Meet the Youngest Blessed of the Spanish Civil War, Francisco García Léon

Faithful to wearing the Scapular, the young Francisco was sentenced to prison where he was martyred. Francisco García Léon is one of the youngest blessed of the Spanish Civil War.

Newsroom (26/10/2021 11:12 AM, Gaudium Press) The figure of Francisco García Léon stands out among the 128 new Spanish Blessed recently beatified. This young man, only 15 years old, was the youngest of them all and was killed in the religious persecution that took place during the Spanish Civil War.

Francisco was one of the few young people in his village who continued to attend Mass daily and take communion despite the increasingly fierce persecution.

Catholic Roots

The son of a well-to-do Catholic family who farmed, Francis had a signalled piety from an early age. He learned the prayers his parents taught him very early, attended Mass frequently, went to confession, and received communion whenever possible.

However, what is most striking about Francis’ life is his relationship with the Order of Carmel. Indeed, within days of his birth, little Francis was baptized in the parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

At the age of 8, he received the Eucharistic Jesus for the first time on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. He formed even stronger bonds when the Carmelites settled in his town, Montoro.

There he showed special commitment to teaching needy children and to the many different services of the parish. He was also elected president of the Montoro Catholic Youth. But his relationship with Our Lady of Mount Carmel would go all the way to bloodshed.

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Religious persecution

Amidst the raging flames of the Spanish Civil war, many citizens were arrested when the communist militias took over Montoro.

One day, one of the militiamen saw that young Francisco was wearing a Scapular. Francisco was threatened with imprisonment if he did not get rid of his Scapular. As the young man refused, the militiamen arrested him.

Two days later, the city was about to fall into the hands of the Nationalists. So the communists decided to kill all the prisoners. They invaded the prison carrying firearms, dynamite, and axes and murdered everyone there.

That is how Francis presented himself to the Queen of Heaven dressed in the Scapular of Carmel. He was only 15 years and 7 months old. (FM)

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj



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