Juan Garriga Pages

Born August 31, 1908 in San Martin de Sacalm (Gerona)

Professed December 8, 1926

Shot August 21, 1936 in Lleida

 

Brother Garriga was born on August 31, 1908, in the village of San Martin de Sacalm, in the province of Girona, and baptized on September 5th, in the parish Church of San Martin de Sacalm, Diocese of Vic. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation in the same Church on May 9, 1911. His parents were Francisco Garriga, a laborer and Mrs. María Pagés.

Shortly before the age of 17, he would enter the Claretian Novitiate on July 29,  1925, in Vic, where he also made a brief Postulancy. He started the Novitiate year anad would make his First Profession on December 8, 1926.

Two days after his Profession he left for Solsona, its was his first assignment. In October 1928, he would move to Cervera. At the end of 1930, he received a new assignment with the community of Berga. There he served as a cook and tailor. When he made his Perpetual Profession on December 8, 1932, he would celebrate in Cervera. The following year he moved to Barcelona and at the end of the year 1933, he went to La Selva del Campo, where he held the posts as tailor and porter. In 1935, he went to Cervera and travelled through Lerida, perhaps to fix the rules of the militiary excemption. According to the many from all his communities, he fulfilled all work entrusted to him by the Superiors. Finally he was destined to Lleida, with charges of cook and tailor. This would be his last destination that also allowed him to create mold of a faithful missionary.

 

Qualities and virtues

He was an exemplary religious, humble and filfilled all of the orders of his Superiors.

 

Martyrdom

On July 21, 1936, Brother Garriga, by reason of his responsibilities delayed his departure from the home because the order of the Superior surprised him as he was preparing breakfast. And he was the only one who could not get to the house so as to go into hiding. Even though the others were nearby, he didn’t have a chance to join the other members of the community. As he was leaving the house, he was immediately caught in the street. He was trying to reach the home of Mrs. Jaques. He was the first of the community to be arrested and taken to jail.

In the same cell where Brother Garriga was locked up he would find Brother Grau joining him. According to the testimony of a witness, Brother Garriga was prepared for martyrdom and used his time continuously praying the Rosary. He was convinced that he was going to suffer death and was resigned and yet courageous. He was taken from prison in the early hours of August 21, 1936 along with 73 others and taken to the cemetery of Lérida. When asked about his status did not hesitate to confess he was a religious, such as in the previous record and therefore he was shot and buried in the grave of the martyrs.