The Mallorcan priest and poet Miquel Costa Llobera, and the Marianist López de Uralde, towards the altars

Miquel Costa Llobera Y Vincent Lopez de Uralde They are two priests who left their mark in Spain; the first, in the world of culture and poetry in Catalan. Gardens and schools bear his name in Catalonia and Mallorca, and his poetic work continues to be highly valued. The second, with his educational work and always welcoming confessor in the Marianists of Cádiz, the city that decorated him.

Pope Francis has signed the decrees that recognize their heroic virtues, so they stop receiving the title of Servants of God to receive that of Venerables. If a miracle attributed to his intercession, produced after his death, were confirmed, they could be declared blessed.

On Thursday morning the recognition of the heroic virtues of 4 other people, all Italians, was also announced: a journalist priest, a rural evangelizing priest, a stigmatized nun of the s. seventeenth and one young laywoman, firm in sickness, who died at the age of 20.

Miquel Costa Llobera, the great poet of Mallorca

To scrutinize the soul of some saints, the Church does not have many elements, but in the case of Costa Llobera it is not like that because He left a lot written about himself. From 1887 to 1922 he wrote a lucid and detailed diary, which occupies 35 of the 68 years that he lived, expressed in 30 notebooks. In addition, he was a tireless writer of letters to his friends, many of them people from the world of culture.

A classic book about him is “Spiritual journey of a poet”, by Bartolomé Torres Gost (660 pages, Balmes, 1971). It was declared illustrious son of Pollensa in 1901, of Palma in 1922 and of the Balearic Islands in 1956. His beatification process began in 1983, with a solemn act in the cathedral of Mallorca.

He was born in Pollensa (Mallorca) in 1854, the son of peasants with land, orphaned at age 11. His uncle, a city doctor, taught him to appreciate the classics and nature. At the age of 18 he began to study Law in Barcelona, ​​and three years later he did it in Madrid, but he left law to focus on poetry, which he wrote in Catalan. In 1874 he won a prize at the Floral Games and the following year his best-known poem, El pino de Formentor (1875), triumphed. He first wrote romantic poetry, but soon began to cultivate Greco-Latin styles (difficult in Romance languages).

Miquel Costa Llobera, renowned poet in Catalan and Spanish, priest

Scruples: is it wrong to praise a pagan poet?

In 1879, with his ode “To Horaci”, he worried that he had praised a pagan poet too much. I was reading the theologian Jean Joseph Gaume (1802-1879), very hostile to classical Greco-Roman literature and it seems that he thought of destroying his manuscripts. Luckily, Menéndez Pelayo highly praised that work and everything he wrote about Horacio and spread it in Spanish (1885) and that changed his way of seeing it.

In 1880, At the age of 26, he began his ecclesiastical studies. At the age of 31 he went to Rome where he spent 5 years and received a doctorate in theology from the Gregorian. He returned to Spain in 1890. After his Italian stay, immersed in his Renaissance culture, he no longer had scruples against classical art. In 1899 he published lyrics”, the only volume of poetry in Spanish by the Mallorcan priest.

In 1902 he won the 3 ordinary prizes of the Floral Games, for which he was invested as ‘Mestre en Gai Saber’. That same year he was elected a corresponding member of the Royal Spanish Academy. In 1906 his collection of poems “Horatians”, in Catalan, in Greco-Latin metric feetwas praised by Menéndez y Pelayo: “verses worthy of being counted among the best that are written in Spain today”.

In 1907 he traveled with other Mallorcans to the Middle East and the Holy Land. Upon returning, he published visions of palestine (1908), which are 26 prose texts on the holy places. The following year, he was appointed canon of the cathedral of Majorca.

Biographical documentary about Costa Llobera (in Majorcan).

More religious work in its final stage

When he was 50 years old, he reduced his production and focused more on the spiritual: some texts of Way of the Cross (1907-1908), about ‘panegyric sermons‘ (1916), Catalan translations of the Hymns of the Christian-Roman poet Prudencioand translations into Spanish (between 1907 and 1911) of the novels by French Christian writer Reynés Monlaur (After the ninth hour, they will look to Him Y celtic souls).

He continued writing with friends, but less, and more focused on issues of faith. “Miguelito has become very aloof to us,” his friends wrote about him. “When Miguel has an attack of divinity, he is unbearable,” wrote another. Perhaps they simply had little interest in his growing spirituality.

He died while preaching of a holy poetess

Wearing a ordered and regular life and was almost always in good healthalthough his last ten years he spoke of “rheumatism” problems that could be of the heart.

His inner life is in his texts. He knew that he had bouts of conscientiousness, but he also I knew, through Saint Teresa, that “humility is the truth.” Su poetry insisted time and time again on serenity. His diaries, in a balanced introspection.

After the mass, the divine office and personal prayer, Costa LLobera turned to ejaculations, the prayer of short phrases. He sometimes wrote them down in his diary, sometimes he even counted them: he could do 700 in the morning and as many in the afternoon for months.

He wrote in his diary, the day before he died, that he was melancholic. while preaching the next day to some Discalced Carmelite nuns from Palma on Santa Teresa -whom he appreciated very much- and his mystical experiences, together with an image of Christ scourged on the column, he he had a heart attack and dropped dead. Many consider that it is not a bad death for a poet priest to die preaching about a holy poetess. He was 68 years old.

His figure can be of great interest for all those Christians, and more clergy, who try to reconcile their love for letterss with his service to God and the Church. With its virtues already approved, the intellectual and spiritual path of Costa Llobera can enlighten many.

Vicente López de Uralde, a saint “from next door”

The Marianist priest Vicente López de Uralde lived between 1894 and 1990. A biography published about him in 1992 begins by saying “in his life there was nothing
extraordinarily striking: neither intelligence, nor courage, nor beauty, neither eloquence, nor the overwhelming and brilliant activity that draws crowds”. His holiness would be in the line of the “saints next door”: a person close to God and those around him.

Fr. López de Uralde, well remembered in Cádiz and among the Marianists

Father López de Uralde, well remembered in Cádiz and among the Marianists.

He was born in Vitoria, the son of a carpenter and seamstress. The family had two daughters and three sons, and all three became priests. vincent Since he was a child he wanted to be a priest and at the age of 21 he entered the postulancy of the Marianists. He made his perpetual vows in 1917. He was a teacher in several colleges and his priestly preparation was developed in the Marianist seminary in Freiburg (Switzerland), where he was ordained in 1925.

He arrived in Cádiz in 1928 and spent the rest of his life there: prayer, the sacrament of Reconciliation, community life. He is remembered for his joy, simplicity, humility, welcome. “His cheerful and jovial word from him dispels all misunderstanding between other people and It is the link between the most opposite characters”they declared of him.

Very soon he suffered from severe myopia and became blind in his later years. Work exhausted him at certain times. But he always maintained good character. He was “a community builder and a highly sought after confessor, who spent long hours in the confessional”.

“I always found him there dressed as a Good Shepherd, never as a judge. The solemn forgiveness made you come out of that encounter fluffed up, relieved and, at the same time, hopefully inflamed”, writes a person who confessed to him.

He received several tributes from the city of Cádiz: the City Council named him Adoptive Son of the city in 1968 and granted him the Cadiz Gold Medal. He passed away at the age of 96.

two italian priests

The Pope also approved the heroic virtues of the Italian priest Gaetano Francesco Mauro (1888-1969), founder of the Congregation of Pious Rural Catechist Workers and the journalist priest Giovanni Barra.

Gaetanao Mauro He showed his ability when he appeared in a town where no priest wanted to work for the bad fruit of two apostate priests. He came ready to work with children, young people and humble people and he won everyone over. Prisoner of Austria in the First World War, he met the then soldier and later minister Giuseppe Bottai, whom he returned to the Catholic faith and with whom he always maintained friendship.

Working with scouts, Catholic Action and Marian Congregations, promoted the evangelization of the Italian rural world with rural oratories and then the birth of the Rural Catechistsalso called ardorino missionaries (they sought to transmit “ardor”, a word that was on their banner).

Don Giovanni Barra, priest and journalist

Don Giovanni Barra, priest and journalist.

The diocesan priest Giovanni Barra (1914-1975, who died in Turin) was priest, communicator and man of letters: preacher, promoter of Catholic associationism, journalist in “Il Nostro Tempo”, editorialist at “La Voce del Popolo”, prolific writer, translator and great promoter of Christian culture in the diocese of Pinerolo and throughout Italy.

A stigmatized woman from the 17th century and a sick young laywoman

The Pope also recognized the heroic virtue of the nun Maria Margherita Diomira del Verbo Incarnato (in the century, Maria Allegri, 1651-1677), of the Congregation of the Institutes of Charity of the Good Shepherd. Diomira Allegri was devoted to the Eucharist and the mystery of the Incarnation. Ladies and nobles came to her for advice.

It is considered a mystic: in 1674 she experienced the pains of the Passion, in 1677 she received the stigmata for 26 hours. A court physician, Francesco Redi, examined his injuries. Nine months later, she died: the autopsy revealed a wound to her heart. A biography about her circulated by her bishop as early as 1703, but the modern diocesan process was reopened in 2008.

Bertilla Antoniazzi, venerable for her heroic virtues

Finally, the virtues of bertilla antoniazzisecular Died at just under 20 years of age in 1964 in Vicenza (Italy). From the age of 9, a serious illness kept him at home, where he prayed for others. He established friendships with doctors and nurses and corresponded with other patients. The last two years of his, especially hard, he lived with integrity and without complaints. His texts and his example help many in trial and disease.

The Mallorcan priest and poet Miquel Costa Llobera, and the Marianist López de Uralde, towards the altars