Joseph Ribe Coma

Ribe, Josep

Born October 28, 1893 in Centellas (Barcelona)

Professed August 15, 1912

Ordained a priest May 29, 1920

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

 

Father Jose Ribe, the son of Don Pablo Ribe, a shopkeeper and Conception Coma a homemaker. He was born in Centelles, Barcelona, on October 28, 1893. He was baptized four days later in the parish Church of Santa Coloma de Centellas, Diocese of Vic. In this same parish received the Sacrament of Confirmation from the Diocesan Bishop in the pastoral visit.

He entered the Congregation on September 5, 1908, beginning his Postulancy in Vic. Here he began his studies of the Humanities, under the guidance of his Prefects, Father’s Ramon Ribera and Gumersindo Valtierra.

In 1911, he went to Cervera to begin the Novitiate under the guidance of Fr. Mariano Fernández. At the end of the Novitiate year, he made his First Profession on August 15, 1912. He would continue residing in Cervera studying Philosophy and Theology. On July 18, 1915, he received Tonsure and the four Minor Orders.

In July 1918, he moved to Alagon to study Moral Theology. The following year, on June 14th, he received the Subdiaconate in Zaragoza and the Diaconate in Alagon, on August 26th, from the Archbishop Juan Soldevila. This same Archbishop would conferred the Priesthood in Zaragoza on May 29, 1920.

In order to complete his preparations to the ministry, on July 1, he undertook a trip to Aranda de Duero to begin the year of preparation. Then, beginning in 1924, he began him ministry with the formation of Postulants. This assignment would keep him moving through the various schools of Alagón, Barbastro and Cervera. That is why a number of the students Martyrs of Barbastro and Cervera were directed by him. He cared much that the Prefects and Coadjutor Brothers had the necessary preparation, because not everyone does well in this ministry.

While he would change his role as Prefect of Postulants in Cervera, this impacted him to face the situation of the Revolution that was created after the general elections of February 1936. During this time, some families went to pick up their children and took them home. The environment brought on by the Revolution did not improved:

“… Thanks to God, we are good even though we do not know when because they are putting a lot of effort to take away our peace.

More than once I thought of Alagon. I’m glad nothing has happened. Even if things get back to normal, I fear that you will notice a lot of requests (income), as families with similar unrest will not let go of their children. God and our Mother above all, but we can’t neglect not being prepared (for death?).”

He felt that the situation worsened so much that he had never heard anything like this in the last nineteen centuries.

 

Qualities: exemplary behavior, good Prefect according to reports.

 

Martyrdom

On July 21, 1936, he left the building of the former University of Cervera with the greater part of the community, since they were expelled by the Civil Authority. He left in the direction towards Solsona and could not move through Tora, but would have to go to San Ramon with the Postulants. In the afternoon of July 23rd, many of the group of evacuees chose to take refuge in Mas Claret. During this time he had to think about where to place the boys who were not Catalans, so he found various houses for these students. Father Leache decided to stay and help him.

On the fourth day, he went to the forest of “Caseta de Teula,” where five missionaries refugees were hiding out. It seems that on the 28th or 29th, they would move in the direction of Vic. There were two groups, who were marching at a distance so as not to arouse suspicion. With Fr. Ribe were Fr. Leache and Br. Campo. They didn’t make it to the first stop in Calaf. It is not known what happened, but these individuals arrived in Mas Claret on August 2nd, in the morning. Among them was Fr. Jose Ribe.

Life in Mas Claret had two distinct phases. Until August 15th, they really were not bothered since they were workers for the militia and on their own farm. So to summarizes this brief testimony. One day in August, Mrs. Angela Ubach Ortiz de Torre who was a neighbor of Mas Claret saw that the priests were going carrying working tools on their shoulders. She approached the first one which was Fr. Ribe and said: Father, leave because to many things are happening…

The Father responded:

Angelita, I think they are behaving very well with us. We don’t lack anything. Everything we ask for we receive it.

I hope so,” answered Angelita and left for fear that a car may arrive.

The second phase began on the evening of the 15th. They began to experience threats by the Committee militia and the visits from these worldly women, as has been reported earlier.

Father Ribe exhorted everyone to be well prepared to die at any time and to watch themselves with those of the Committee. He didn’t want any Committee member to have the slightest cause for a complaint.

He was shot in the evening of October 19th, and then his body was cremated.