Blessed Salvio Huix
Imprisoned during the religious persecution of the Spanish Civil War, Blessed Salvio Huix was forced to dig his own grave in a cemetery in Lleida on 5 August 1936. He was martyred there in hatred of the faith alongside twenty other prisoners. In the moments that preceded his death, he was offered his life by the militants in exchange for renouncing Christ. He instead requested that he die last so that he could provide encouragement and strength to the others as they went on to meet their end.
There never was a real possibility for Bl. Salvio to renounce his faith. Since his youth, while in his home Oratory, the Vic Oratory, he asked Our Lord for the strength to overcome anything in quite a prophetic and exemplar way: “I ask you for the virtue that is necessary for me to fight against difficulties and to shed my blood, if necessary, to uphold and defend the honour of your Sacred Gospel.” During his life he remained close to the Sacraments, and much like Our Holy Father St Philip, in true Oratorian spirit, used to spend hours in the confessional.
Bl. Salvio was not only granted the virtue needed to shed his own blood in honour of Our Lord, but also the strength that led him to choose to witness the murder of his companions. He blessed each one as they were being killed, fully aware that he would soon also be dead. As he was blessing each soon-to-be martyr, he was shot in the hand by a militant. With the strength that he so much prayed for to God, he continued to bless his companions with his other hand instead.
Once all twenty were killed, he was shot in the head, making twenty-one the number of people killed there. He was not the only Oratorian to be martyred during the Spanish Civil War. While we remember all those martyred, today we specifically remember Bl. Salvio’s exemplary death alongside his exemplary life as someone who loved the Sacraments, Christ, and the Church. His trust in the Lord provided comfort to that group of twenty martyred there, and like the Good Shepherd, Bl. Salvio guided his flock until the end. “With the help of divine Grace, we want to remain faithful to Christ until martyrdom.”
Bl. Salvio was aware he would be killed there. Despite this knowledge, he was able to persevere until the end with his trust in the Lord unchanged. He is a shining example of not just a true priest, devoted to his flock until the very end, but also of a true Christian, willing to completely renounce his own self in reverence to God. May we be as brave as Bl. Salvio in the face of adversity. May we be as confident in the Lord as Bl. Salvio was in the time of our death. Blessed Salvio Huix, pray for us.