Born January 20, 1910 in Albesa (Lérida)
Professed August 15, 1927
Ordained a priest April 19, 1936
Shot August 21, 1936 in Lleida
Father Morell was born on January 20, 1910 in Albesa, a village in the province of Lerida. Three days later, he was baptized in the parish Church of the Assumption of Albesa belonging to the Diocese of Urgell and on October 7, 1911, he received the Sacrament of Confirmation by the Diocesan Bishop. His parents were José Morell, a peasant and Dona Antonia Cabiscol. They had two other sons. He entered the Postulancy in Vic in 1922, where he would complete the first three years of the Humanities. His Prefect was Father Jaime Girón. In 1925, he would move to Cervera to enroll in the fourth year of Humanities.
The following year, on July 27, he moved to Vic to begin the Novitiate under the direction of Fr Ramón Ribera. He would make his First Profession on August 15, 1927.
On August 18, 1927, he moved to Solsona to study Philosophy. Moving to Cervera in 1931, he began his study of Theology. Given the adverse circumstances against the Church and to the Religion created by the Republic, any of his trips were made in civilian dress purchased weeks earlier. In January 1932, he received Tonsure and the first two Minor Orders in the college of Cervera. During the third year of Theology, on September 17, 1933, he received the other two Minor Orders. The Bishop of Solsona conferred the Subdiaconate on June 13, 1935.
To complete his Theology program he would have to go to Barbastro. On November 10, 1935, he was ordained to the Diaconate. His ordination to the priesthood would take place on April 19, 1936, in the Cathedral of Barbastro. His first and only assignment was the community of Lleida where he arrived on June 25, 1936.
Qualities and Virtues
The Master of Novices noted that he had few speculative talents, but much practical insights. Despite the fact that his talent were limited, he excelled in application, directing his formation to preaching and catechesis. He was a collaborator of the parish feast with apologetic writings.
It was a law-abiding religious and pious.
As has been said numerous times earlier, Father Morell was arrested and taken to the Lleida Provincial Jail on July 21, 1936. He had not even completed a month in the house.
In prison, he would have the same luck as Father’s Lloses and Albi as well as Brothers Garriga and Dolcet. During his imprisonment, he wrote two letters. The first to Don Luis Tamarit on July 26 to inform him about the glorious triumph of his brother Arturo who was martyred. The second was addressed to his parents in which he tells his sentiments and willingness to be a martyr, which God grants:
“Valued and caring parents:
God protects. From the prison perhaps a few moments only before delivering my soul to God, I want to speak to the two of you, to say that I die happy and joyful, and I offer my life and all my missionary dreams for the complete and total Kingdom of Spain, of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. Don’t become doubtful of my glorious destination, that is, for it is the blood of Jesus Christ. Be glad for me: as you will be able to have a son who is a martyr, only because I am a religious, I am incarcerated, and by being religious I just lost three friends. Don’t think I am afraid: Now more than ever I give thanks to God for having made me a religious and priest. A Religious-Priest, martyr of Jesus Christ… Can one want greater glory?
Now, more than ever, dear parents, I will always think of you from heaven and you will have a powerful lawyer before the Lord. I write in the midst of panic. Sorry that I cannot write more. In heaven I look forward to all without missing one. Write soon to my Superiors of any house which you know and where they know who reside there, in order to make my poor soul the prayers of rule, so that God may have pity of my sins and eternal rest. “Courage!! That’s all for the greater glory of God and the good of our homeland. Goodbye… until we meet in heaven. Your loving son in Jesus and Mary, Javier, C.M.F.
Long Live Christ the King!”
On August 20, 1936 his name was written in the list and being named, he came out to the front. Together with Father’s Lloses and Albi, Brothers Garriga and Dolcet, he was taken to the cemetery of Lérida and shot in the early hours of August 21, 1936 and buried in a common grave with the other martyrs.