Spanish Civil War Martyrs
of the
Congregation of the Mission
killed because of hatred for the
Catholic faith, and for being
religious clergy
Fr. Fortunato Velasco
Tobar, CM
• Some Communist chiefs arrived at his village, and
at one in the morning they took Fr. Fortunato by
force to the national prison, putting him with two
or more other prisoners. The night of 23 August
1936, they took him out of prison and, on the
road to the cemetery, they mortally shot him.
• All the witnesses testified that he died forgiving
those who killed him.
Fr. Leoncio Pérez Nebreda, CM
• On 29 July 1936, the priests were having their
repast when they heard the parish church bells
clanging alarm. Marxist troops had made their
way into the city. Fr. Leoncio escaped, changing
into old clothing and shoes. A criminal named
José Santiago Candeal, suspicious that the old
man was a priest in disguise, intentionally
knocked his hat onto the ground and saw the
tonsure on his head. He hit the priest in the head
and neck with a shovel and some iron bars that
he had in his saddle, until he killed him.
Br. Luis Aguirre Bilbao,
CM
• The Marxists went after Brother Aguirre, who
protested proclaiming his innocence and saying
that he had done nothing for which they should
kill him. They made him get down on his knees
in front of the High School, today the Diocesan
Seminary, and right there they executed him.
Before the shots rang out, he declared: “If I have
to die, I die for God and Spain.” The Marxists
intimidated him by shouting: "Long live
Communism!" but the martyr shouted "Long live
Christ the King!"
Br. Narciso Pascual
Pascual, CM
• On 26 July 1936, Marxist troops took the CMs of
Guadalajara as prisoners. 300 other Catholics were
placed in jail with them. They suffered many
hardships and abuses. There was very little food.
In the cold winter, their wool mattresses,
blankets and coats were taken from them. The
priests and religious prayed and offered the
sacrament of reconciliation to prisoners who were
being executed. On 6 December, a crowd of
Communists attacked the prison and executed the
prisoners in the prison courtyard.
Fr. Vicente
Vilumbrales Fuente,
CM
• A member of the Province of Madrid, he was
born on 5 April 1909 in Reinoso de Bureba,
Burgos (Spain), was imprisoned for six months
and died on 6 December 1936 in the executions
at Guadalajara.
• He had a passion for studying languages, and
taught himself English and French at night in his
spare time. He felt this necessary to communicate
with people, in a modern world that was
becoming smaller and smaller.
Fr. Gregorio Cermeño Barceló,
CM
• A member of the Province of Madrid, he was born on
9 May 1874 in Saragossa (Spain), and died on 6
December 1936 in Guadalajara.
• He taught for four years in the Apostolic College of
CM and in the diocesan seminary.
• He was especially dedicated to the confessional, where
he remained for hours, with no reward except to see
the faithful enjoy inner peace.
Fr. Tomas Pallares Ibañez, CM
• On 13 October, the Marxists planned to explode
the improvised jail they had set up, when they
saw that government forces were advancing on
the jail. The first explosion destroyed three walls
and left the prisoners without a staircase by which
to escape. The guards lost control of the situation
and shouted "Save yourselves those who can."
Some began to crawl out. Lowering himself by a
sheet rope, Fr. Tomas was shot in the head. He
let go of the rope and fell to the second floor
where he died instantly.
br. Salustiano González Crespo,
CM
• A member of the Province of Madrid, he was
born on 1 May 1871 in Tapia de la Rivera Léon
(Spain) and died on 13 October 1934 in Oviedo.
• Brother Salustiano died the same day and under
the same circumstances as Fr. Tomas Pallares
Ibañez.
Fr. Amado García Sánchez, CM
• Even while in hiding he would sneak out early in the
morning to say Mass and hear confessions. On 22
October 1936, he and a Brother were taken prisoner.
He was accused of having said Mass on 15 August, that
he was a priest, a Fascist and that he made people
recite the Creed and the Our Father. He was tortured
for three days. When they came to kill him, he
embraced Brother Jimenez and said "Good-bye! See you
in heaven!" Then to his executioners: "Kill me, but do
not do anything to this poor old man who is just our
helper." At the moment of death, he forgave his
executioners and said he was happy to give his life to
God.
Fr. Andrés Avelino Gutiérrez
Moral, CM
• On 3 August 1936, about 3:00 p.m., three or four
military Marxists took the Fr. Andrés from prison in
a car and brought him to San Justo Parish in
Astuirias. They made him climb up a steep
mountain. He climbed with much difficulty, praying
all the time, and pushed by his torturers. When he
arrived at the top, about 70 meters, his torturers
shot him. Later, eyewitnesses noticed that his
forehead was marked with a bloody cross about the
width of two fingers. He had sealed his martyrdom
with his own blood by making the sign of the cross
before he died.
Fr. Ricardo Atanes
Castro, CM
• On 14 August 1936, at 4:00 p.m., the Communists
removed all the prisoners being held at San José
Church in order to execute them. With a smile on
his face, Fr. Ricardo was dragged to the death truck
along with some 300 companions, among them
priests and religious known for their Catholicism.
The trucks stopped at the summit of one of the
beautiful hills that surround Gijón, not far from the
water shed, which was commonly called "Llantones."
The prisoners were put into lines and, with machine
guns, the Marxists riddled all of them with bullets.
Fr. Pelayo José Granado Prieto,
CM
• Arriving at the house, a witness heard the laughs and
sarcasm of military troops who were tormenting Fr.
Pelayo. They were hitting and insulting the priest. They
cut his flesh in pieces saying, look at the white meat he
has! The last three days of his prison torment, he asked
in anguish for some water to drink, but his tormentors
refused. To these physical tortures were added spiritual
tortures. He asked for a priest to confess him, but his
request was denied by the Marxists. On 27 August
1936, at night, they took him from his rectory more
dead than alive, stabbed him in the back until he
expired and threw his body into the river.
Fr. Ireneo Rodríguez González,
CM
• When they saw that many Christians from their region
were being arrested, the Vincentian Missionaries could
have hidden themselves or found refuge in a safer place
in Spain. But they opted to continue their ministry,
placing their trust in the Lord. In a gesture of heroic
charity, Father Ireneo and another priest offered their
life in order to save the lives of the other prisoners,
especially those who were parents, but their
executioners were filled with hatred for the faith and
turned a deaf ear to their plea, thus rejecting their
compassionate charity. They were then placed in front
of the prison walls and shot; their bodies were left on
the ground.
Fr. Antonio Carmaníu Mercader,
CM
• Fr. Antonio was very bright and studied humanities
and philosophy. He first intended to become a diocesan
priest but then became attracted to the Vincentian
dedication to the missions. It was said that he had a
quick temper and a tendency to be harsh and
demanding, but experience taught him over time to
deal with all kinds of people and particularly with the
poor. He began to realize that little or nothing is
achieved with the poor without patience, gentleness and
kindness. On 17 August 1936, as his executors shouted
"Long live Communism!", he, exhausted, cried:
“I ​forgive you. Long live Christ the King.”
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Spanish Civil War Martyrs of the Congregation of the …