Juan Senosiain Zugasti

Born May 15, 1911 in Guirguillano (Navarra)

Professed February 11, 1929

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


Brother Juan was born in the Navarrese village of Guirguillano on May 15, 1911. His parents were Don Francisco Senosiain, a day laborer and Teresa Zugasti. On the same day of his birth, he was brought to baptize in the parish Church of St. Peter the Apostle. He would receive the Sacrament of Confirmation at his home parish on June 15, 1915, from the Bishop of Pamplona.

He left his home town with his friend Dionisio Arizaleta Salvador to be missionaries. Thus he entered the Postulancy of Alagon (Zaragoza) on August 20, 1924. He began studies in the Humanities, but was unable to complete the program because his intellectual capacities were somewhat limited. Then he decided to ask permission to become a Brother. Like his buddy Dionisio, from the 10th, to the 19th, of July 1927, they both went home for a visit. Later he would enter the Novitiate in Vic. This would be a year of prayers, study and tests under the guidance of Fr. Ramon Ribera and later Fr. Jansa. Both Novice Masters considered him frivolous, not all that reflective, a jokester, but then, he was also  humble, docile, submissive and self-sacrificing. He would make his First Profession on February 11, 1929.

His first assignment was in the community of Cervera. Since the house was large, he was asked to be a handyman. His understanding of religious life didn’t improve from what he had learned in the Novitiate. He just wasn’t very observant, although he did meet the demands of his work. Members of the community did find him helpful and did participate in the daily acts of piety.

On July 21, 1936, like all members of the community, he had to leave the building of the former University and went in the direction of Solsona. Unable to reach Solsona, he along with the other missionaries took refuge in the Mercedarian Convent of San Ramon. From there, they all moved on to the estate of the Mas Claret. Here devoted his energies to working in the fields and to a life of prayer. Recognizing the circumstances, he saw the need to prepare for martyrdom. On the afternoon of October 19,1936, he and the other men working in the field were called to the house so as to take a photo. Instead of a photo, they all were shot. He was buried in the farm.