MARIANI MULLERAT  I  SOLDEVILA

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MARIANI MULLERAT  I  SOLDEVILA

(1897-1836)

 

            On 7th November 2018, His Emminence Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, was received in an audience by Supreme Pontiff, during which he has given his autorization for the promulgation of the Decree on the martyrdom of the Servant of God Mariani Mullerat i Soldevila, a lay person, father, doctor and politician. 

            Born in Santa Colonna de Queralt (Tarragona - Spain) in 1897, Soldevila obtained a specialization in medicine between 1914-1921 at the Faculty of Medicine in Barcelona During his studies he distinguished himself, not only in his academic commitment, but also in witnessing for his faith and in his commitment to Christian apostolate. On 14th January 1922 at Arbeca (Lleida), he married Dolores Sans i Bové, with whom he had five children, of whom only five survived. In the village of Arbeca and in the vicinities he practiced his medical profession. He loved mostly assisting the sick, who were in danger of losing their life, and in preparing them to receive the Holy Sacraments. He also gave free medical assistance to the poor, and helped materially those who were most in need. To promote local culture, literature, arts, and news, regarding social and urbanistic interest, for the progress and development of the country, he founded a local journal called “l’Ecut” (1923-1926). He was also elected as Mayor of his village in 1924 and stayed in office until 1930. In the meantime, he continued to provide care and assistance to the sick while seeking the common good of the population with an authentic spirit of faith.

            In October of 1934, the revolution broke out in Asturias, which anticipated that terrible persecution that would break out two years later, in 1936. In July of that year a real war broke out, during which churches and many other religious places were burned down in the city of Barcelona. Many priests were sacrificed in Tarragona and Lleida, along with religious and other lay faithful, because of their faith. The Servant of God, animated by a spirit of prayer and moved by strong faith, continued to carry out his medical mission in favour of the needy. He was offered the chance to escape to Saragoza to save himself, but he preferred to remain in the place where he was.

            The Servant of God was violently arrested on the morning of August 13th at his house. On that occasion Mullerat was obliged to deliver a large amount of money to the "revolutionary committee" which was then considered as the true authority of the city. The reason for such hostility must be attributed to his firm fidelity to the faith he professed. The militiamen broke into his house and burned the religious images they found in it, clearly manifesting their hostility to Christianity and the signs of faith. Before leaving his house, he wanted to kiss the crucifix and urged the family to forgive the militia. Aware of an imminent death, he manifested an attitude of full adherence to the faith. Detained in the Civil Prison, he was later executed near Arbeca by a shooting squad and then his body was burned, along with that of five other detainees, on the same day. He was taken with his hand tied in a land called "El Pla". A great crowd gathered and wanted to attend the event or at least to be close to it.

            No trial was made to the prisoners. The Servant of God is believed to have exhorted the other inmates to prayer, and while undergoing the execution he prayed and urged others to prepare with an act of contrition. A person who was passing by at that moment heard him praying like this: "Lord in your hands I entrust my spirit". The latter also testified that before killing him they hit him with a shoe on his face and his teeth fell out of his mouth. They killed them by a firing squad and those who did not die immediately, were burned with petrol.

            The Servant of God was very close to the Dominican Order in Spain since his sister-in-law was a Dominican sister of the Annunciation. During his time in Arbeca, he assisted the Dominican sisters of his village in their needs. It is believed that the ceremony of the Beatification will be held in Terragona in the forthcoming year. 

 

Fra Llewellyn Muscat O.P. 

Secretary of the General Postulation