Spanish teen martyred while protecting Eucharist beatified

Blessed Joan Roig Diggle (CNA)

A 19-year-old Spanish martyr who gave his life while protecting the Eucharist was beatified on Saturday at a Mass in the Sagrada Família Basilica in Barcelona. Source: CNA.

“[On Saturday] in Barcelona, Joan Roig Diggle, a lay man and martyr killed at the age of 19 during the Spanish Civil War, was proclaimed Blessed,” Pope Francis said in his Angelus address on Sunday.

“May his example arouse in everyone, especially the young, the desire to live the Christian vocation to the full,” the pope said.

Blessed Joan Roig Diggle was born in Barcelona on May 12, 1917, and he was killed “in hatred of the faith” in 1936 during the war.

The young man was known for his devotion to the Eucharist at a time when churches in Barcelona were being closed, burned, or destroyed. A priest entrusted Joan Roig with a ciborium containing the Blessed Sacrament to distribute Holy Communion to those most in need in their homes.

During one of these visits, Joan Roig told a family that he knew that red militiamen were trying to kill him. “I fear nothing, I take the Master with me,” he said. When those seeking his life knocked on his door, the young man consumed the hosts he had been guarding to protect them from potential desecration.

The Libertarian Youth patrol then took him to the Santa Coloma cemetery where he was killed on September 11, 1936, with five shots to the heart and one to the head.


Teen martyred while protecting the Eucharist beatified in Spain (CNA) By Courtney Mares, CNA) 

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