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498 Spanish Martyrs (d.1934; d.1936; d.1937)

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The Spanish Civil War began in 1936 and raged on until 1939. It was fought between the Republicans, who were loyal to the Spanish Republic, and the Nationalists, who opposed the Republicans and their persecution of Catholics. This period of persecution before and during the Spanish Civil War is known as the Red Terror. Approximately 500 people were martyred for their faith during this time period, including bishops, priests, religious, and members of the laity. These martyrs ranged in age from 16 years old to 78 years old. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI beatified these martyrs in 2007.

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Reflection

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43–45). This is sure a hard saying! Love my enemies? When I look at those who gossip about me, exclude me, make fun of me, or worse, I know that Jesus was calling special people to be his followers because it isn't easy to love our enemies. I also know that Christ is with me today, helping me to live this hard saying. I need only ask for Christ’s help. (Taken from “Take Ten: Daily Bible Reflections for Teens.”)

Prayer

God who loves all of us, sinners and saints, be with me today as I try to make a special effort to live these words of Jesus. Help me at least to pray for those whom I resent, dislike, or even hate. (Taken from “Take Ten: Daily Bible Reflections for Teens.”)