Teofilo Casajus Alduan

Casajús Alduán, Teofilo

Born on November 4, 1914 in Murchamte (Navarra)

Professed on August 15, 1931

Shot July 26, 1936 in Lleida

 

In the village of Murchante, with the Navarre province and Diocese of Tudela, the student Theophilus Casajus Alduan was born on November 4, 1914. He was baptized in the Parish of Our Lady of the Assumption the following day. He would be Confirmed by His Excellency Santiago Ozcoidi, Bishop of Tarazona and Apostolic Administrator of Tudela on June 30, 1915.

His parents were Don Jacinto Casajus, a carpenter, and Mrs. Agustina Alduán, who had seven children. The family was very Christian and religious. The mother had two brother who were Claretian Missionaries.[1] He received a good academic and religious education, as mentioned in some letters. When he was three years old, he entered the school of the Religious of the Consolation in the village, and quickly showed he was bright. Although he was very wise for his young age, he decided he wanted to be an altar boy. Thus his religious vocation quickly began to grow.

On July 2, 1926, he entered the Postulancy in Alagon, where he was taken by his mother. Here he excelled in the studies of the Humanities. In the letters he wrote to his family, he always expressed that he was pleased and his determined missionary vocation. In August 1928, he moved on to Cervera. In a letter of congratulations to his mother on August 27, 1928, he said to make the trip he had to get up at three in the morning and caught the train at five in the morning towards Zaragoza, where they saw the Statue of Our Lady of Pillar. Then onto Cervera and arriving at half past four. The trip took almost 12 hours. He also noted that he had been struck by the grandeur of the house. Here he would conclude his studies in Humanities with great achievement.

He would then go to Vic to begin the Novitiate on July 29, 1930. He received the habit on August 14, under the guidance of Fr Ramón Ribera, who would be replaced by Fr Paul Jansa in early 1931.

He would share this information with his parents concerning the burning of churches and convents, so on July 4, 1931 he wrote:

On the elections and the events that occurred in May, I have nothing to say. We are not suffering at all, just a few days of alarm so as to be ready to escape in case of danger, but we haven’t even been threatened…

I along with everyone here am willing to do anything; You don’t have to worry about me. I know that the mother wrote a letter to Cervera encouraging José: this is good; very different from other families who are full of fear for their children and called to flee from danger. Every time I see these things, I feel a burning… (like a Navarro,they would say).

On August 15, 1931, he made First Profession and on the 26, travelled to Solsona to study Philosophy. The journey was made in rented car because the train doesn’t pass through there from 6.30 until 10 in the morning.

In another letter to his parents on November 20, 1931, he reaffirms his determination, even the decision to accept martyrdom:

If in the middle of these circumstances one can enjoy. Don’t you think, Carmen, I have no fear, no shadow of sadness caused by these persecutions that we are going through.[2]

In spite of everything from time to time when asked for news because they were concerned, he would answer:

I don’t have the news you ask me to communicate, my desire to live is very different from that of yours.

For many things, although they may happen in this city and even very close to home, I see nothing (or I am preoccupied), and only look at what I must do. However I can tell you that I am in a very peaceful city…

It is noted here that the holidays of the Republic on the 14th, everyone went to work as usual….

But on the other hand we have several cities which are close that are not so peaceful… and among the workers many are deceived by communism. They cause strikes and revolts and in addition several times were resolved to come to burn the house; but those from the city defended us; but I’ve spent some nights suspiciously watching just in case.

          In the same college of Solsona he completed the first course of Theology, 1934-1935. In the Cathedral of Solsona, on June 12, 1935, he received the Tonsure and the following days the first two Minor Orders from the hands of His Excellency Valentin Comellas, Bishop of Solsona. When writing home he always expressed his desire for the priesthood.

On August 26, 1935, he moved to Cervera to finalize his career, as he announced in the letter of congratulations to his mother. And leaving his brother Joseph, who was in Solsona studying Philosophy.

 

Qualities and virtues

In the reports concerning him it expresses that he had notable talents and musical skills, a good music director, but that he was a bit remiss and lazy. He did exhibit a positive background, docile, helpful. Honesty and frankness “by which he wasn’t judgemental nor ambivalent.” In the reasoning for Perpetually Profession on November 3, 1935, they wrote “verified a holocaust, a complete sacrifice, without reservation, with total willingness. Firmness of word. … Piety… uplifting view .. Perseverance,” with a disposition to manifest these feelings without fear, because what is within cannot remain hidden and the shame of the truth is unworthy.

 

Martyrdom

He was included in the group led by Fr Manuel Jove and followed the same fate as the whole group, as described above.

[1] Father Medardo Alduán Fuentes and Father Nicolás Alduán Fuentes

[2] Solsona, May 17, 1972, letter to his brother Ángeles.