The low number of registrations has forced the Luis de Trelles Foundation to cancel the “Luis de Trelles Memorial” that was scheduled to be held this weekend, on May 13 and 14, in Salamanca and Zamora. From the Foundation they have decided to postpone the event until after the summer, waiting for a greater capacity to summon: «We cannot stop going to Zamora. There is the raison d’être of the Foundation and the Cause: the mortal remains of the Venerable Luis de Trelles”, they assure in a statement to the subscribers of their newsletter.
The Luis de Trelles Foundation, which works on the cause of beatification of the Vivarian Carlist (whose heroic virtues were recognized in 2015, since then considered “Venerable”), has been organizing a pilgrimage to Zamora every year, the city where the famous founder of the the Spanish Nocturnal Adoration precisely when he was visiting the adoring section of the diocese. In 1991, on the centenary of his death, his mortal remains were moved to the south nave of the Zamora Cathedral, where they now rest.
The Spanish Nocturnal Adoration was the great apostolic work of Luis de Trelles and the nocturnal adorers are challenged precisely by the Foundation that bears his name: «This annual pilgrimage to his tomb is an appointment that all of us who believe in his holiness should not miss, especially the nocturnal adorers, at a time when our work is going through difficult times.” From the Foundation they refer to the complicated situation that the ANE is going through: the increasingly decreasing number of worshipers and the need to recover the founding spirit in all its integrity have marked the last times of this great Eucharistic work that, according to the Foundation, “Only by recovering the spirit with which he founded it will it rise again.”
Luis de Trelles and the ANE
Luis de Trelles was born in Vivero, currently in the province of Lugo (Galicia), in 1819 into a liberal family, but with a fervent and practical religiosity. His initial liberal affiliation progressively subsided throughout his maturity, giving way to a sincere Carlist militancy that would last until his death. Manuel de Abol-Brasón, professor of History of Law at the University of Oviedo and an expert in the cause of beatification of Luis de Trelles, explains it this way: «His evolution has a double parallel manifestation: politically it will end in the Carlism; religiously, in a whole spirituality, renewing and intransigent with the current fashions».
He learned about the French nocturnal adoration founded in Paris by the famous Hermann Cohen, a Jewish convert to Catholicism and ordained priest, when he attended an international assembly of the Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul, an organization to which Trelles belonged. It was then that he decided to found what would later be the Spanish Nocturnal Adoration.
It is obligatory to review the little-known circumstance that the connection of the Spaniards to nocturnal adoration goes back precisely to the work of Hermann Cohen: in effect, in the forties of the XIX century the colony of Carlists emigrated to Parisian exile after the First World War Carlista was very numerous and often added to the lists of participants in the works of piety in the French capital. That was the case of the French nocturnal adoration founded by Cohen and this explains, for example, why one of the first nocturnal adorers was Mariano Aznárez (known as “the gentleman Aznárez”), Cohen’s own Spanish teacher and former consul of Spain in Gibraltar, who due to his loyalty to King Carlos V had to emigrate to the French country like so many other Spaniards.
Arriving in Spain, Luis de Trelles began what would be a prolific and fruitful work of the Eucharistic apostolate, undertaking a multitude of initiatives and foundations, among which two stand out: the Eucharistic Center of Madrid, the embryo of Spanish Nocturnal Adoration, and in whose foundation other notable characters (such as the Carlist colonel Gregorio de Neira, son of the former Secretary of the General Intendance of the army of Don Carlos V and later administrator and collaborator of the newspaper The hope, Miguel deNeira; the impressive biography of Gregorio de Neira, first a soldier and then a Discalced Carmelite in Ávila, is unfortunately unknown even to the specialized public), and the magazine The Sanctuary Lampdirected and written practically alone by Trelles, and whose newspaper library (digitized and accessible to the public on the net) includes thousands of pages dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
But the great Eucharistic work of Luis de Trelles would take its final form on the night of Saturday, November 3 to Sunday, November 4, 1877, the date on which the first vigil of the Spanish Nocturnal Adoration is celebrated in the extinct convent of San Antonio del Prado in Madrid. , in front of the Congress of Deputies. The path undertaken was arduous and not exempt from difficulties and persecutions. Again Professor Abol-Brasón explains it: «The secular Catholic vocation according to D. Luis is full of successes. In the spiritual aspects he wants to cut with the coldness, routine and emptiness of the devotions until then frequent and common. Hence, it calls for an authentic mystical vocation of identification between God and the soul. In the external order, it is the one that traces the outline of the Christian gentleman, without political condescension and with the ultimate foundation in the demands of Catholic doctrine. And in this he was completely refractory and even contrary to the conservative right of that time: for example, in The Sanctuary Lamp, from the year 1870 to 1878 there is not a single mention, neither in favor nor against Canovism, nor of the “right-wing” politicians, let’s call them that, who in theory were Catholics. And along the same lines, he keeps the most absolute silence, as well for the liberal Royal Family, as for the Restoration of Alfonso XII. Not a single line, what am I saying a line, not a single word of praise or remembrance towards the liberal Bourbons. And in fair contrast, for The lamp the legitimist Bourbons, Enrique V, Count of Chambord, and the Carlist Bourbons of Parma and Naples pass with praise. There is no doubt that Trelles was a great enemy of the work of the Restoration. It is clear that Cánovas and his followers distinguished him with the most deaf persecution».
Luis de Trelles inaugurated an integral Eucharistic spirituality, coherent inside and outside the temple, without condescension or human respect, aimed at converting the worshipers of the night in witnesses of the day.
Manuel Sanjuan, Juan Vázquez de Mella Cultural Circle