Ripoll Morata, Felipe, Bl.

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Priest, martyr of the Spanish civil war; b. Sept. 14, 1878, Teruel, Spain; d. Feb. 7, 1939, "Can Tretze" of Pont de Molins (near Gerona), Spain. Felipe, son of a poor family, was educated and ordained a priest for the diocese of his birth. He then served consecutively as professor, spiritual director, and rector of the seminary. Upon the elevation of Anselmo polanco to bishop of Teruel (1935), Father Ripoll was appointed his vicar general. The following year the Spanish Church experienced its most severe persecution. Undaunted, the bishop of Teruel and Father Ripoll remained with their flock. In 1938 Bishop Polanco was arrested for refusing to withdraw his name from a document signed by his brother Spanish bishops that condemned the persecution of the Church by the Republican Army. Father Ripoll joined him in jail for thirteen months, until the Republican forces were in retreat. The two were taken as hostages and shot in a gorge near Gerona. Fr. Ripoll's body rests in the cathedral of Teruel together with those of his bishop. They were beatified by John Paul II, Oct. 1, 1995.

Feast: Feb. 7.

Bibliography: v. cÁrcel ortÍ, Martires españoles del siglo XX (Madrid 1995). j. pÉrez de urbel, Catholic Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War, 19361939, tr. m. f. ingrams (Kansas City, Mo.1993). L'Osservatore Romano, English ed. 40 (1995): 13.

[k. i. rabenstein]