“A believer who took his Baptism seriously,” was the tribute Cardinal Angelo Becciu paid Spanish lay martyr Mariano Mullerat i Soldlevila (1897-1936), father of a family, whose Beatification took place in Tarragona, Spain on March 23, 2019. A Mayor and Doctor, this martyr understood this truth: love consists in giving of oneself.”
During the ceremony, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints affirmed that “the summit of holiness is reached by following the path of love: there is no other path!
At a time characterized by “a strong wave of hatred” and persecution of Christianity during the Spanish Civil War, Mariano Mullerat i Soldevila “refused to flee and stayed at his post.” “He continued to carry out his mission as Doctor in favor of the needy, with an evangelical spirit . . . Thus he became a true apostle, who spread around him the perfume of Christ’s charity.”
The Cardinal paid tribute to the layman, ”exemplary student, husband, and model father, involved in social and political life to spread courageously a Christian humanism . . . a believer who took his Baptism seriously.” From the first years of his life, Blessed Mariano “understood this truth: that love consists in giving oneself.”
In his activity as Doctor, Mayor and journalist, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints saw “a clear and coherent Christian life. Incessantly open to the needs of others.” Mariano Mullerat i Soldevila prepared the sick for the Sacraments, and also cared for the poorest for free.
“Given the situation of religious persecution, which exploded violently in the summer of 1936, Blessed Mariano was conscious that he was risking his life, because everyone knew him, given his identity as a believer and his fervent apostolate,” continued the Cardinal, who recalled his martyrdom. “Because of his openly evangelical lifestyle, he was regarded by the militia as a” public” person, “who acted in the name of the Catholic religion. He was captured and murdered by the enemies of Christ: he paid for his faith in Jesus through arrest, imprisonment and a violent death, at 39.
Cardinal Becciu stressed: “We are very touched by the intensity of love shown by the new Blessed, who reached the utmost point in his heroic gesture of forgiving his executioners and even bending down to cure the wound of one of the two of them. He responded to violence with forgiveness, to hatred with charity.”
The Beatification of Mariano Mullerat i Soldevila, concluded the Cardinal, “should not only arouse in us a simple sentiment of admiration.” He isn’t a simple hero or a personality of a distant time. “His word and his gestures speak to us and push us to configure ourselves more fully to Christ . . . not to be overcome by discouragement and to avoid inertia.”