Mar 06 2012

Martyrdom of the Sisters: Rosario from Soano Serafina from Ochovi and Francisca from Rafelbuol

On July 18, 1936, the Spanish Civil War broke out and was prolonged until April 1939.It was characterized by its bloody religious persecution and hatred to the Church.As a result, many temples and convents were profaned and burnt; several bishops, a great number of priests, men and women religious and faithful lay people were killedon the groundsthat they were catholic believers.

Rosario, Serafina and Francisca , who at that time had specialpositions in the Congregation, were not afraid to profess their faith.They were obliged to abandon the convent andtake refuge in houses offamilies until August 21, 1936, when they were held prisoners, forced to perform heavy works and tortured both physically and psychologically.

Rosario and Serafinawere executed on the road going to Puzolthe following day.Rosario, showing herself very brave until the end, addressed her executioner, andtaking off her ring , she told him:“TAKE IT.I GIVE IT TO YOUAS A SIGN OF MY FORGIVENESS”. The soldier, deeply impressed, returned to his position saying:“ We have killed a holy woman...We have killed asaint” .

Francisca was executed on September 27, the same year, at the cemetery of Gilet,after a long periodofphysical sufferings,psychological tortures and humiliations.She also spoke to her executioners before she was shot .“WAIT FOR A WHILE, - she said.I WILL TELL YOU SOME FEW WORDS:MAY GOD GRANT YOU HIS FORGIVENESS, AS I ALSO FORGIVE YOU”.And giving a cheer to the top of her voice to Christ the King, she gloriously fell to the ground.

Passionate love for Godand service to the poor is the best summary of Rosario, Serafinaand Francisca ´s life and vocation and the best encouragement for us to follow the only way that gives fulfillmentto our religious life: Jesus Christ.

To follow... follow... follow, without looking backwards, with the eyes fixedon Jesus Christ Crucified... with burning hearts with love for him... to follow without any other light or guidance, but love... love even going up to martyrdom: this was the secret of their steadfastness and strength.

Rosario, Serafina and Francisca discovered that true happiness is found in God and only in Him and that true wisdom consists in recognizing Him as the Supreme Lord over all;they understood how fleeting human illusions are and that only God remains for ever; they experienced that only God fills the human heart and fills it totally.

For this reason, when the imminent hour had arrived, they went to martyrdom joyfully , giving the clearest proof oftheir firm faith, solid hope and unconditional love.

“You have not chosen me.I have chosen you and sent you to bear fruit and fruit that shall last...”.(John 15, 16)