Rubio y Peralta, José María, Bl.
RUBIO Y PERALTA, JOSÉ MARÍA, BL.
Jesuit priest; b. July 22, 1864, Dalías, Almeria, Andalusia, southern Spain; d. May 2, 1929, Aranjuez, Spain.
José María, the eldest of twelve children of farmers, began his studies for the priesthood in the minor seminary of Almería in 1876. He transferred to the seminary at Granada (1879), completed his training in Madrid, and was ordained in 1887.
Before teaching Latin, pastoral theology, and philosophy in the Madrid seminary for four years, he served as assistant pastor in Chinchón (1887–89) and pastor at Estremera (1889). In 1893, he became chaplain to Cistercian nuns in Madrid.
On Oct. 11, 1906, Fr. Rubio fulfilled a long held desire to become a Jesuit by entering the novitiate in Granada. Two years later he pronounced his vows and after a short time in Seville, returned to Madrid (1911), where he carried out his priestly ministry with distinction.
Fr. Rubio was known for his exceptional ability as a spiritual director, as a preacher—especially on the Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Heart of Jesus—and, late in his life, as a miracle worker. He organized a group of over 6,000 women, called the Marys of the Tabernacles, who provided and cared for altarware, linens, and vestments, and lived ascetic lives. As part of his apostolate of charity, he directed the Honor Guard of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Its 5,000 members, like their chaplain, were devoted to corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
Following his death from a heart attack while visiting the novitiate at Aranjuez, he was buried in its cemetery. In 1953, his remains were transferred to the Jesuit residence on the Calle Maldonado, Madrid. He was beatified on Oct. 6, 1985 by Pope John Paul II.
Feast: May 4 (Jesuits).
Bibliography: p. m. lamet, De Madrid al cielo (Santander 1985). j. a. de sobrino, Tres que dijeron 'si' (Madrid 1985). j. n. tylenda, Jesuit Saints & Martyrs (Chicago 1998): 123–5. Acta Apostolicae Sedis 78 (1986): 971–974. L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, no. 42 (1985): 6–7.
[k. i. rabenstein]