Manuel Medina Olmos (1869-1936) was a Spanish priest, and bishop of Guadix-Baza, killed during the Spanish Civil War.
Born into a poor family, Manuel lost his mother at a young age. He studied law and philosophy at the University of Granada, and Theology at the Central Seminary of Granada. He was ordained in August 1891, and became pastor at the Tabernacle of Guadix and Canon of the Sacrament of Granada. He also worked in the parish school, becoming deputy director alongside his friend and colleague, Father Manjón.
In 1896, he began studying metaphysics in the civil department of the College of the Sacrament, where he graduated in law on April 3, 1898. He was appointed rector of this college in 1901. He graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Letters in the same year from the University of Granada.
Demonstrating his talent as a writer, Bl. Olmos wrote and published several papers and books. Among these were a paper on the founder of the Abbey of the Sacrament, a treatise on the legal work of another priest, Father Suarez, a book of children’s plays, a comedy play and two short operas.
On December 14, 1925, he was recommended for the position of auxiliary bishop of Granada, archdiocese which was then headed by Cardinal Casanova. Three years later he was appointed bishop of Guadix, taking office on November 30, 1928.
Between 1929 and 1932 he conducted a complete survey of his diocese, visiting every parish. He wrote letters detailing his experiences and findings.
According to record from the office of the Archbishop, Olmos was captured on July 27, 1936 by rebels who held him captive for several weeks. He was variously held in a prison and at one time on a ship, until the early morning of August 30, 1936, when he was taken by truck to a nearby ravine and shot along with sixteen other priests and laity.
Today, locals in his native village of Lanteria celebrate his feast day on August 30 with a special mass and procession.
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By Deacon F.K. Bartels