Pamplona, Dionisio and Companions, Bb.

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Martyrs; Religious of the Order of Poor Clerics Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools (piarists); d. June-December 1936; beatified Oct. 1, 1995 by Pope John Paul II.

Dionisio Pamplona, born Oct. 11, 1868 in Calamocha, Teruel, Spain; d. July 25. Pamplona made his solemn profession in 1889 and was ordained a priest in 1893. He taught in several Piarist schools in Spain and then Argentina. In 1934 he was appointed rector of the novitiate house in Peralta, Huesca, Spain, where he also served as pastor of the local church. He was devoted to the Piarist rule and allowed the love of God to animate all he did. The religious persecution marking the Spanish Civil War intensified in 1936. On July 23, 1936 the Revolutionary Committee placed the Piarist community under house arrest in a secluded home away from the church and school. The next day at dawn, Pamplona left the house unnoticed by the guards and returned to the church to celebrate Mass. As he was locking the church to leave, armed men seized him and later took him to the prison in Monzón. On June 25 around eleven o'clock in the evening, the soldiers removed Pamplona with several other prisoners, led them to the main square, and lined them up for execution. Pamplona was singled out and shot to death.

Other members of the Piarist community martyred during the Civil War were beatified with Pamplona. Each is listed below by the date of his death in 1936. Further details may be found in the individual entries.

July 28: Manuel segura lÓpez, priest (age 55) and David Carlos maraÑÓn, lay brother (age 28).

August 9: Faustino oteiza segura, priest (age 46) and Florentín Felipe naya, lay brother (age 79).

August 14: Juan agramunt riera, priest (age 29).

August 1718 (night of): Enrique canadell quintana (age 46).

August 20: Matias cardona meseguer, priest (age 33).

September 16: Ignacio casanovas perramÓn, priest (age 43).

September 22: Carlo navarro miguel, priest (age 25).

October 2: Francisco carceller galindo, priest (age 35).

December 9: José ferrer esteve, priest (age 32).

December 27: Alfredo parte saiz, priest (age 37).

At their beatification Pope John Paul II observed, "They are not heroes of an inhuman war but teachers of youth who, as both religious and teachers, faced up to their tragic fate by authentic witness to the faith, giving by their martyrdom, the ultimate lesson of their life."

Feast: Sept. 22.

Bibliography: "Decreto Super Martyrio," Acta Apostolicae Sedis (1995) 651656. La Documentation Catholique 2125 (Nov. 5, 1995) 924.

[l. gendernalik/eds.]