A Redemptorist province with great missionary strength

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Church of Our Lady of Carmel in Alhama de Granada

“The work of the first Redemptorists made Spain a province with great missionary strength”.

This was stated by Francisco J. Caballero, director of Editorial Perpetuo Socorro and Provincial Superior. He also stressed that ‘we must find God in the midst of all this pandemic because He never abandons us’.

Damián María Montes, Provincial Councillor and delegate of the Redemptorist Youth Vocation Ministry (RYVM): ‘Young people continue to be our priority, they are one of the privileged places for the proclamation of the Gospel, and we are heirs of the missionary passion of those who changed structures and models’.

From the Redemptorist Communication Centre, we recommend you to read ‘The Redemptorists in Spain. First foundation (1863-1879)’.

Madrid, 29 March 2021. “The work of the first Redemptorists made Spain a province with great missionary strength”. This was stated by Francisco J. Caballero, director of Editorial Perpetuo Socorro and Provincial Superior. He also stressed that “we must make a profound analysis in order to approach the reality of these times as believers, that is to say, we cannot remain with health, political or economic analysis without further ado, but we have to find God in the midst of this pandemic and the consequences it has brought: What does all this mean for our mission, our faith and our community?

The Provincial Superior also underlined the need to “enter into the presence of God: What God have we discovered since 14 March 2020 when we were confined, what is his form, his figure…”. And he added that “some people present a capricious, angry God, a God who allows all this to happen, but, deep down, they have not met the authentic God who never abandons us: finiteness and limits are part of our own existence and death is part of life”.

For his part, Damián María Montes, Provincial Councillor and delegate of the Redemptorist Youth Vocational Ministry (RYVM), affirmed that today, “there are more people who have lost their faith or think that God is punishing us for all that we are going through, but we must not allow ourselves to be carried away by this negativity because we are heirs of the missionary passion of those who changed structures and models in times of upheaval”.

In these times of pandemic caused by COVID-19, where a large part of society needs to find its bearings after many months of very significant changes, loss of values, search for new hopeful paths, etc., from the Redemptorist Communication Centre we recommend the book ‘The Redemptorists in Spain. First foundation (1863-1879)’, very important for the Redemptorist missionaries in Spain, which highlights the courage, enthusiasm and commitment of three Redemptorist missionaries to get to where we are today.

It was Vittorio Loyodice, Egidio Zanoni and Luigi Zanichelli who were the driving force behind what we are today in times that were far from easy for evangelisation. The story began in 1863, when they left Rome to start the Redemptorist foundation in Spain and, in 1868, they abandoned the first two foundations after the suppression of the convents by the non-liberal government of the time.

The work contains the first epistolary communication; a letter addressed to the Superior General by Fathers Loyodice and Zanoni, and the Superior’s reply. Also the first chronicle of the Redemptorists in Spain (1863-1868), ‘Chronica Domus Huetensis’, the beginning of the foundation of Huete, news about the two houses successively occupied by our confreres and the negotiations for a foundation in Antequera and the reasons why it was frustrating. The third chapter highlights the end of the communities of Huete and Alhama and, in the fourth, the Redemptorist community in Madrid is presented, with the contacts with the Gallo-Hellenic Province and when the latter took over the direction.

Finally, Chapter V contains the appendices: Approval of the Congregation in Spain, Arrival of the Icon of Perpetual Help in Spain, The Founders, Approximation to the historical context of the Revolution and Approximation to the historical context: from the Revolution to the First Republic.

Carmen Vila
Redemptorist Communication Centre, Spain

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