Rorate Caeli

The Passion of Spain - 70 years

Exactly 70 years ago, the tensions within the Spanish Republic reached unbearable levels and the alzamiento of July 18 began. The greatest persecution of Catholics since late Antiquity would begin in the territory retained by the Communist-inspired forces, and would be particularly brutal in the first six months of the conflict.

(In the picture, Republican militiamen shoot against the Monument to the Sacred Heart, in the Cerro de los Ángeles, province of Madrid -- the monument would be completely destroyed in the first months of the persecution).


dobby said...

Such a magnificent monument to the Sacred Heart! It breaks my heart to hear of such hatred for Christ who loves us all so much. The true story of the Spanish Civil War needs to come out--the truth about how the communists were hunting down and killing priests and religious.

May God have mercy on all of us.

Gregg said...

I would be much obliged if someone could post references to good books about the Spanish Civil War and the subsequent rule of Franco. I know almost nothing about the period, except what I learned in history classes way back in secular, public high school.

Ben said...

I saw this and am really interested in finding it:

There is also The website is in spanish but there are lots of pictures.

New Catholic said...

The first recent book I would suggest is Dr Warren Carroll's "The Last Crusade". If you understand Spanish, I would recommend the unsurpassed masterpiece "Historia de la Persecución Religiosa en España, 1936-1939", by [Archbishop] Antonio Montero Moreno.

ThePublican said...

I concur with New Catholic. Excellent short piece. I think it ought to be read in conjunction with The Rise and Fall of the Communist Revolution by the same author (quite a thick tome). The Last Crusade is, essentially, the chapter of the communist revolution as it touches Spain in the larger book. Another great historian, if you read Spanish, is De La Cierva and his various writings on Free Masonry as it affected European history and his Total History of Spain. His books are available through the University of Navarre (you can order online).

how's_the_boy said...

The monument was restored after the Civil War, and now includes a chapel in it base:

S.H. said...

Here's the link to the aforementioned review of the Last Crusade.

Joe said...

An excellent historical novel (surprisingly unbiased!) is The Cypresses Believe in God (Los Cipreses Creen En Dios) by José Maria Gironella, which details the prelude to Spanish Civil War and its flashpoint, the assassination of prominent conservative José Calvo Sotelo.

He has other books: A Million Dead (Un Millón De Muertos) and Peace Has Broken Out(Ha Estallado La Paz).

If anyone wonders why Catholicism is in such peril in Spain all you have to do is consider the number of priests and religious slaughtered by the Stalin-backed regime.



JSarto said...

For those who are able to read spanish, I would recommend the books of the following authors:

- Ricardo de la Cierva;

- Pio Moa;

- César Vidal.

Concerning the religious persecution led by spanish republicans and communists against catholics, Bishop Antonio Montero Moreno's "Historia de la Persecución Religiosa en España" is the main work on that subject. You should also read Vicente Carcel Orti's "La Gran Persecución" and Father José Francisco Guijarro's "Persecución Religiosa y Guerra Civil".

In english, and if you want to know the true nature of the "loyalists", you should also consult "Spain Betrayed", from the authorship of Ronald Radosh.

You can order all these books trough "", an excellent bookshop based in Madrid.

AmemusAthanasium said...

La Cruzada contro El Bolshevismo!

Falangist Catholic Troops of general Franco ca. 1938 at Holy Mass

Br. Alexis Bugnolo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Br. Alexis Bugnolo said...

One wonders what would have been the course of world history in the Last century if Rome had asked all Catholics world wide to unite to defend militarily those catholics being persecuted in Spain, Mexico, Ukraine, Germany, China, etc..

In the Middle Ages, despite what some say about it not being a Christian era, the Popes did much to organize coalitions in defense of Christendom, understanding rightly that there can be a just war in defense of the Faith, of the Faithful, and of the Church.

I belive we are entering a period of world history, where, unless the Apostolic See returns to this kind of Catholic Politics, the Church and the Faithful will be swept away, and the few Christian like institutions left, will be lost. (I mean "institutions" in all senses of the word.)

Pertinacious Papist said...

Carroll's Last Crusade is a decent treatment. Many Anglo-American Catholics don't even realize that Catholics were persecuted in Spain. I think this may be due largely to the Protestant textbook histories they generally imbibe, which treat Spain as a bastion of Catholicism. Of course, Spain has been that, at certain points in her history. But she has also been a country in which thousands of Catholic priests, monks, and nuns have been put to death for their faith. This has been overlooked far too often in Anglo-American histories, just as similar persecutions in Mexico have been.

Jordan Potter said...

"Many Anglo-American Catholics don't even realize that Catholics were persecuted in Spain."

There's a similar degree of ignorance regarding the persecution of the Church in Mexico. It's just assumed that Mexicans are all grungy, unwashed, uneducated Catholic peasants, so the idea that the Mexican government has persecuted and is still persecuting the Church just never crosses their minds. As for the martyrs of Spain, modern prejudices hold that only Catholics could ever persecute and slaughter those who disagree with their beliefs, so the millions of victims of Communists, socialists, republcans and liberals are just not talked about.

Br. Alexis Bugnolo said...

We could add to this list, the persecution of Catholics in China at present, Ecuador in the late 19th and early 20th C, the theft of all Church property in France at the beginning of the 20th, the dire persecution of the Church in Germany and Italy in the latter 19th century.

In fact in general, American public schools teach nothing about the persecution of Catholcis. I do not think most Catholic parochial schools do either.

Jordan Potter said...

The words "conspiracy of silence" come to mind. You're right -- the schools don't teach anything about these facts of history.

Mary said...

Oh my gosh! As an American twenty-one-year-old, I would like to testify that I learned NOTHING about this in school. Hmmmm... maybe because we had one year to learn four centuries of American history, and one year to learn twenty centuries of world history. Somehow we didn't quite manage to get that part. We sure didn't have "Catholic History" either, except the development of the sacraments. I am pretty astonished by my ignorance... I did know about the persecution of Catholics in Mexico, but all I knew about the Spanish Civil War was "it was Fascists against Socialists and the Church was on the Fascist side" and both sides sound kind of bad if you put it that way. I didn't know the Church was still being persecuted in Mexico either.