A Filipino priest who was killed during anti-religious violence in Spain in the 1930s will be beatified later this year.
The beatification ceremony of Franciscan Capuchin Jose Maria de Manila will be headed by Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints in Tarragona, Spain, on October 13.
After that, he will be one step closer to canonization and will be known as the “Blessed Jose Maria de Manila,” the CBCP News, the official news agency of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Spain said Pope Francis might address the attendees of the ceremony via satellite from Rome.
The missionary was born in the Manila on September 5, 1880. He is the son of the Spanish couple Don Eugenio Saz-Orozco and Doña Feliza Mortera y Camacho.
Fr. Eugenio Lopez, Provincial Minister of the Capuchin Philippine Province said he couldn’t produce Father Jose’s birth certificate because it was burned during the Liberation of Manila.
“But his school records from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) showed he is ‘natural de Manila’. All his biographies from Spain also showed he was born in Manila,” Lopez said.
Lopez said Father Jose remained a Filipino at heart throughout his years in Spain and even wanted to return to the country to serve the local Church.
“Circumstances, however, prevented him to fulfill his dream of coming back to the land of his birth, yet he still offered his life for the Gospel he zealously preached in Spain and longed to proclaim in his native land,” Lopez said.
Father Jose is among the 500 martyrs who died in the religious persecution in the 1930s. They included 32 Capuchins, which consists of 20 priests and 12 lay religious brothers, who are currently waiting to be beatified.
He studied in Ateneo de Manila University, San Juan de Letran and Santo Tomas during his elementary and secondary years and pursued further studies in Spain.
Despite his parents’ objections, Father Jose became a Capuchin priest on November 30, 1910.
On July 20, 1936, due to the savage acts perpetuated by anarchist and Marxist troops against the Christian religion and their ministers, several religious, including Father Jose, were forced to abandon their convents in Madrid.
On August 17, 1936, the Filipino priest was executed at the gardens of the Cuartel de la Montaña, a military building in Madrid.
Lopez noted that in cases of martyrdom the miracle required for beatification can be waived.
However, for canonization a miracle done by Father Jose remains to be a requirement.
The country currently has two saints—San Lorenzo Ruiz and San Pedro Calungsod.