Motril, Martyrs of, Bb.
MOTRIL, MARTYRS OF, BB.
The Martyrs of Motril, also known as Vicente Soler and Companions, Augustinian Recollect Martyrs of Spain; d. July 25–26 and Aug. 15, 1936, near Motril, Granada, Spain; beatified by John Paul II, March 7, 1999.
This group of seven Augustinian Recollects and a parish priest of Motril represent a small fraction of the 7,000 priests and religious killed for their faith during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39). One week after the war began, revolutionaries attacked (July 25, 1936) the Augustinian monastery, forced five priests out, and shot them in the street when they refused to renounce their faith. The next day two priests sought refuge in prayer in the Church of the Divine Shepherd next to the monastery. They were found and killed in the church courtyard. The final priest was captured later. All eight were decreed martyrs on March 8, 1997. In his beatification homily Pope John Paul II stressed that they "did not die for an ideology, but freely gave their lives for Someone who had already died for them. They gave back to Christ the gift they had received from him." The blesseds include:
Diez, José Ricardo; Augustinian priest, d. July 25, 1936 in the streets of Motril.
Inchausti, Leon, Augustinian priest, d. July 25, 1936 in the streets of Motril.
Martin Sierra, Manuel, parish priest at the Church of the Divine Shepherd in Motril; d. July 26, 1936.
Moreno, Julian Benigno, Augustinian priest, d. July 25, 1936 in the streets of Motril.
Palacios, Deogracias, Augustinian priest, d. July 25, 1936 in the streets of Motril.
Pinilla, Vicente, Augustinian priest, d. July 26, 1936 with Father Manuel Martin in the church courtyard after praying in the parish church.
Rada, José, Augustinian priest, d. July 25, 1936 in the streets of Motril.
Soler, Vicente, Augustinian priest, b. 1867, Malon near Saragossa, Spain; d. Aug. 15, 1936. He had been a missionary in the Philippines, provincial in Spain, and superior general of the order for seven months in 1926. He had been in the choir when five of his brothers were arrested and shot. He escaped but was caught and imprisoned on July 29, 1936. Throughout his incarceration he ministered to other prisoners and lead them in a Marian novena in the days before his death. He offered his life in exchange for that of a father of eight children, but the offer was declined. He was shot with 16 others. One of the 18 survived to relate the story of Vicente's martyrdom.
Bibliography: v. cÁrcel ortÍ, Martires españoles del siglo XX (Madrid 1995). w. h. carroll, The Last Crusade (Front Royal, Va. 1996). j. pÉrez de urbel, Catholic Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War, tr. m. f. ingrams (Kansas City, Mo. 1993). Acta Apostolicae Sedis 310–12.
[k. i. rabenstein]