The Farewell Testament of the Martyrs of Basbastro
The following is the moving text written by student Faustino Perez in the name of the martyrs before he was martyred.
The day before yesterday, the 11th, six of our brothers died with a generosity befitting martyrs. Today, the 13th, twenty more have won the palm of victory, and tomorrow, the 14th, the remaining twenty‑one of us expect to die. Glory to God! Glory to God! And how nobly and heroically your sons have borne themselves beloved Congregation! We are spending the day encouraging one another and praying for our enemies and for our beloved Institute.
When the moment comes to designate the next victims, we all feel a holy serenity and an eagerness to hear our names called, so that we can join the ranks of the chosen. We have been looking forward to this moment with generous impatience. When it came to those already chosen, we have seen some of them kiss the ropes that bound them, while others spoke words of pardon to the armed mob. As they drove off to the van towards the cemetery, we could hear them shouting, ‘Long live Christ the King!’ whi]e the angry mob answered, ‘Death to him! Death to him!’ –but nothing daunted them. They are your sons, beloved Congregation, these young men, surrounded by pistols and rifles, yet they have the calm courage and daring to cry out ‘Long live Christ the King!’ on their way to the cemetery. Tomorrow, the rest of us will go, and we have already chosen the passwords we will shout, even as the shots are being fired: to the Heart of our Mother, to Christ the King, to the Catholic Church, and to you, the common Mother of us all. My comrades tell me that I must begin the ‘Viva’s’ and they will respond. I will shout at the top of my lungs, and in our enthusiastic cries you will be able to discern how much we love you, beloved Congregation, since we will bear the memory of you even into those deep regions of suffering and death.
We all die happy, with no regrets or misgivings. We all die praying God that the blood that falls from our wounds will not be shed in vengeance, but will rather transfuse your veins and spur your growth and expansion throughout the world. Farewell, beloved Congregation. Your sons, the martyrs of Barbastro, greet you from prison and offer you our sufferings and anguish as a holocaust of expiation for our failings and as a witness to our faithful, generous and everlasting love. The martyrs of tomorrow, the 14th, are fully aware that they die on the Eve of the Assumption. And what a special awareness it is! We are dying because we wear the cassock, and we are dying precisely on the same day we were invested in it.
The martyrs of Barbastro greet you, as do I, the last and least worthy of their number,
– Faustino Perez, C.M.F.
Long live Christ thc King! Long live the Heart of Mary! Long live thc Congregation ! Farewell, beloved Institute. We are going to heaven to pray for you. Farewell, farewell.
(Cf. Positio. Summarium: Documenta. Epistola Dni. Faustini Pérez, pp. 152‑153 (Italian); Summarium Documentorum additum: Escritos Martiriales, pp. 106‑107 (Spanish) .