Tucson Citizen

Two priests who served in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson in the early
1900s and became martyrs in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War will move one
step closer to sainthood when they are beatified Oct. 28 in Rome.

According to a letter sent to Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, the Rev.
Lucas Tristany and the Rev. Eduardo Farré are among 498 martyrs – people who
died for their faith – in 20th century Spain who will be beatified at the
Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

Tristany, who was born in Spain in 1872, was the first pastor of Holy Family
Church, 338 W. University Blvd., according to the letter from an official
with the Discalced Carmelite Friars, of which Tristany and Farré were
members. Tristany also served at Holy Cross Church in Morenci, Assumption of
the Blessed Virgin Church in Florence and Santa Cruz Church, 1220 S. Sixth
Ave. Farré, born in Spain in 1897, served at Holy Family Church and Santa
Cruz Church.

Both came from Spain to Tucson in 1912 and became American citizens, said
the Rev. José Luis Ferroni, associate pastor at Santa Cruz Church.

"Lucas and Eduardo were very important to Tucson because they encouraged the
Spanish-speaking residents to adopt the new culture of America," Ferroni

The Spanish Civil War began in 1936 when General Francisco Franco and his
supporters attempted to overthrow the Second Spanish Republic. Franco was
supported by conservative members of clergy, the military and landowners.
The Republic was supported by the Soviet Union and Mexico. Franco’s forces
won in 1939, and he ruled Spain until his death in 1975.

Tristany and Farré were sought by communist forces after the two returned to
Spain and were killed in 1936, Ferroni said.

Tristany’s monastery in Barcelona was burned to the ground, and he and most
of those inside were taken outside and shot in the back, Ferroni said.

Farré went into hiding with a family near Montcada, Spain. He was eventually
captured by supporters of the Republic, driven to a mass grave in the
country and shot, Ferroni said.

According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, beatification is the
last step before sainthood in the Catholic Church. Candidates are first
declared venerable if they are recognized by the pope for their heroic
virtues. They may be beatified if they are martyrs or found to be
responsible for a miracle. They may be canonized, or declared a saint, if a
second miracle can be attributed to them.

Ferroni said that he and his church are preparing for a celebration in the
diocese. Tristany and Farré "are a tribute to the state of Arizona as it
approaches 100 years old," he said.

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