Blessed Josep Guardiet Pujol
Blessed Josep Guardiet Pujol was born in the Guardiet pharmacy of Manlleu, Vic bishopric, on June 21, 1879. He was the third son of the husband and wife, Juan Guardiet and Dolores Pujol, a family of strong Christian convictions really appreciated at the region.
As a young man, he was a pupil of the College of the Brothers of the Christian Doctrine of Manlleu. Later, he attended the baccalaureate as an external student in the Seminary of Vic. Upon obtaining the bachelor's degree, he practiced the spiritual exercises. It was from this experience that he felt called to the priesthood and entered the Sem Seminary of Vic to follow the ecclesiastical studies. He later received a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of Tarragona.
On 15 March 1902 he was ordained a priest in Barcelona. He had already joined the Diocese of Barcelona at the request of Bishop Morgades. Between 1902 and 1905 he was successively vicar of Ullastrell, Olesa de Montserrat and Argentona. In 1905 he was appointed regent of the Holy Trinity of Sabadell. Exhaustive work, economic hardship and delicate health weakened his strength and in 1912, to recover, he was named beneficiary of Santa Maria del Pi in Barcelona. In 1914 he was appointed bursar of the Holy Spirit of Terrassa, where he promoted catechesis and led parish activities and institutions linked to the parish. She also founded a night school for working girls.
In 1917 he was appointed parish priest of Rubí. There he devoted all his efforts to rebuilding the damaged Catholic community and raising the level of the population, not only religious and moral, but also cultural and social. He founded the parish school Nuestra Señora de Montserrat, the weekly "Endavant", the popular couple, the Nativity contest, the Schola Cantorum, the dance group "Esbart Dansaire", the "Rubí Museum", the professional night school for girls "Feminine Culture" and contributed to the creation of the "Federació de Joves Cristians de Catalunya".
When he governed the parish of the Holy Spirit in Terrassa, on a trip with some youngters, passing through Rubí, he exclaimed prophetically: Rubí, Rubí, who could live in your town and give their blood for you! The young men replied: - Do you know that it is a very bad town? He replied: No one is quite good; I feel this apostolic desire. In 1917 he was appointed parish priest of Saint Peter in Rubí and twenty years later his wish was to be fulfilled.
God and Our Father, who with your kindly providence have uniquely adorned Blessed Josep Guardiet, a priest, with the gifts of charity and wisdom, who have made him the father of the poor and an indefatigable preacher of the Gospel in the service of the Kingdom of God and Building up the Church to the point of shedding its blood; Grant us to be, like him, faithful workers in his field and one day we may behold him face to face among the multitude of your Saints.
On July 19, 1936, the military uprising and riots taking place in Barcelona and other cities, with innocent victims among the priests were known, Rubí's doctor, who fled to France with his family, offered him a place in The car, but Dr. Guardiet rejected the offer with gratitude. He wanted to be with his parishioners in difficult times. He shunned all proposals to flee or hide.
In this sense, the testimony of Ramón Ratés, Republican and Mason, in his book Memòries, is eloquent when he says that the only time he had been in the rectory was to save the parish priest and offer him shelter in his house, where no one Would dare to make a record. Dr. Guardiet did not want to. He responded as he did to everyone: "I have done no harm to anyone and I am not afraid." The two men, antagonists of years, embraced each other in tears and said goodbye.
On the 20th the militiamen asked for the key of the Church to burn it; He gave it to him and allowed him to withdraw the Blessed Sacrament. On the 21st, he was arrested but not handcuffed or ill-treated by a 16-year-old militiaman who had been an altar boy, and in his memoirs wrote that the order he received from the Local Militia Committee was to detain the parish priest and bring him to prison Of the people, for their safety. In the jail there were twenty other neighbors.
On the night of 2 to 3 August the order was received from the Central Committee of Militias of Barcelona to deliver the prisoners. The Local Committee decided to give the top three on the list and let the others escape. Those chosen for the sacrifice were Dr. Guardiet and Messrs. Grau and Moliné, and they were told to take them to declare. When the vehicle that moved them arrived at the place called "Pi Bessó", in the road of the Rabassada, passed three kilometers of Sant Cugat in direction of Barcelona, made them go down. Dr. Guardiet interceded for his companions offering himself as the only victim, but they were all killed. They say he died forgiving his executioners.
The next day, they transferred his body to the Clinical Hospital, to be identified by his niece. Since his death was known, he who had been loved in life was considered a martyred saint. Cardinal Goma, when he learned, said: "It was certainly the only way that the great rector Josep Guardiet could, should and deserved to die."
There are some posts on Dr. Guardiet in our parish blog. For more information on the process of canonization, visit the official website of Dr. Guardiet (in Catalan). You may also follow Dr. Guardiet's Facebook page