St. John The Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Newark NJ

Bl. Ciriaco Olarte Y Pérez Mendiguren (1893-1936)

Fr. Ciriaco Olarte Y Pérez Mendiguren was born in Gomecha (Álava) on February 8, 1893 into a very religious family. Encouraged from childhood towards a priestly vocation. Oriented since childhood to priestly vocation September 21, 1904, he entered Redemptorist formation on September 21, 1904 at El Espino (Burgos) and professed his religious vows on September 8, 1911.

After being ordained a priest on July 29, 1917, he went to Mexico as a missionary from 1920 to 1926. He returned to Spain and the growing anti-clerical spirit in the Mexico of that time. From 1926 to 1935, he exercised his apostolic ministry in Madrid, at the community of Perpetual Help.

In May 1935 he settled in Cuenca. In the evening of July 31, 1936, he was arrested and taken to the place called "Las Angustias" where, severely wounded, was left to die after long hours of agony.

On October 13, 2013 the town of Tarragona, Spain, witnessed the beatification of six Spanish Redemptorist martyrs: Rev. José Javier Gorosterrazu and five of his confreres. December 20, 2013 Pope Benedict XVI signed a decree about their martyrdom. Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the congregation in matters of saints and a delegate of Pope Francis, led a celebration of the beatification of this large group of over 500 martyrs.

These 6 new blessed belonged to the same community of the Redemptorist Fathers in Quenca, which was marked by heroic courage and apostolic zeal, even to the point of sacrificing their lives in difficult times that were marked by illusions of the omnipotence of great totalitarian systems. These new martyrs became an icon of this religious order which is united around Christ the Redeemer and passionately preaches the Gospel, in other words, is a true Redemptorist community, which is committed to Redemption. Following the example of the first Christian martyrs these six Redemptorists showed their persecutors and all the disciples of Christ the clear evidence of complete commitment to God and the Church. Their evangelicalmeekness is a quiet but effective defense against violence and harassment and a clear example of consistency and faithfulness to the end. In this Year of Faith these Spanish martyrs become an example of holiness and desire for life to all Redemptorists in a total commitment to God and the missionary work of the Congregation.

November 6th was designated as a day of their Liturgical remembrance.

A prayer:

God, our Father, through the cross and through self-sacrifice, you included the blessed José Javier and his confreres (Ciriaco, Miguel, Julian, Victoriano and Pedro) in the mystery of the Great Redemption of Your Son and through their martyrdom made them your faithful witnesses. We ask that through Your intercession we be brave in our profession of faith and generous with our love. Amen.