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Friday 17 September |
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Saint of the Day: Bl. Dionisio Ullivarri Barajuan

Religious Brother martyred during the Spanish Civil War


© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro | CC BY-SA 4.0

Religious and Martyr (1880-1936)

His life

+ Dionisio was born in Vitoria, Spain.

+ In 1901 he professed vows as a brother of the Salesians of St. Don Bosco. He was trained as a bookbinder in the Salesian college in Sarriá and, after serving in several communities, he was sent to Cuba to establish a workshop in a Salesian community there.

+ After returning to Spain, he served in Madrid and Salamanca and was remembered as a faithful brother, always ready to serve where he was needed.

+ In 1936, at the height of the religious persecutions of the Spanish Civil War, he was martyred in Aravaca on August 31.

+ Blessed Dionisio was beatified with 497 other martyrs of the Spanish Civil War in 2007.

For prayer and reflection

The supreme witness of blood is not an exception reserved for only a few individuals, but a realistic possibility for the entire Christian People.”—Pope Benedict XVI reflecting on the beatification of Blessed Dionisio and the Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War

Spiritual bonus

On August 31, the Church also honors the memory of Saint Joseph Arimathea and Saint Nicodemus. Leaders among the Jewish community in Jerusalem, Joseph provided a tomb and, with Nicodemus (whose encounter with Jesus is recounted in John 3), helped prepare the body of Jesus for burial (see John 19). Later popular legends purport that Joseph brought the Holy Grail to England.


Almighty and merciful God, who brought your Martyr blessed Dionisio 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, 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.

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