivance of the local people of the towns.

Aurelio of Vinalesa was born February 3, 1896 in Vinalesa, Spain.  He was ordained priest in Rome on March 26, 1921.  Throughout his religious life he was Director of the Capuchin Philosophical-theological School in Alicante.  When circumstances forced him to leave the friary, he took refuge in the house of his parents, where he was arrested by the military on August 28, 1936.  Led at daybreak to the Precipice of the Carraixet, he was shot and killed.

Ambrose of Benaguacil was born May 3, 1870 and entered the Capuchin Order in 1890.  He was ordained priest on September 22, 1894.  His responsibilities included preaching, ministry of confession and spiritual direction.  Ambrose was regarded as one of the better preachers in the Province of Valencia.  In 1936, when religious persecution was unleashed in Spain, he took refuge in the house of Mrs. Maria Orts but longed to die for Christ.  On August 24, 1936, he was arrested and killed.

Pedro of Benisa was born December 11, 1876.  He entered the Capuchin Order and received the habit on August 1, 1893.  Upon completing his studies, Pedro was ordained priest on December 22, 1900 and dedicated himself mainly to the young and to catechesis.  He abandoned the friary after July 18, 1936 and took refuge in the house of some friends and then in the house of one of his sisters.  On August 26, 1936, he was taken by the militia and killed.

Joachim of Albocacer was born April 23, 1879 and was ordained priest on December 19, 1903.  In 1913 he went to Colombia as a missionary and in 1925 he was appointed to superior of the Custody of regular Bogota.  Joachim returned to Spain after his service and was then appointed director of the Seraphic Seminary of Massamagrell, where he tried to instill a missionary spirit.  When religious persecution was unleashed, he first found refuge for his seminarians and then followed them.  On August 20, 1936, he was captured and killed by militants.

Modesto of Albocacer was born January 18, 1880 and received the Capuchin habit on January 1, 1896.  Upon completion of his philosophy studies at Orihuela and theology at Massamagrell, Modesto was ordained priest on December 19, 1900.  He served as a missionary in Colombia in the Custody of Bogota and upon his return to Spain, he was appointed Guardian for a number of years.  He was known as a priest dedicated to preaching, to retreats and to spiritual direction.  At the time of the revolution, he was guardian in Olleria, which was destroyed by fire.  He sought refuge in the home of his sister, but then fled to la Masa dairy farm where the militia captured and killed him.

German of Carcagente was born February 12, 1895 and received the Capuchin habit on August 13, 1911.  When the religious persecution was unleashed, he forced himself to take refuge in the family home, leading a life devoted to prayer.  On August 19, 1936, he was taken by the militia and killed.

Bonaventure of Puzol was born October 9, 1897 and made profession within the Capuchin Order on September 17, 1914.  Bonaventure studied church law in Rome and when he returned to Spain, he was devoted to teaching, preaching and the sacraments.  He was a professor for the young Capuchins in Orihuela and taught at other centers of the Order.  When forced to leave the friary, he took refuge in the home of his parents in Puzol.  On September 25, 1936 he was arrested along with his father and brother.  All three were killed the next morning.

James of Rafelbunol was born April 10, 1909 and entered the Capuchin Order at twelve years of age.  He was ordained priest in Rome on March 26, 1932.  After his doctorate in theology at the Gregorian University, James returned to Spain and was appointed vice-rector of the Seraphic Seminary at Massamagrell.  At the outbreak of the religious persecution, he sought to protect the seminarians entrusted to his care and then sought refuge in his home town of Rafelbunol where he was able to lead a normal life.  When he received news that his brothers had been detained by the Committee and that their lives were at risk, James presented himself to the Committee in exchange for their freedom.  On September 26, 1936, he was imprisoned along with his brothers and killed.

Enrique of Almazora was born February 3, 1896 and ordained priest on March 26, 1921.  Throughout his religious life he was Director of the Capuchin Philosophical-theological School in Alicante.  He was professor in the Seminary, Director of the Third Franciscan Order, confessor and preacher.  When circumstances forced him to leave the friary, he took refuge in the house of his parents.  On August 28, 1936 he was arrested there by the military and killed at daybreak.

Fidel of Puzol was born January 8, 1856 and became a professed Capuchin.  He died September 28, 1936.

Bernard of Lugar Nuevo de Fenollet was born July 23, 1867 and entered the Capuchin Order on February 2, 1900.  After his profession, he was sent to the friary of Orihuela where he spent his whole life as a questor and tailor of the fraternity.  When the friary was closed because of persecution, Bernard took refuge in his home town with relatives.  He dedicated himself to prayer and works of charity.  On August 30, 1936 he was taken by members of the local Committee and killed.

Pacifico of Valencia was born February 24, 1874.  He was the son of laborers, with little opportunity for schooling.  He received the Capuchin habit and then made simple vows on June 21, 1900.  He was entrusted with the job of alms and tried to help with as many Masses as he could.  When circumstances forced him to take refuge, he went to live with his older brother in the home of his parents.  On October 12, 1936, the militia surrounded the house looking for the Religious.  Pacifico went with them and was killed.

The Capuchin friars are proud to have such courageous men and women as a part of their story. They lived as they died: totally devoted to the Lord Jesus and totally dedicated to one another.

God our Father, You made your holy martyrs outstanding defenders of the Catholic Faith. Through their prayers grant that all nations may be united in the one true faith. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.