Saint of the Day – 18 September – Blessed Ambrosio María de Torrent (Salvador Chuliá Ferrandis) TC (1866-1936) Priest and Martyr of the Spanish civil War. Blessed Ambrosio was a religious Friar and Priest of The Amigonian Friars. He was a man of deep piety, a devotee of the Eucharist, a great apostle of the confessional and a competent director of souls. Born on 16 April 1866 in Torrent, Valencia, Spain and died by being shot at dawn on 18 September 1936 in Torrent, Valencia, Spain.
The Amigonian Friars and Sisters, are a religious institute of religious founded in Spain during the 19th century which specialises in working with young boys facing issues of juvenile delinquency and drug addiction. They follow the Rule of the Third Order Regular of St Francis. The Friars follow a spirituality based on the vision of St Francis of Assisi, given to them by their founder, a Capuchin Friar Minor. They also model themselves on the role of Our Lady of Sorrows, who stood at the foot of the Cross, sharing her Son’s agony and love for the world. She is a model to the Friars, of the generosity, mercy, strength and tenderness needed in the mission of serving their charges.
Salvador Chuliá Ferrandis , which was his civil name, was born in Torrent (Valencia) on 16 April 1866. He studied ecclesiastical studies at the Conciliar Seminary of Valencia but, once he received the diaconate, he entered the Capuchin Tertiary. On 4 April 1892, he was Ordained a Priest, making his perpetual religious vows on 5 July 1898, taking the name Ambrosio María de Torrent.
A man of broad culture but rather gentle in character and of little authority, he was always more inclined to exercise obedience than to command. In his pastoral ministry, he manifested himself as a man of council and spiritual director of the fraternity, confessor of religious and students.
Captured in his father’s house on 21 August 1936, he was taken to La Torre prison, in his hometown. In that prison, Father Ambrosio and nine other Capuchin Tertiaries practically led community life. From the street, you could hear them sing the Sorrows of the Virgin and the wounds of Saint Francis.
In the early hours of 18 September 1936, he was executed in the area of La Mantellina, Torrent, along with seven other Priests and Friars. Father Ambrosio, despite his shyness, was the one who bravely faced Martyrdom and encouraged his companions by raising, at the final moment, his hands to bless and forgive the executioners.
When trying to delineate his spiritual silhouette, the various biographers agree that Father Ambrosio was a little Franciscan flower – simple, humble, conciliatory, poor, obedient, silent, sparing in words, that he did not speak ill of anyone and that he always looked to find the good in all. Likewise, they define him as a man of deep piety, a devotee of the Eucharist, a great apostle of the confessional and a competent director of souls.
His mortal remains rest in the Chapel of Los Mártires, in the parish of Nuestra Señora de Monte Sión de Torrent (Valencia), where they are frequently visited.
Blessed Ambrosio was Beatified by Pope John Paul II togther with 232 others who were Martyred during the Spanish Civil War. The Image below shows the Martyrs of the Amigonian Orders.