Today, September 22, is the Feast of Blessed Juan Maria de la Cruz, the first SCJ to be named blessed. He was beatified on March 11, 2001.
“On July 23, 1936, in the midst of a leftist controlled, anticlerical government in Spain, Fr. Juan traveled incognito to Valencia seeking refuge with one of the congregation’s benefactors,” said Fr. Jim Walters during a presentation on Blessed Juan last year at Sacred Heart School of Theology. “While traveling from the train station he passed the church of ‘de los Juanes’ in the center of the city. There he witnessed men desecrating and burning the church. Fr. Juan shouted in protest. When the men heard his shouting, they said to each other: ‘He is a reactionary.’ He responded: ‘NO, I am a priest.’ He was arrested and taken to the Modelo jail in Valencia.”
Click here to view photos of Blessed Juan’s life and his beatification.