Miguel Baixeras Berenguer

Baixeras, Miguel

Born February 14, 1908 in Castellterçol (Barcelona)

Professed August 15, 1924

Ordained a priest June 21, 1931

Shot July 25, 1936 in Lleida

 

Father Miguel was born on February 14, 1908 in Castellterçol, a village in the province of Barcelona belonging to the Diocese of Vic and was baptized two day later in the parish of San Frutuoso.

His parents were Francisco Baixeras, a weaver, and Mrs. Monserrat Berenguer. Miguel was the fourth of ten children. Three would become Claretians; Ramon, Miguel and Juan (a martyr in Barbastro, who was beatified on October 25, 1992) and a sister who became a Carmelite of Charity Sister.

When he was 11 years old, he entered the Postulancy in Vic, along with his friend Jaime Payas, who would be martyred in Sallent. His Prefect during the four years was Father Jaime Girón, who had high praise from both young men. He completed the Humanities program with the highest grades.

He then moved to Cervera for the Novitiate. He would make his First Profession on August 15, 1924. As he continued living in Cervera, he completed the first year of Philosophy with outstanding grades. He then moved to Solsona to continue with the metaphysics, also with outstanding grades. The third year 1926-1927, it would be the studies of Ethics. Then the first year of Theology would be at the Diocesan Seminary of Solsona. In October 1927, he received Tonsure and Minor Orders.

On October 1, 1928, along with the other graduates, he moved to Cervera to proceed with the second year of Dogmatic Theology. He passed the examinations of Theology qualifying for the Doctorate in July 1930. Then he began the studies of Moral Theology. In April 1931, he informed his family that he had received approval for Orders:… along with his studies he was willing to go America, or at least to go work on the border. He moved to Solsona to be ordained a Subdeacon on May 30, 1931, and a Deacon the following day. He would be ordained a priest on June 21, 1931, with the waiver of his age, by the Apostolic Administrator of Solsona.

In consideration of his further studies, he went to Gracia (Barcelona) for classes. For him it was a life change to adapt to the pace of the University and the community. The following year he was destined to Solsona, where he arrived on July 26, 1932. The Provincial granted him permission to visit his family for a few hours. Then to Solsona was with the position of Professor of Logic. But he was attracted more the apostolic life than science, therefore whenever he had a chance, he would go to preach to the people of Solsona. Therefore, he devoted his time to preaching. He really enjoyed preaching  “it has its beautiful part in the midst of work,” such as when one travels, “what I like about traveling is that people are more respectful than before.”

Not in the city of Lleida, or in any car I haven’t heard any insult.”

On the other hand he saw the need for preaching and could also check how efficient he came across. As he wrote to his brother Joseph on March 17, 1936, which would be his final letter:

“Our preaching is a necessity because it captures the people for a short while but also because of its effectiveness.”

 

Qualities and virtues

Those who lived in community with him claim that he had extraordinary intellectual gifts and at the same time was very applied to studies; that he was friendly and kind to all, communicative. They also remember him as pious religious and observant of the Constitutions.

As a good missionary, he had great zeal for the salvation of souls, for which he was willing to go to the foreign missions.

 

Imprisonment and martyrdom

On July 21, 1936, he was imprisoned with the others in the attic of the house of the Sra. Puig and later taken to jail. He was placed in the same cell as Father’s Torres and Tamarit and received the same fate as them. The days that he was in jail were a time of serenity and preparing for martyrdom. He expressed to his family some time before with these words:

“And afraid? It has never been so fresh. What we want is to go to heaven and I think that if they kill us, we will go directly to heaven and thank you very much.”

At 4:30 in the morning of July 25, he was taken from prison together with the other priests and shot at 4:45 in the Field of the Martyrs. He was buried in a common grave called “Pit of Martyrs,” where his remains were impossible to identify.