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Template:20th century persecutions of the Catholic Church Blessed Bartolomé Blanco Márquez Bartolomé Blanco Márquez was born in Pozoblanco, Córdoba Province, Spain in 1914. He was arrested as a Catholic leader—he was the secretary of Catholic Action and a delegate to the Catholic Syndicates—on Aug. 18, 1936. He was executed on Oct. 2, 1936, at age 21, while he cried out, “Long live Christ the King!"

Early life

Born on 25 November 1914, Bartolome was orphaned as a child, and raised by family with whom he worked. He was an excellent student, studying under the tutelage of the Salesians. He also served as a lay catechist, and at 18 was elected youth secretary of Catholic Action in Pozoblanco.

Arrest and Trial

On 18 August 1936, Bartolome was imprisoned while on military leave for refusing to be mobilised in the government's armed forces against Franco's military rebellion of July; on September 24 he was moved to a prison in Jaen. There he was held with fifteen priests and other laymen; judged, condemned to death and shot on October 2, 1936, charged with refusing to serve in the army in time of war.

During his trial, Bartolome remained true to his faith and his religious convictions. He did not protest his death sentence and told the court that if he lived he would continue being an active Catholic.

The letters he wrote on the eve of his death to his family and to his girlfriend Maruja show his profound faith. ("A Martyr's Letter to His Girlfriend")[1]

“May this be my last will: forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness; but indulgence, which I wish to be accompanied by doing them as much good as possible. Therefore, I ask you to avenge me with the vengeance of a Christian: returning much good to those that have tried to do me evil,” he wrote to his relatives.[2]

According to documents supporting his cause for beatification Bartolome went to the site of his execution barefooted, "in order to be more conformed to Christ."

He kissed his handcuffs, surprising the guards that cuffed him. He refused to be shot from behind. “Whoever dies for Christ should do so facing forward and standing straight. Long live Christ the King!” he shouted as he fell to the ground under a shower of bullets.[2]

Márquez was beatified 28 October 2007.

See also


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