Dionisio Arizaleta Salvador

Arizaleta, Dionisio

Born February 8, 1911 in Guirguillano (Navarra)

Professed August 15, 1928

Shot October 19, 1936 in Mas Claret-Cervera (Lérida)

 

Brother Dionisio Arizaleta was born on February 8, 1911, in Guirguillano (Navarra). His parents were Bernardo Arizaleta, a laborer and Eustasia Salvador. He was baptized on the day he was born in the parish of St. Peter the Apostle.  He would receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in his home parish on June 15, 1915 by the Bishop of Pamplona. According to his own testimony his parents were very religious and nurtured this understanding within the family.

In August 1924, he asked to join the Claretian missionies, so he began his Postulancy in Alagon. A young boy from his own town by the name, Juan Senosiain Zugasti accompanied him to the Seminary. There they began the studies of Humanities and two years later would move on to Cervera to complete this phase of the program. It seemed that every year the classes became increasingly difficult, so in January 1927, he asked to be a Brother Postulant. Receiving an approval, he would stay in the same house of Cervera.

After five months, he went to the Novitiate of Vic. In August 1927, he would begin the year of tests, prayer and study under the guidance of Fr. Ramon Ribera, who was the Novice Master. Fr. Ribera believed that Dionisio wasn’t prepared for the Novitiate. The reasons he gave were that Dionisio was still a child, distracted and lazy, but Fr. Ramon also recognized some good characteristics. Dionisio was already sixteen and he had decided to move forward each day on the way towards perfection and little by little matured. Thus he was approved to make his First Profession on August 15, 1928.

Three days after his Profession, he was assigned to Cervera, where he remained for about five years and served in various capacities, such as a handyman for two years, as a tailor for one year, and a cook for two years. During this time he continued with his desire towards perfection; as he wrote February 16, 1930: “In these holy exercises, I will try to get the fruit needed to be a good religious, even better than what I have been up to the present.” In 1933, he was assigned to Barbastro with the role of sacristan, but in June of the following year, he was sent back to Cervera to work as a tailor.

 

Qualities and virtues.

According to the reports of the year 1930, he is considered to be young, having good health, good conduct and a good tailor. His intellectual qualities were average, as well as his ability to work and the need to consolidate his formation. Not finding any obstacles, in August 1931, he renewed his Vows for a three year period. He did have a little problem with silence. In the final Spiritual Exercises, according to someone he confided, he offered his life for the salvation of Spain, that which God accepted.

 

Martyrdom

When the Marxist Revolutionary Party set up camp in Cervera, the majority of the Claretian community had to leave the house by July 21, 1936. Most of the missionaries chose to go to Solsona. The problema was that they were unable to complete the journey and had to take refuge in the Mercedarian Convent of San Ramon. Two days later, they left San Ramon and sought refuge in the estate of the Mas Claret. On July 24th, the Revolutionary Committee decided to take control of Mas Claret and forbade anyone from leaving. All Claretians were prisoners and would work on the farm as laborers. On August 15, the Claretians were forbidden to pray in community, but this did not prevent them from preparing for martyrdom. Brother Dionisio worked in the field until October 19th, in the afternoon. As all the members were called together,  he was shot with 18 other missionaries. They were cremated and buried within the limits of the farm.