Blessed Maria Mercedes Prat and Blessed Mary Pilar, Teresa and Mary Angeles were among the thousands that were martyred during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1938). During this conflict many priests and whole religious communities were put to death because of their faith.

Blessed Maria Mercedes Prat was born in Barcelona. Even in her childhood she was devoted to God receiving Communion everyday. She was known for her kindness and goodness toward others and was of firm character. In 1904 she entered the novitiate of the Society of St. Teresa of Jesus and made her temporary profession in 1907. In 1920 she was assigned to the motherhouse in Barcelona and on July 19, 1936, the entire community was forced to give up the school and flee. She was arrested and shot on July 23rd because she was a religious.

Blessed Mary Pilar, Teresa and Mary Angeles were Carmelite nuns from a convent in Guadalajara, Spain. They were martyred on July 24, 1936, after witnessing to their faith and offering their lives for the Church.

Most of us will never be called to be martyrs like those of the Spanish Civil War. For us our lives will be one of a long slow martyrdom. We will spend our lives trying to become true lovers of God by having little regard for our own life and honor. Easier said than done!

St. Teresa reminds those of us who practice this Carmelite spirituality that “the whole matter, or a great part of it, lies in losing concern about ourselves and our own satisfaction. The least that any of us who has truly begun to serve the Lord can offer him is our own life.” Offering the Lord our own life means dying to self. She goes on to say, “It is clear that if you are a true religious or a true person of prayer and aim to enjoy the delights of God, you must not turn your back on the desire to die for God and suffer martyrdom. For don’t you know yet, Sisters, that the life of a good religious who desires to be one of God’s close friends is a long martyrdom? A long martyrdom because in comparison with the martyrdom of those who are quickly beheaded, it can be called long; but all life is short, and the life of some extremely short.”

“So, let us try hard to go against our own will in everything.” ~(Way of Perfection 12:2)