Martyr Formator

canoSiguenza had been a haven of peace until the situation became extremely difficult on July 25. Fr José M ª gathered the seminarians in the chapel, “it would have been one o´clock in the afternoon,” says the chronicler, to bring them abreast of the situation. “He wanted to encourage us , but could not hold back tears.” – “It’s okay, but to prevent what could happen, I announce with deep sorrow that the school is suspended for a few days … Go out in groups to the neighboring towns, since all have offered to give us accommodation … ” 

Presiding over this indescribable scene was a beautiful image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary with Child in her arms. Fr. José M ª approached it and prayed: “Oh Madam! Oh Mother! Remember that I am all yours, defend and conserve me as your thing and possession. ” And then, kneeling with outstretched arms looked  towards the Virgin and said: “If you want, Mother, a victim, here I am; choose me, but do not let anything happen to these innocent people who have not wronged anyone. ” 
The exodus of the humble seminary began. The Servant of God led the group of younger seminarians and made his way Guijosa, about 7 km from Sigüenza. 
They arrived in Guijosa in the evening and were welcomed with open arms by the parish priest and the entire neighborhood. Someone suggested to Fr. José M ª  that children were safe and it was better for him to flee and save his life. The answer, repeated several times, was always the same: – “Even if they capture and kill me, I will not abandon the children.” 

The militants went to Guijosa looking for the “Father” of the children who had fled from Sigüenza.” For an hour, they had retained him in a car guarded by two militia. The seminarians were gathering around him but  said he to the boys. … – “Fear not, nothing happens. I´ll die happy. ” 

In these, some militiamen who came from desecrating the church brought him  an image of the Baby Jesus. Brazenly threw it to Fr. José M ª, saying: – “here, that you might die dancing with him.” The Father lovingly pressed it on his heart. But the militiaman brusquely snatched it and smashed it against the ground. 

The car started off … the Father bid farewell saying: – “Farewell, my children”, and then he blessed them. The caravan stopped at the foot of the mountain Otero, halfway between Guijosa and Sigüenza. A voice ordered him to come down. Fr. José M ª, , understood the order, he forgave his enemies and he, pilgrim of heaven,  set on his way to climb Mount Otero. A discharge of rifles rang and the Servant of God fell.  It was one o´clock in the afternoon of July 27, 1936. Later on, one of the militants commented: “ As the monk who was with these kids, who was still forgiving us when we were about to kill him.”

At the foot of Mount Otero, in the place of martyrdom, a cross is erected for everlasting memory.

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