Miguel Codina Ventayol

Codina Ventayol, Miquel

Born November 8, 1909 in Artes (Barcelona)

Professed August 31, 1926

Ordained a priest May 26, 1934

Shot October 12, 1936 in Malla (Barcelona)

 

Father Miguel Codina was born on November 8, 1909, in Artes (Barcelona). He was the son of Don Antonio Codina,  a mason and Ms. Maria Ventayol a homemaker. He was baptized four days later in the parish Church of Santa Maria of Artes, in the Diocese of Vic. When he was three years old, he was confirmed in the same parish by the Bishop of Vic.

He entered the Postulancy of Vic in 1921. The Prefect of Postulants was Fr. Jaime Girón during the four year program in the Humanities. He seemed to excel in his studies.

In the same community house in Vic, he began the Novitiate on August 30, 1925, under the direction of Fr. Ramón Ribera. He made his First Profession on August 31, 1926.

The next day he would leave for Solsona to study Philosophy. During his studies, his Prefect was Father Eduardo Morta. He did very well in his studies to where he obtained the degree of Doctor. On August 16, 1929, after the third renewal of vows, he moved to Cervera to carry out studies in Theology.

In 1932, he published a few reviews in the Illustration Magazine of the clergy. In 1934, he would publish five reviews in Palestra Latina.

Orders: He received Tonsure and the four Minor Orders in February 1931, from the Bishop of Barcelona. On September 17, 1933, he was ordained Subdeacon by the Apostolic Administrator of Solsona, in Cervera. This same Bishop conferred the Diaconate on February 24, 1934 in Solsona. The Order of the Presbyterate was received from the Bishop of Tarija (Bolivia) in Cervera on May 26, 1934.

His first assignment was as a professor in Cervera, for the year 1935-1936. He taught Introduction to Sacred Scripture.

 

Qualities and Virtues

The Master of Novices said that he was some rough, bright and at times gruf. He had extraordinary intellectual qualities and a great eagerness to better himself in studies.

He was a religious pious and observant student.

 

Arrest and martyrdom

After finishing the school year, on July 18,1936, he arrived in Vic in the last train out of Barcelona. His project was to review several books and writing some questions relating to the classes, such as Greek.

On July 21st, with the expulsión of the community, he took refuge in the house of the Chantre Canon of the Cathedral, Don José Sellas, who provided him with some secular clothes. The next day he moved on to La Serra de Taradell. In the beginning of August, he moved to the house of El Vivet of Taradell. There were other missionaries who were hiding there along with five Argentine students. Two or three times, by means of Don Costa, he was able to get pass to go to Vic but dared not go. On August 13th, he was in Vic to meet with his father who informed him that he would be safe at his hometown of Artes. With the bad news which was coming out of Vic, he had to return quickly to El Vivet, leaving his brother in charge of processing the documents to go to Italy. He was so optimistic. He took everything for granted.

That same day the Reds reviewed the interrrogation from El Vivet as was their custom. Father Codina said that he was a student and teacher, but not a priest. He looked young, so they believed him. With sarcasm and showing a revolver, they asked what was it. They commanded him not to move from the house or the owner would pay. In order not to jeopardize the life of the owner, he didn’t leave. The missionaries used their time in a life of intense piety.

But Father Codina attempted to obtain a pass from the committee of Taradell and even attempt by phone to speak to his brother in Barcelona who apparently had some connections with the Generalit. These action helped the Committee of Vic to know the whereabouts of the missionaries.

The morning of October 8th, some Revolutionaries of the Committee of Vic arrived in cars, asking for the religious who were staying in the house and to tell them that they were under the Committee of Taradell. Two militiants stayed to monitor and ensure that no one escape and the others returned to Vic. Father Codina disposed of the objects of any value such as the clock, money, glasses, but not his rosary, because he wanted to die with it in the hands. A while later they returned in two cars with more armed men and without giving explanations took Father’s Codinach, Codina and Brother Casals. One of them said: “How many times have I wanted to put an end to this bad weed, and haven’t been able!  But this time, we will make sure.”

They were taken to the prison. Father Codina was separated along with Father Codinach on the night of 11th, and shot on the road to Barcelona via Manresa, in the Municipality of Malla. They were buried in the cemetery.