Author and Publisher - Catholic Online
The bloody persecution that the anti-Catholic Popular Front waged against the Church during Spain's civil war of 1936-1939 did not spare Catholic hospitals. On July 31, 1936, in Ciempozuelos, Popular Front agents seized the Psychiatric Hospital of Saint Joseph, which until then had been staffed by the Hospitallers of Saint John of God. Under the new administrators, all Catholic worship within the hospital was thereafter banned, and all religious images (crucifixes, etc.) were stripped from the walls. Despite this hostile environment, the brothers of the Hospitaller congregation continued to serve their patients, and defied the worship ban by praying together early each morning. In August all the religious were taken away to prison. One brother was executed on August 18. Twenty-two more were put to death in November and December. Tobias Borras Roman, a seventy-five-year-old brother from San Jorge, Spain, was the last of the Hospitallers to be executed, dying on February 11, 1937.
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By Deacon Keith Fournier
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