Francisco Milagro Mesa

Born December 3, 1869 in Tarazona (Zaragoza)

Professed June 6, 1887

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

 

In the city of Tarazona, within the province of Zaragoza, Francisco was born on December 3, 1869. His parents were Don Felix Milagro and Mariana Mesa. He received the Sacrament of Baptism the next day in the parish of San Andrés of the Cathedral, in the Diocese of Tarazona. He would receive the Sacrament of Confirmation on October 23, 1870, in the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Tarazona.

Like many of the children in this town, he would begin school in Tarazona. So by the time he was 14 years of age he was ready to work and became a day laborer. When he was sixteen years of age, 1885, he asked to be admitted to the Claretian community of Barbastro as an aspirant Brother Coadjutor. After a short period of Postulancy corresponding to the classes he completed, in the month of June 1886, he starting the year of Novitiate. In compliance to his role as a Brother, he would make his First Profession on June 6, 1887.

His first assignment was the school in Basbastro, where he served as a cook. Two years later in 1889, he was sent to Vic, as an assistant to the other Brothers and with time he would be the tailor and sacristan. With his modesty and fidelity, he made a positive impression on community members and the faithful of the town. After more than 30 years of residence in Vic, in March 1921, the Superiors sent him to the community of Cervera. This new community was very large and he was asked to take the charge as tailor and to be ready to help out in the infirmary. Because of his good qualities and virtues the Superiors considered him as director of Novices and Postulants in everything related to the manual work. According to his biographer, Brother Milagro was the “model of a Brothers.” The summary reports as shared these sentiment: “he was a very healthy individual, well educated, a very good singer, observant, fervent, modest, honest and docile. He also was very industrious and a man of confidence. His sense of patience was heroic and a reflection of humility.

In the performance of his duties, he was distinguished by his fidelity, endearing concern for his subordinates, zeal for the observance, great caution in correct defects, giving example of the exact fulfillment of the Constitutions. He also expressed a strong love for the Congregation and of the religious poverty.”

As it has been mentioned earlier, the community of Cervera was banished from their residence on July 21,1936, because of the Marxist Revolution. Finding it difficult to find refuge, he would eventually arrive at the estate of the Mas Claret. His many years as a religious, made him available to serve those in Mas Claret. Along with the other religious, he led a life of prayer and preparing himself for martyrdom, which came on October 19, 1936, in the mid-afternoon.