24-Beato Candido Castan San Jose-24Together with the group of 22 Spanish Oblates martyrs beatified was one layman. Cándido Castán San José, born in 1894, was married with two children and lived in Pozuelo de Alarcon, Madrid, where the Oblate scholasticate was. Employed in the railways, he was a convinced Christian and socially involved as the President of the National Confederation of Catholic Workers. Very involved in the life of the church of Pozuelo, he would have had contact with the Oblates and with some of the public Eucharistic devotions in the their chapel. His daughter recounts:

“In our home we lived in a deep religious climate. My father prayed the rosary every day and was very devoted to the Blessed Virgin, teaching us that she was our Heavenly Mother. In the afternoon he visited the Blessed Sacrament. Many times I accompanied him and on other occasions he told us that he had prayed in this or that Church.”

On July 23 1936 he was arrested from his home by the militia and brought to the Oblate scholasticate, where he was detained with the community – and put to death with the first group of Oblate martyrs.

“More than one asked us why the Oblates included this family man in the cause of its martyrs, since he is not a religious, and not part of their Institute. The Postulator’s answer is clear and unequivocal: the eve of his martyrdom they locked him in the convent of the Oblates, shot him on the same night with the first group of religious and, without giving rise to doubts, for the same reason: “in odium fidei” , for his clear testimony of consistency with the faith he professed and lived. If it had not been included, it would have been an unforgivable injustice.”   (

Blessed Cándido was definitely not an intentional Oblate associate, but having shared his final and total oblation with the first group of Spanish Oblate martyrs, his life and death teach us a powerful lesson on the spirit of oblation. For me, he is a member of the Mazenodian Family, whose life and death speak loudly of Eugene’s ideal.

We strive to reproduce in ourselves the pattern of his life. Thus, we give ourselves to the Father in obedience even unto death and dedicate ourselves to God’s people in unselfish love. 
Our apostolic zeal is sustained by the unreserved gift we make of ourselves in our oblation, an offering constantly renewed by the challenges of our mission

CC&RR, Constitution 2

blog-3-official-picture-799x1024 (See “SAINT EUGENE SPEAKS THROUGH THE SPANISH MARTYRS” – and following)


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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Sometimes I wonder if some Oblates know what they are saying – but of course they do. Just in case though, I run to take advantage of their invitations to walk with them, to share in Eugene’s charism, his spirit, to give ourselves in oblation to God. I count myself blessed that God should call me as I find myself called, my vocation to be exactly as I have been created to be.

    So how do I live out my part in this founding vision? Do I strive to reproduce in myself the pattern of his life? How do I give myself to the Father in obedience (even unto death) and dedicate myself to God’s people in unselfish love? It most likely will not look the same as Blessed Cándido. But in him I see a man who is in many ways as ordinary as each of us is and yet….

    Dare I look to discover if my zeal is apostolic? That is not a term I am used to thinking of using in relation to myself. Is the gift I make of myself in my oblation an offering which is renewed by the challenges of our mission? I look at myself and can say with joy a yes – most imperfect of course but “Yes”.

    St. Eugene was a person of his time, and his vision it seems, was wide open – not limited to just a few. The vision was not limited then or now, for in truth I heard the invitation to walk with Eugene from himself as his first letter to Henri Tempier was read aloud to me – so deeply did it touch me that I felt he was speaking directly to me. But it is an invitation that has been renewed by the Oblates that I have come to know and walk with – brothers in the charism. And it has been renewed and enlivened by other Oblate Associates I walk with along the way.

    This morning a special thanks to you Frank, for the creation of this sacred space. Although written for Oblates it has become a special place for all members of the Mazenodian Family. I must admit to speaking of it quite often – especially as of late it seems to speak directly to those of us who are Oblate Associates (one of many names we are given).

    It is one thing to bloom and live as a flower planted in a vast and beautiful garden. It is even better though to hear one of the gardener’s helpers who has been planted along side of us reaffirm our place in this space, sharing the sun of life and the water an soil so that we too might take root.

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