Rome (Italy). On 22 September 2021, the liturgical memory of the Blesseds, Sr. Carmen Moreno and Sr. Amparo Carbonell is celebrated, martyrs of the civil war that broke out in Spain on 18 July 1936, which led to religious persecution and the death of numerous bishops, priests, religious, and laity, including 95 members of the Salesian Family: 39 priests, 22 clerics, 24 brothers, two Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, three Salesian Cooperators, a member of ADMA, three Salesian aspirants, and a lay collaborator, who gave their life for their faith in Christ between July 1936 and April 1938.
The lives of Sr. Carmen Moreno and Sr. Amparo Carbonell intertwine at the House-School of Barcelona Sarriá in that supreme gesture of fraternal charity and gift for the lives of others that took place on 6 September 1936, in the Barcelona hippodrome, when the two FMA’s are shot.
Blessed Sr. Carmen Moreno Benitez, born at Villamartín, Province of Cadiz, on 24 August 1885. Born into a deeply Christian family, together with her elder sister Paz, she was attracted to the life of the FMA she met in Seville, during the years she lived at the School, and expressed her desire to become part of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
There are countless testimonies of the effectiveness of her didactic work and the fruitfulness of her apostolate with the teachers and students residing in the School of Seville. Everyone remembers her as a cheerful, cordial, discreet, kind sister, with an exquisite education, solid in prayer, and an exemplary spirit of sacrifice.
In her role as Animator of the House of Val Verde del Camino, Huelva, she distinguished herself for her spirit of discernment, which allowed her to perceive and value the holiness of a humble and unique religious of the Community, Sr. Eusebia Palomino, beatified by Pope John Paul II on 25 April 2004, whom she took care of until her death.
During her illness, she wrote how much she confided to her about the work God was doing in her soul, writings that were of considerable value to Sr. Eusebia’s beatification process. Furthermore, Sr. Carmen, during the religious persecution that struck the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Valverde del Camino in May 1931, gave testimony of serenity and great presence of mind.
After her mission in Val Verde, in the autumn of 1935, she was again assigned to Barcelona as Provincial Vicar.
Blessed Sr. Amparo Carbonell Muñoz, was born in Alboraya, Valencia, on 8 October 1893 into a peasant family of modest conditions, but rich in Christian values transmitted to their numerous children.
In Valencia, where she went to sell the products of her parents’ farm, Amparo used to frequent the chapel of the FMA School, and thus the desire was born in her to consecrate herself to the Lord in the FMA Institute, a desire not easy to fulfill due to the opposition of her family and of the Sisters, because of her lack of studies.
On 31 January 1921, at the age of 27, she finally entered the House of Formation of Barcelona-Sarriá as a postulant, where she distinguished herself for her modesty, simplicity, and generous dedication to all types of work, especially in the kitchen and in the care of the vegetable garden and the garden.
In July 1936, at the beginning of the civil war, Sr. Carmen and Sr. Amparo are both in the Community of the House-School of Barcelona Sarriá, where 54 FMA and 12 Salesian Novices from all the Communities of Spain were gathered to participate in the annual Spiritual Exercises.
On 21 July, the House of the Sisters was seized by the military, so the sisters and novices who had relatives in or around Barcelona leave, while others are housed at a farm adjacent to the School.
Sr. Carmen Moreno remains to manage the permits and documents for the departure of the sisters who embark for Italy, with the exception of Sr. Amparo Carbonell, who, together with her offers herself to stay to assist an FMA recently operated on and hospitalized in a clinic, although they know the danger to which they are exposed.
On 1 September they are picked up by a military patrol and interrogated by a people’s court. Not denying their faith, Sr. Carmen and Sr. Amparo are sentenced to death, while the other sister is released.
On 6 September 2021 was the 85th anniversary of their dies natalis (1936). On 11 March 2001 they were beatified by John Paul II with 231 other martyrs of Spain including Joseph Calasanz Marqués and 31 companions.
In addition to the intentions of the universal Church, local and personal ones can also be entrusted to the mediation of Sr. Carmen and Sr. Amparo, to promote their Cause of Canonization. A documented miracle can open the path for both to the glory of the Saints, officially approved by the Church.
Father of infinite tenderness, we thank you for having sustained
up to the supreme witness of faith and fraternal charity
Sr. Carmen Moreno and Sr. Amparo Carbonell,
who sacrificed their lives for love.
Grant us too that following their example,
we may respond generously to Your call
with coherent faith in the trials of life
and with the gift of ourselves with love and joy.
If it is Your will,
grant us through their intercession
the grace we ask of You ………….
Through Christ Your Son and our Lord,