Horrid News from Spanish Civil War
The news from Spain—which is enduring a bloody civil war— is becoming more grim. A letter received from Spain states:
“We are certain that 50 Brothers have been killed. 200 are in prison….the personnel of the houses of formation in the Districts of Madrid and Barcelona are in prison….In Barcelona and elsewhere many Brothers are hidden.”
A publication from New York provides some graphic details of the persecution of the De La Salle Christian Brothers in various sectors of Spain during the Spanish Civil War.
In the city of Griñón, the Brothers’ house of formation there was ransacked by the pro-Communist Loyalists, and their leader commanded the Brothers to prepare a “grand feast” for his soldiers. At the end of the dinner, they ordered the Brothers who were waiting on the tables to shout “Hurrah for Russia!” and “Down with Religion!”
The Brothers refused this demand, however, and instead shouted, “Long live Christ the Universal King!”
At this, 10 Brothers were shot immediately. When one of them still showed signs of life, the soldiers filled his mouth with dynamite and ignited it with a fuse. In addition, the coffin containing the relics of Brother (now Saint) Miguel Febres Cordero was opened, and the contents were thrown into a pile of rubbish. During the night, however, a friend of the Brothers collected the relics and placed them under the protection of the Ambassador of Ecuador (the native country of St. Miguel), who in turn sent them to Burgos, the capital of the Nationalist Party in Spain.
St. La Salle Auxiliary Bulletin (Ammendale, MD), December 1936, p. 29.
Saint La Salle Auxiliary Bulletin (Barrytown), March 1937, pp. 38-39.
100th Anniversary of Benilde
The Institute Bulletin of January 1962 announced plans to publicize the life of Blessed (later St.) Benilde, whose 100th anniversary of death will be observed on August 13, 1962.
Bulletin des Freres des Ecoles Chretiennes, January 1962, pp. 30-31.
Thousands Attend Philippines Eucharistic Congress
Another significant event was held on February 2-7, 1937 in Manila (Philippines), where the third Eucharistic Congress drew throngs of thousands to its various events and devotions. Philadelphia’s Cardinal Dennis Dougherty, who earlier had served as a bishop in that country and was now serving as the official papal legate (representative) to the congress, celebrated the closing Mass and presided at a procession of the Blessed Sacrament. De La Salle College(Manila) was a busy place during that week.
St. La Salle Auxiliary Bulletin (Ammendale, MD), March 1937, pp. 42-43.
On December 29, 1936, a valued relic was delivered to the Brothers’ Motherhouse (Rome) from northern Italy. It was a huge oak chair said to have been used by St. John Baptist de La Salle when he taught school in Grenoble.
Bulletin of St. De La Salle Auxiliary [Ontario], March 1937, pp. 18-19
New Chapel in Motherhouse Opens
Much activity is occurring at the recently-opened Motherhouse of the De La Salle Christian Brothers in Rome. The blessing and dedication of the new chapel was on December 30. The first mass to be celebrated in the chapel was on the Feast of the Epiphany [January 6, 1937]. The relics of De La Salle arrived at Rome from Belgium on January 23, after a triumphal journey through Italy.