Estás aquí

The Saints of Ibiza - Civil War history remembered

Priests to be canonised

The three year long Spanish Civil War rent the country apart, pitted brother against brother, involved several other countries and witnessed atrocities by both warring factions. Finally, nearly 80 years after Franco's coup d'etat on 17th July 1936, certain events of the war and its aftermath are being brought to closure.

Ibiza was not a major strategic battleground during the war but nevertheless witnessed some awful happenings. In 1937 Soviet bombers attacked the German heavy cruiser, Deutschland, anchored off Ibiza, killing and wounding many Germans. In retaliation Hitler's navy shelled Almeria, also killing and wounding many citizens.

However, the most terribly memorable act of the war in Ibiza was the execution of 21 priests between the 7th August and 13th September, just after the conflict had started. It's said that Republican forces had arrived on the island from Barcelona and Valencia and began to round up Ibiza's religious men from the small churches, chapels and even the cathedral.

The priests, all Ibicencos, young and old, were seen as symbols of repression by the fanatical left wing republicans and three were executed on different days and places. The remaining 18 were incarcerated in Ibiza's castle high atop Dalt Vila and lost their lives on the night of 13th September when Republicans entered the castle/prison throwing hand grenades and spraying the prisoners with rifle and machine gun fire. A total of 94 people were killed that one night.

Now the Church of Ibiza has almost completed a 7 year process gathering evidence about these 21 priests to demonstrate that they were martyrs to God and should be admitted to the canon as Saints. It's the first part of the canonisation process and has files with over 2000 pages of evidence.

After an official ceremony to close the file on 12th June, it will be sent to Rome where a 'postulator' from the Vatican will examine it for authenticity and hopefully it will then find its way to the Pope for the final decision. It will be a long process, but if and when finalised, will see the first ever Saints in the Roman Catholic church from Ibiza.

Contenido relacionado