Piarist Lay Brother and Martyr: 1907-1936
+ David was born into a wealthy family in Asarta, Spain. After serving in the military, he disappointed his family by choosing to pursue a religious vocation.
+ He entered the Order of Poor Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools (more commonly known as the “Piarists”) in 1931, discerning the God was calling him to serve as a lay brother. He was known in religious life as “David of the Blessed Sacrament.”
+ Brother David served his community and its students as a gardener and cook and was known as a hard worker.
+ On July 23, 1936, Brother David and the members of his community were arrested as part of the religious persecutions of the Spanish Civil War. The community superior, Blessed Dionisio Pamplona, was murdered immediately but the others were placed under house arrest.
+ On July 28, it was decided that Brother David and a Piarist priest, Father Manuel Segura, would be executed. The soldiers gave the brother the opportunity to save himself if he would simply remove his religious habit. Brother David refused to do this—and to deny that he was a religious brother—and he was shot with Father Manuel on the road near Purroy de la Solana.
+ Brother David, Father Manuel, and 10 other Piarist martyrs were beatified in 1995.
The Piarist Fathers and Brothers were founded by Saint Joseph Calasanz in 1617. Their primary occupation is the education of children and youth, providing free education for poor children when possible. In addition to the three traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, Piarists make a distinctive fourth vow committing them to Christian education of youth, especially the poor.
“All who undertake to teach must be endowed with deep love, the greatest patience, and, most of all, profound humility. They must perform their work with earnest zeal.”—Saint Joseph Calasanz
Almighty and merciful God, who brought your Martyr blessed David to overcome the torments of his passion, grant that we, who celebrate the day of his triumph, may remain invincible under your protection against the snares of the enemy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For One Martyr)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.