This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

August 9 -- Feast of Blessed Florentino Arsenio Barroso

Blessed Florentino Asenio Barroso tenure as a bishop only lasted five months before the Spanish Republican government arrested, imprisoned, tortured, maimed, and executed him.  Taking the job was so dangerous that he had to sneak into the diocese of Barbastro a week after taking office.  Anti-clerical mobs had been rioting in opposition to his arrival. 

If it seems like his promotion to bishop was a death sentence, consider this: 123 of 140 priests were killed in the region.  Students from seminaries were killed along with the ordained clergy, and even lay brothers and sisters (tertiaries) were executed.  His mitre may have singled him out for extra torture before his death, but clergy all over the country were murdered by the ardent Communists. 

He was interrogated, mocked, tortured, and even castrated on the night before his death.  In response, he promised to pray for his tormenters when he arrived in heaven.  That's style -- well, it is probably sincere faith, but it has a layer of style on top.

In the morning, he was put in a truck with a dozen or so other prisoners, including a Gypsy named Ceferino Jimenez Malla (also a beatus).  They were shot;  Bishop Barroso got three slugs in the head as he prayed for his killers.  All the corpses were covered in a single grave, but under Generalissimo Franco's regime, they were exhumed and buried separately.  Bishop Barroso was reportedly identified by his monogrammed underwear.   Presently, his relics rest in the Chapel of Saint Charles Borromeo in the cathedral in Barbastro. 

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