MARTYRDOM AS THE FULLNESS OF OBLATION

A few hours after their seven companions had been taken away a truck of Assault Guards arrived with the order to take the religious to the General Directorate of Security in Madrid. Their militant captors were furious and made their feelings known with insults and profanities as they watched them being taken away.

Once the Oblates had been removed, the militants turned the scholasticate into a jail for lay people from the surrounding area. 47 of them shared the same fate as the first seven Oblate martyrs. The people of Pozuelo were terrified and impotent in the face of these hostilities.

On July 25, a day after having been taken to Madrid, all the Oblates were freed and allowed to find refuge wherever they could. Their freedom was short-lived and in October they were arrested and taken to the jail in Modelo. There they underwent a slow martyrdom of hunger, cold and threats.

On November 7, two more Oblates were shot:

JOSÉ VEGA RIAÑO
Oblate priest, professor of theology and formator

32 years old

“An approachable person,
excellent professor
zealous priest.”
SERVILIANO RIAÑO HERRERO
Oblate Religious in temporary vows

20 years old

“Brilliant in his studies,
always smiling and very pious, outgoing and cheerful,
willing to be sent to any foreign mission.”

These untimely deaths call to mind another young Oblate, the Italian Mario Borzaga. He was destined to become a martyr in Laos at the age of 27 and wrote this reflection on the occasion of his perpetual oblation in 1956:

“I have understood my vocation:
to be a happy man,
even in the effort to identify myself
with the Crucified Christ”

These men had understood the meaning of the concept of “oblation” and lived it in the fullest possible way.

For an enacted video of the Spanish Martyrs, go to http://www.omiworld.org/video-gallery.asp?vid=78&pg=1

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