Martyrdom of Fr. Pedro

At the monastery in Tarragona on July 21, the critical time arrived with news that the Anarchist (FAI) were coming to the city from Barcelona.  For Fr. Pedro, the time came to take action and protect the lives of his novices.  He directed them to go in pairs to the different homes of friends who lived on the outskirts of the city.  The novices and the rest of the friars had abandoned the monastery by 6:30 that evening.  

At a distance, they could hear and see the pealing of bells coming from the monastery of the Capuchins, which was being consumed by fire.  Fr. Pedro was able to find refuge in an orchard that belonged to a group of religious sisters.  Disguised as an old worker, friends warned him that he was not inconspicuous enough and was advised to leave instead.  He went to the Carmelite nuns  and celebrated Mass for them on July 22.  Later that evening, he returned to the monastery only to find part of the building was in flames, except the canopy that housed the main statue of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, which was still intact.  He secretly hid it one of the rooms; but when the militia returned for a second thrashing, they found the hidden statue and destroyed it. 

Fr. Pedro left the war-torn site to find refuge nearby in families' homes.  It was too late.  Several of them no longer wanted to host any priest for fear of being arrested and killed for doing so.  Fr. Pedro spent a few nights in the streets until he was able to join two other Carmelite friars who were taking refuge with a large family.  

After eighteen days had passed and still in hiding, the family faced serious hardship since the eldest son, who worked, was out of a job; and with no income and shortage of food in the city, tensions grew inside the house.  The militia's constant warning through the radio and city loudspeaker about harboring priests were an added stress.  It was enough to push the eldest son to go to the militia's outpost and make a declaration regarding the religious in his house. 

On August 6, three assault guards arrived and arrested Fr. Pedro and two other friars, Fr. Elipi and Bro. Damián, taking them to a prison ship.  On November 11, 1936, the three Carmelite were brought out of the ship and taken to Torredembarra  were they were made to stand against a cemetery wall and with their hands tied together, were shot and thrown into a common grave.  Their bodies were found and exhumed in the 1940's and were buried in the renovated Carmelite monastery in Tarragona under the altar of St. Elijah. 

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