Luis Jove Pach

Born February 1, 1872 in Lleida

Professed March 9, 1888

Ordained a priest February 29, 1896

Shot October 18, 1936 in Cervera (Lèrida)

 

Father Luis Jove was born in the city of Lleida on February 1, 1872 and was baptised the same day in the parish Church of San Lorenzo. The son of Narciso Jove and Maria Pach. He was Confirmed in the same parish on October 28, 1872 by His Excellency Constantine Bonet, Bishop of Gerona. In 1883, he began his studies in Latin and of Humanities in the Conciliar Seminary of Lleida. In the summer of his third year he entered the Claretian Seminary of Barbastro.

 

He began the Novitiate year in Barbastro on March 8, 1887, and made his First Profession on March 9, 1888. He began studies in Philosophy in Barbastro and in the summer moved to Cervera. He would complete his studies of Theology in Cervera. On September 28, 1890, he would receive Tonsure and the four Minor Orders. He received the Subdiaconate in 1895. Even though he had not completed his studies, he did receive the Diaconate from His Excellency José Process Pozuelo, Bishop of Segovia.

 

Assigned to the community in Segovia, he began as a professor of literature. On February 29, 1896, he was ordained to Priesthood. On October 6, he was transferred to Calahorra. While residing in Calahorra, he organized the Association of Catholic Youth. Later he would serve as Minister of the community. He then went on to Solsona, Sabadell, and Gracia in Barcelona. He was assigned to Jativa as preacher. In 1922, he was transferred to San Feliu de Guixols as a preacher, but later was given the post of Mass collector and Sacristan. In 1925, he was assigned to Sallent. After numerous assignments in 1931, he would finally end up in the community of Cervera.

 

Qualities. He was a very healthy man with extraordinary talents. Many demands were placed upon him of which he suceeded but he was not considered a very pietistic individual. In 1926, reports judged him as average, at times rough, and would do better working within the community. To work in a parish or Center was difficult for him.

 

Martyrdom

July 21, 1936, the Revolutionary Marxist Party expelled the Claretians from Cervera. Father Jove was taken to the hospital which was staffed by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He along with Father’s Jaime Girón and Juan Buxo, tried to form community life in the two rooms of the upper floor. Until the the militia, or the Committee figured what to do with them. From there he was taken out by Magi Tita, Gómez, alias the boy, John Sole and Enrique Ruana. These men hated Religion, priests or any religious. Deciding that it was time for the missionaries to die, they went to the hospital to get the missionaries as Sole said:

 

All are very good to talkers, but when it comes time to act, they forget us.

 

On the night of October 17, 1936, the militia Enrique Ruana, José Solé, Magi Tita and Gómez, arrived with documents from the Committee of Barcelona in which it required the missionaries to transfer to an asylum in Barcelona. Only one of the older Brothers was let go:

 

We will arrive very late to Barcelona?

No, responded Sole.

He insisted:

We will be there at 12?

If not before then… replied Sole.

The younger religious helped the elderly brothers.

 

Boarding a truck with ten other missionaries, the assassins drove the truck to the cemetery and not in the direction of Barcelona. There were eleven Claretians in the truck, all serene and reflecting according to the statement of a member of the militia. The missionaries were shot around 12:15 in the morning of October 18, 1936, while shouting, “Long Live Christ the King!  Then the assassins began to celebrate with food and drink and commented:

 

They are stubborn! All die with the same remark. No one even wanted to say what we wanted them to say. What nonsense! They didn’t understand.

What fools! They knew they were going to die and still shouting, “Long live Christ the King! And they asked for time to pray.

 

They were buried in the part of the cemetery for those who could not receive ecclesiastical burial by the gravedigger Manuel Bonjoch, who then intervened in the exhumation.  Father Jove and the others remains were identified because they were all wearing crucifix and some still had the number of the clothes well visible.