Julio Aramendia Urquía

Aramendia Urquía, Julio

Born December 5, 1900 in Obanos (Navarra)

Professed August 15, 1917

Ordained a priest September 19, 1925

Shot August 17, 1936 in Vic (Barcelona)


Father Aramendia was born on December 5, 1900, in the town of Obanos, in Navarre province and Diocese of Pamplona. He was baptized on the same day in the parish of St. John the Baptist. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on April 22, 1902, by the Bishop of Pamplona.

His parents were Don Florencio Aramendia, a laborer and Mrs. Agustina Urquia, who were blest with a large family. From when he was very small, he was pious and inclined to the things of Religion. Even the games represented religious ceremonies. His religious vocation was guided by Mr. Salvador Garisoain, the local Pastor and a very close friend of the Claretians from Pamplona.

In 1912, he entered the Postulancy of Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Here he completed the four years of the Humanities. The first year he earned good grades, but in the following years, he seemed to excel in studies.

In the summer of 1916, he went to Segovia to begin the Novitiate. After a year of prayer and studies, he would make his First Profession on August 15, 1917.

He then went to Beire (Navarra) to study Philosophy (1917-1920). After completing the three years, he moved onto Santo Domingo de la Calzada for Theological studies (1920-1923). In 1921, he received Tonsure and the Minor Orders. In 1923, he returned to Segovia to study Moral Theology. In this same city, in 1925, he was ordained to the Subdiaconate, the Diaconate and the Priesthood from the hands of His Excellency Manuel de Castro Alonso, Bishop of Segovia. During his years as a student, he spent many hours reading the lives of the saints and works on spirituality. This proved to be his inclination. So it wasn’t odd that he would specialize in the Ascetic and Mystics.

The first assignment was as a professor in the School of Segovia. Then in 1927, he was sent to San Sebastian as a professor of externs which ended up with a few problems.

In October 1928, he wrote to Father General and Fr. Philip Maroto indicating his desire to become a Carthusian. It was a resolution which had matured over the years, but above all, illuminated by his pilgrimage to Lourdes in the summer of that year. He made the request to the Congregation for Religious, in December 1928,  in response they asked that he needed to find a Carthusian Monastery that would admit him and after petition from the Congregation to grant the transition. Following this same opinion was the Prior of the Monastery of Montealegre (Barcelona) where he was hoping to enter. In April 1929, was the test of Montealegre. A few months later, he began the Novitiate by calling atention for his piety. Before the year was completed, he was forced to leave the Monastery for health reasons, not because of his inconstancy. A nervous disease of which would improve with time.

He would then be assigned to Segovia and here in 1931, to the Colegio Mayor de Santo Domingo de la Calzada as professor of Church History and Patrology. It was at this time that he wrote several works on the Founder, St. Anthony Mary Claret, published by the journals, under the title of Supernatural life, of the Dominicans in Salamanca, Mount Carmel, the Carmelites of Burgos, Manresa, on the Jesuits. These articles deserved fame.

He continued with studies concerning the figure of St. Anthony Mary Claret to publish as books but he understood that it was necessary to go to Vic in order to complete his investigations, for which he was welcomed by the Provincial of Catalonia. This was communicated to the Secretary-General and also to the Superior General for it would be necessary to acquire other permissions. He also had almost completed two works, one entitled Mystical Marian and The affective prayers and the great teachers of Spanish spirituality. He also wanted to go to Italy to continue study projects, for which he requested Father Arcadio Larrona his support. In the end it was to Vic in the summer of 1936, taking many kilos of manuscripts to finalize his work. Everything was burned by the ignorant criminals.


Qualities and virtues

He had good physical health, a good voice. His appearance was somewhat bearish, as if he was angry but that was an organic defect.

His intellectual qualities were very good. He had an aptitude for music, knowing how to play, but had little taste for implementation.

His moral qualities: frank, humble, docile, formal, pious and sensitivity of consciousness. Focused a little too much on scruples.

His motto during the ecclesiastical career was of St. John of the Cross: religious student, religious goes first.


Arrest and martyrdom

While he was engaged in his studies, he was totally surprised by the religious persecution. The expulsion of the community on the afternoon of the 20th, Fr. Aramendia appeared to ignore everything. He had gone with Father Puigdessens to the house of his sister by name Ramona, who lived in the city. So with God, to these two intellectual missionary heros with similar scientific projects would offer everything in the sacrifice of martyrdom. Father Aramendia followed the same fate as Father Puigdessens in the final hour.

In the morning of the 21st, they returned to the community to celebrate mass. A few hours later the final dispersion came and they returned to the house of Ramona. In the evening they received news that the Convent was burning. Then the priests and the husband of Ramona went to the Convent to save the writings of Fr. Puigdessens, but everything was lost in the smoke and fire.

Ramona was able to acquire a Breviary and obtained from the chaplain of the neighboring church of Mercy so they could celebrate. Father Aramendia celebrated on 23rd and 25th, the feast of St. James. Shortly after lunch on the 25th, a dozen militia members arrived at the home. Father Aramendia was taking a nap and had to be called several times. They made a record for two hours with inquiries and advised him to change his life, which proved useless. But above all they were commanded not to leave the house without first informing the Committee.

He continued with his studies, but the situation was not the same. This was confirmed by a missionary that made a visit:

I will do my best to save my life, but when I look lost, I will try to keep my death from being a vulgarity. I want to be a martyr. If I die, I want it to be for God and my faith. And to do this, I have to explain a few things to those who will kill me.

One day someone came to the house with the news that they had burned the body of Father Claret. Father Aramendia wanted to leave the house to find out but the owner was able to convince him of such recklessness.

In the morning of August 17th, a patrol arrived at the house looking for a bag that someone from outside had moved to the house. The suitcase appeared and the militia followed with a fierce reaction that ended with the arrest of the priests. Father Aramendia couldn’t say goodbye and left resigned with his hands crossed before the chest. Walking between rifles, they took him to the Town Council, headquarters of the committee and then out of town on the road to Manlleu. Then they took the path to Isern, in the Municipality of Vic. At about 3:45 in the early morning, he was shot with Father Puigdessens. From Monofre, a family living in a farmhouse located near the road heard the shots as the bodies were left on the roadside.

He was buried in the cemetery of Vic.