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Bl. Vicente Soler

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Birth: 1867
Death: 1936
Beatified By: Pope John Paul II

At the outset of the Spanish Civil War in July of 1936, Father Vicente Soler, a friar of the Augustinian Recollects' monastery in Motril, Spain, told the nuns of the Recollects' convent in the same city, "Some of us will die and be martyrs, but after Good Friday comes the Resurrection." On July 25, five of Father Soler's fellow friars were executed, and a sixth was gunned down the next day. Father Soler evaded capture until he was betrayed to the authorities and arrested on July 29. Over the seventeen days that followed, he used his time in prison to pray with the other prisoners, leading them in a Marian novena, and hearing their confessions. He also won the conversion of an anti-religious Socialist. When at length prisoners were being singled out for execution, Father Soler offered to die in place of a father of eight children, but the exchange was refused, because Father Soler's name was already on the list of those condemned to death. On August 15, 1936, the solemnity of the Assumption, Father Soler was able to bless and absolve a number of others executed with him before his own execution.


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