Ruiz de los Paños y Angel, Pedro, and Eight Companions, Bb.

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Martyrs, also known as Martyrs of the Diocesan Worker Priests; Ruiz de los Paños b. Sept. 18, 1881 at Mora, Toledo, Spain; d. July 23, 1936 at Toledo, Spain.

Pedro Ruiz de los Paños entered the seminary in Toledo at an early age. In 1904 he joined the Diocesan Worker Priests, a union of priests founded in 1883 by Blessed Manuel Domingo y Sol, mostly dedicated to the formation of future priests. That same year he was sent to the Seminary of Málaga as dean of students. On Apr. 9, 1905 he was ordained to the priesthood, and from 1905 to 1927 he served as dean of students in the seminaries of Málaga, Badajoz, and Seville. He published a number of books dealing with seminary education (including El libro del seminarista, El estado sacerdotal, and La bondad educadora. ) In 1927 he was appointed rector of the Pontifical Spanish College in Rome, where he served until 1933. On July 31, 1933 he was chosen as the fourth general director of the Diocesan Worker Priests. He continued his work in the National Secretariat of Seminaries, published the journal Vocaciones, and authored Idea de la Hermandad de Sacerdotes Operarios Diocesanos. On July 16, 1936 he went to Toledo to found a community of sisters (Discípulas de Jesús) to vocational ministry. However, two days later the Spanish Civil War began and on the morning of July 23, he was arrested along with two other priests, and hours later they were killed on the streets of Toledo.

Eight other Diocesan Worker priests were also killed during the Spanish Civil War. José Sala Picó (b. June 24, 1889 at Pons, Lleida) was the rector of the Minor Seminary in Toledo when he was killed with Pedro Ruiz de los Paños. Guillermo Plaza Hernández (b. June 25, 1908 at Yuncos, Toledo) was killed on Aug. 10, 1936 at Argés, Toledo. Recaredo Centelles Abad (b. May 23, 1904 at Vall d'Uxo, Castellón) died in October 1936 after the militia men shot him twice. Martín Martinez Pascual (b. Nov. 11, 1910 at Valdealgorfa, Teruel) had only been a priest for 14 months when was martyred in his hometown on Aug. 18, 1936. Antonio Perulles Estivill (b. May 5, 1992 at Cornudella, Tarragona) served in different seminaries in Spain before being killed on Aug. 12, 1936 in Marsá. José Pascual Carda Saporta (b. Oct. 29, 1893 at Villareal, Castellón) dedicated his life to the formation of priests in Spain and Mexico; he was killed in Villareal on Sept. 4, 1936; Isidoro Bover Oliver (b. May 2, 1890 at Vinaros, Castellón) worked in Tortosa as the editor of El Correo Josefino, a magazine for seminaries, when he was killed on Oct. 2, 1936. José Maria Peris Polo, also a musical composer (b. Nov. 1, 1889 at Cinctorres, Castellón) died on Aug. 15, 1936 in Alzamora, Castellón.

The process of beatification began in 1958 in two different places: Toledo and Tortosa. In 1988 they were united in a single process. At their beatification, Oct. 1, 1995, Pope John Paul II remembered the urgency of vocational ministry.

Feast: July 23.

Bibliography: juan de andrÉs, Testigos de su sacerdocio (Madrid 1990).

[rutilio j. del riego]

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Ruiz de los Paños y Angel, Pedro, and Eight Companions, Bb.

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