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08 OCT 2001. VOLUME 33. NUMBER 19. 4 PAGES 

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Christian Brother Saints of Asturias


Saint Cirilo Bertrán
Saint Marciano José
Saint Julián Alfredo
Saint Victoriano Pío
Saint Benjamín Julián
Saint Augusto Andrés
Saint Benito de Jesús
Saint Aniceto Adolfo
Saint Inocencio de la Inmaculada Canoure, CP

In 1934, Turón, a coal-mining town in the Asturias Province in Northwestern Spain, was the center of anti-government and anticlerical hostility in the years prior to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.

The Brothers’ school was an irritant to the radicals in charge of the town because of the religious influence it exerted on the young. The Brothers were known to defy the ban on teaching religion and they openly escorted their students to Sunday Mass. On the First Friday of October, the authorities broke into the Brothers’ house on the pretext that arms had been hidden there. Father Inocencio de la Inmaculada Canoure, CP, a Passionist (also canonized, along with the Brothers), who had come the night before, was preparing to say Mass for the Brothers.

Brother Cirilo, the director, was 46 years old and Brother Marciano, the cook, was 39. Brother Julián was 32 and all the rest were in their twenties. Brother Aniceto, the youngest at 22, was still in triennial vows. They and their chaplain were arrested and detained over the weekend without trial.

Under pressure from extremists, the Communists decided to condemn them to death: the religious had a notable influence in the country because a great part of the population sent its children to the Brothers’ school.

In the middle of the night of October 9, the Brothers and the priest were marched out to the cemetery where they were summarily shot. The community, victims of the hatred and violence against the Church, witnessed their death to the faith they so courageously professed and so effectively communicated to their students. From that time onward, the people of the area considered them martyrs.

Pope John Paul II beatified them on April 29th 1990. Their feast is kept on October 9th.

(Excerpts from Lasallian Liturgies and the Book of Canonization)

 

 

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