27 Dominican Martyrs of Spanish Civil War to Be Beatified in June

Although the beatification was approved by Pope Francis in December 2019, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it had to be postponed.

Shown above are 20 of the Dominicans martyred during the Spanish Civil War who will be beatified June 18 in the Seville Cathedral.
Shown above are 20 of the Dominicans martyred during the Spanish Civil War who will be beatified June 18 in the Seville Cathedral. (photo: Order of Preachers / Order of Preachers via CNA)

On June 18, the Seville Cathedral will host the beatification of 27 Dominican martyrs of the Spanish Civil War.

Although the beatification was approved by Pope Francis in December 2019, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it had to be postponed.

The Spanish Civil War was fought from 1936 to 1939 between the Nationalist forces, led by Francisco Franco, and the Republican faction. During the war, Republicans martyred thousands of clerics, religious and laity; of these, 11 have been canonized, and more than 2,000 have been beatified.

The 27 martyrs are in three groups: Angelo Marina Álvarez and 19 companions; Giovanni Aguilar Donis and five companions; and Isabel Sánchez Romero.

Angelo Marina Álvarez and his companions were friars from Assumption convent in Almagro who were expelled from the convent and held in a house. They were martyred in Almagro and in nearby towns between July and August 1936. Their remains will be transferred to Seville, where they will be venerated in St. Thomas Church.

Giovanni Aguilar Donis and his companions were Dominican martyrs of Almeria in 1936. One of them, Fructuoso Pérez Márquez, was a layman and Dominican tertiary who was a journalist.

Isabel Sánchez Romero, known in religion as Sister Ascensión de San José of the Mother of God monastery in Huéscar, was martyred Feb. 16, 1937, at the age of 76.

The Order of Preachers currently has around 300 beatified members, to whom these 27 martyrs will be added and who, according to a statement, "are a model of life for Catholics, signs of love, forgiveness and peace.”

Among those present at the beatification will be Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Archbishop José Ángel Saiz Meneses of Seville; and Dominican Father Gerard Timoner, master general of the Order of Preachers.

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