Saint of the Day – 3 April – Blessed John of Jesus and Mary O.SS.T (1895-1937) Priest Martyr, Religious Priest of the The Order of the Holy Trinity and of the Captives, more commonly known as the Trinitarians, Musician – born as Juan Otazua y Madariaga on 8 February 1895 in Rigoitia, Vizcaya, Spain and died by being shot at dawn on 3 April 1937 in the cemetery of Mancha Real, Jaén, Spain. He was 42 years old.
Juan Otazua was born on 8 February 1895 in the small town of Rigoitia, in the province of Vizcaya Spain.
On 30 September 1913, he began his Novitiate with the Trinitarian Religious Order in the Sanctuary of Bien Aparecida (Cantabria). He made his simple profession in said sanctuary, on 11 October 1914, then taking the name of John of Jesus and Mary. He studied philosophy at the Bien Aparecida and Córdoba and theology at La Rambla. He professed his solemn vows at the Trinidad house in Córdoba on 17 May 1918. He was Ordained a Priest on 23 October 1921 in Madrid .
For many years he was a Priest of the house of the Trinity in Madrid and exercised his pastoral work in the Church of the Basques of San Ignacio de Loyola, in the now known Las Letras neighbourhood. He was known for his excellent command of music , especially the cello.
In March 1936 the church of San Ignacio was burned down by the mobs, in the atmosphere of civil war, which led to the disintegration of the Trinitarian community and the distribution of the Religious to various convents in Spain. However some of them were arrested and executed days later. Fr John was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Despite the sentence, on the night of 2 April 1937, militiamen took him out of prison and took him to the La Mancha Real cemetery, where they shot him the following morning. Fr John was 42 years old. His body was buried in a grave to avoid recognition.
Fr John of Jesus and Mary was Beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on 28 October 2007. His Memorial is also celebrated with his fellow Trinatarian Martyrs on 6 November.
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