Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blessed Fray José López Piteira, Catholic Martyr and Cuban


On Sunday, October 28, 2007, in Vatican Square, the first native born Cuban will be beatified by Pope Benedict XVI, the last step on the road to sainthood and the fartherest that any Cuban has ever gotten on that road. His name is José López Piteira, born on February 2, 1912, in the town of Jatibonico, Camaguey Province. He was ordained a deacon on September 8, 1935, the feast of Our Lady of Charity, patroness of Cuba. He died a martyr for the faith at the hands of the Communists, killed not in Cuba but in Spain, during its Civil War (1936-39). He was 24 years old, the youngest of 50 Augustinian monks from the El Escorial Monastery to be executed at the orders of Santiago Carrillo, the political commissar of Madrid personally responsible for the murder of 3000 priests, nuns and other religious. They were variously crucified, burnt at the stake, or, as in the case of Fray José and his companions, shot by firing squad, at Paracuellos de Jarama, November 30, 1936. Yes, in the 20th century; within living memory; only 70 years ago. He did not have to die. He was a Cuban citizen and could have saved himself by invoking his nationality, but he refused to abandon his brothers in Christ and insisted on sharing their fate.

His last words, all too familiar to another generation of Cubans, were ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

Fray José will be beatified along with 495 other martyrs of the Spanish Civil War. This will be the largest beatification in the 2000-year history of the Church. Although the pope does not personally officiate at beatifications anymore, he will do so this time to punctuate the importance of this occasion and the Church's displeasure with the historical revisionism of Spain's governing Socialist Party, political allies and heirs to the killers of Blessed Fray José López Piteira and the other martyrs for the faith.

What is Beatification?

The declaration by the pope as head of the Church that one of its communicants has lived a saintly life as a believer or died a heroic death as a martyr and is dwelling in the happiness of heaven. (Yes, there is now a Cuban in heaven!). Those who have been declared Blessed are entitled to veneration by the faithful. Prayers may be raised to them; their images may be placed in churches and their feast days celebrated, especially in localities and orders associated with their lives. The difference between saints and the blessed is that saints are not merely entitled to local veneration, but must be venerated by the Universal Church. For one who is Blessed to be canonized (declared a saint) two miracles must be attributed to his intercession. God willing, perhaps the first miracle that Blessed Fray José will perform will be the liberation of Cuba from Communism.


12 comments:

Charlie Bravo said...

Felix Varela has been left behind by every Pope, which makes him not less saintly.
I've been to Paracuellos de Jarama, what a powerful site.
Santiago Carillo was a personal friend and mentor of Fidel Castro, the man responsible for so many other deaths of a great number of heros.
I hope that those last words, Viva Cristo Rey, resound in both of them lupine ears for eternity, while they slowly roast in Hell.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

The worst of it is that the monster is still alive at 97! Santiago Carrillo was never tried for his crimes and was even allowed to return to Spain after the death of Franco, where he was elected a Deputy to the Cortes (parlement), and, in 2005, awarded an honorary doctorate from the Autonomous University of Madrid. He claims not to be a Communist anymore but has always denied the crimes indisputably committed by him as one. I have seen photographs of Zapatero embracing him, but, also, Aznar and King Juan Carlos. Of course, not all Spaniards have forgotten: wherever he makes a public appearance or gives a speech, he is greeted with a chorus of "¡Asesino!" [Murderer!]. Unperturbed, Carrillo likes to pepper his speeches with phrases such as "the Popular Party wants Spain to die, slowly, painfully" or "there is a conspiracy afoot in Spain to murder Zapatero." Whenever he makes a reference to the murder of something or someone, he is still front-page news. The word "murder" in his mouth is still of interest. The thousands of murders that he himself committed are not.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

P.S.: You read my mind again, Charlie. I will be posting later this morning an article explaining why Varela will never be canonized by the Church. Santiago Carrillo, embracing Catholicism on his deathbed, would have a better chance.

Charlie Bravo said...

I was present at one of those repudiations...
I was surprised at first, to learn that Spaniars refer to him in the past tense, as if he was already dead. I asked why, and one lady told me: porque es un malnacido que mejor esta muerto, y si no le podemos matar como merece mejor que le tratemos como un muerto!

Vana said...

Cuba at long last may get her very own Saint, so long deserved by Father Varela, who may never get it, I hope as you Manuel, that Fray Jose Lopez Pitiera makes enslaved Cuba his first miracle

Fantomas said...

oye Manny hay que apurarse si este señor es betificado los comunistas pueden cogerlo y decir que como Marti fue el autor intelectual del ataque al Cuartel moncada..

tenemos que estar alertas Manny

lets do something about it

maybe a BUCL campaign to let the world know who this man was

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

The Communists murdered him. I doubt very much they would try to make a hero of him now, although very little is beyond them. As for a BUCL campaign to popularize the cult of the Beato Fray José, I should think that ill-advised given BUCL's anti-Spanish history. His sacrifice and that of thousands of other martyrs in the fight against Communism in Spain is a living refutation of all the canards which the BUCLers have seen fit to level at that brave people who, in 3 years of epic struggle, accomplished what we have not been able to do in 48 years, although Spaniards, unlike us, did not have to contend with American duplicity.

How about a BUCL campaign against America duplicity?

Fantomas said...

The Bucl campaign was directed only to a small percentage of the spaniards... the zapatero gov and the inescrupulosos comerciantes con la tirania ej sol melia and the likes

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

No, fantomas, that is not true. It should have been directed at Zapatero and Castro's business partners, but was instead directed at the Spanish people. The vast majority of Spaniards, as I have shown here, time and time again, desire Cuba's freedom no less than we do. The revanchists, on the left and the right, are in the minority. We do our cause a disservice and them a favor by magnifying their importance.

Fantomas said...

but was instead directed at the Spanish people.

Ahi te equivocas.... por lo menos en mi caso participe porque queria atacar a esos dos renglones... Se que hay muchos españoles que quieren ver a una Cuba libre... Pero yo diria que actualmente no son mayoria

Cuando pierdan los socialistas en la proxima ellecion sera otro cantar

Anonymous said...

Como el Beato Fray Jose Lopez Piteira soy cubano e hijo de emigrantes espanoles. Gloria a Dios por habernos dado un santo representante de nuestra patria. A algunos que han insinuado que Fray Jose no era cubano por haber sido llevado a Epana por sus padres cuanto tenia cinco anos, les pregunto ?que son entonces nuestros hijos que por salvarlos del comunismo los sacamos de Cuba cuando tenian esa misma edad o menos, pregunto de nuevo , que son marcianos? "Beato Jose ruega por Cuba y por nosotros"

Anonymous said...

1