Emilio Pascual Abad

Born December 5, 1914 in Milagros (Burgos)

Professed August 15, 1932

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

 

In the village of Milargos, in the province of Burgos, on December 5, 1914, Emiliano Pascual Abad was born. The son of Don Agapito Pascual, a day-laborer and Eugenia Abad, who were blest with five more children. Five days later, he was baptized in the parish Church of Milagros, within the Diocese of Segovia. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on September 7, 1915 by the Bishop of Segovia.

Like most of the children from the town, he atended the school in town. He also received his Christian doctrine in the local parish. But, Fr. Damian Janariz, a popular preacher throughout the región was instrumental in his desire to be a missionary.

In September 1927, he entered the Postulancy of Alagón, where he began studies in the Humanities. His Prefect was Fr. José Ribe. He began the journey from Aranda de Duero to Alagon with other kids on a train to Ariza. From there, they transfer to Grisen. Within a few weeks, he wrote to his parents: “I am very happy at having reached this position; and I am also pleased by how much I like this town of Alagon. I am also impressed by the irrigation ditch in the town and how important it is by channeling wáter. It is called the Imperial Canal. There are also two sugar factories and a great deal of sugar beets.” In his letters he insisted in his eagerness to form himself well, so that he may be a good missionary.

At the beginning of August 1929, he moved to Cervera to continue in his study of Syntax and Rhetoric. This trip was an important event, because although getting up at 3:30 in the morning, he would be able to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Pilar in Zaragoza and La Seo.

 

The Novitiate of Vic.

On July 28, 1931, he made the trip to Vic by train. Luck was on his side, because the wagon in which they were traveling became unhooked as they were passing Sabadell without any consequences. The stop in Barcelona was a welcome break and an opportunity for a visit to some monuments in town. On August 14th, he would begin the Novitiate, with a year of prayer, study and disipline. He considered this to be the most important year in his religious life. Therefore, in his letters he asked for prayers to be good religious and the grace to remain faithful to his religious vocation. He would make his First Profession on August 15, 1932.

Two days after Professions in a rented car, along with 14 other students, he began his journey to Solsona to continue with the study of Philosophy. On August 26, 1935, he moved to Cervera to study Theology with a hopeful view towards ordination to the priesthood. But everything was delayed because of the required military service.

The political and social situation worsened with the general elections in February 1936. For this reason, he wrote to his parents on March 30, 1936:

“in view of the circumstances facing the nation, although here we have no regrets because of the admirable order of the authorities of Catalonia, however in the prevention of unpleasant events, I would like to let you know that our Father Superior has taken care of us and in an extreme case we would be sent home. This is the reason for the notice so that you not be surprised.”

 

As has been said on other occasions, this last measure was a real trap. But in a letter dated May 24, 1936, written to his parents, he only makes reference to the tests that are coming up and his mood in these terms:

“Above all, I continue to be animated with the same feelings, which is to be determined to work at being a perfect Missionary trusting in the help of God and of Mary; as well as asking for your prayers, all of this will grace me with strong virtues and in the science which our times requires for a worthy minister of God. In God and the Heart of Mary. May it be done.”

 

Qualities. He was a outstanding religious, yet his talents were average. He was somewhat shy by nature, meek and pious.

 

Martyrdom

On July 21, 1936, the Claretian community had to leave the building of the former University by order of Civil Authority. Most of the students would begin the journey to Solsona. This trip was interrupted by the blockade in Tora and they ended up staying in the Mercedarian Convent of San Ramon. Two days later, July 23, they realized that it wasn’t safe staying at the Convent and decided to make the trip to Mas Claret for refuge. They knew that many missionaries were coming to Mas Claret so they decided to stay in the forest and hills for a while. Later, they would come and stay in the house. They helped in the farm in whatever way they could. On October 19, 1936, Emilio was shot along with 18 other students by the militia.