samedi 7 février 2015

Bienheureux ANSELME POLANCO, évêque et PHILIPPE RIPOLL, prêtre, martyrs

Bienheureux Anselme Polanco, évêque et Philippe Ripoll, prêtre, martyrs

Anselme Polanco Fontecha, évêque de Teruel, et son vicaire général Philippe Ripoll, qui dans la persécution religieuse au cours de la guerre civile espagnole, méprisèrent les flatteries et les menaces et ne fléchirent en rien de leur fidélité à l’Église, furent massacrés en 1936 à Pont de Molins, près de Gérone.


Bienheureux Anselme Polanco et Philippe Ripoll

martyrs espagnols ( 1936)

Anselmo Polanco Fontecha, prêtre de l'ordre de Saint-Augustin, évêque de Teruel en Espagne, martyr avec son vicaire général Felipe Ripoll Morata. 

Béatifiés avec un groupe des 45 martyrs espagnols le 1er octobre 1995 à Rome par Jean-Paul II. Homélie - en italien.


À Pont de Molins près de Girone en Espagne, l’an 1936, les bienheureux martyrs, Anselme Polanco, évêque de Teruel, et Philippe Ripoll, prêtre, qui dans la persécution religieuse au cours de la guerre civile espagnole, méprisèrent les flatteries et les menaces et ne fléchirent en rien de leur fidélité à l’Église, jusqu’à la mort.


Martyrologe romain

Bienheureux Anselme POLANCO FONTECHA
Nom: POLANCO FONTECHA
Prénom: Anselme (Anselmo)
Nom de religion: Anselme (Anselmo)
Pays: Espagne
Naissance: 16.04.1881  à Buenavista de Valdavia
Mort: 07.02.1939  à Teruel (Aragon)
Etat: Evêque - Augustin - Martyr du Groupe des 45 martyrs d'Espagne (1936-1939)  2

Note: 1896 Ordre de Saint-Augustin à Valladolid. 1922 Prieur. 1932 Sup. prov. 1935 évêque de Teruel. Martyr avec son vicaire général Felipe Ripoll Morata  2 .
Béatification: 01.10.1995  à Rome  par Jean Paul II
Canonisation:
Fête: 7 février

Réf. dans l’Osservatore Romano: 1995 n.40 p.3-4
Réf. dans la Documentation Catholique: 1995 n.19 p.923-926


Blessed Anselm Polanco, bishop and martyr

February 7

Anselm was born in Buenavista de Valdavia (Palencia), Spain, on April 16, 1881. He joined the Augustinians at Valladolid, professing vows in 1897. He was ordained priest in 1904 and served as a teacher of theology and formator of young religious. In 1922 he was named Prior at Valladolid and in 1932 was elected Provincial of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines. While Provincial he was named bishop of Teruel, Spain, in 1935. The following year civil war broke out in the country and the small city of Teruel became one of the sites of greatest struggle. Bishop Anselm was determined not to abandon his people, but rather to remain with them to offer comfort and guidance. On January 8, 1938, clothed in his Augustinian habit and accompanied by a group of priests of his diocese, he was taken prisoner by the occupying forces. He resisted firmly all attempts to have him retract his signature from a letter of the bishops of Spain denouncing before the world, the persecution being inflicted upon the Church in Spain. Together with his Vicar General, Fr. Felipe Ripoll, Bishop Anselm was imprisoned for 13 months. Several days before the end of the war, on February 7, 1939, he was shot at Pont de Molins (Gerona), near the French border. He was beatified by John Paul II on October 1, 1995.

In his life as an Augustinian, Anselm was known as a man of kindly spirit, and a great promoter of unity and harmony - characteristics that served him well also in his brief ministry as bishop. On assuming responsibility for the diocese of Teruel he said, "I have come to give my life for my sheep", and on his episcopal coat of arms placed the words, "I will sacrifice and offer myself for your souls."

Blessed Anselm Polanco
February 7
Anselm Polanco (1881-1939) was martyred during the Spanish Civil War.

He was born April 16, 1881 in Buenavista de Valdavia, Palencia, Spain. He joined the Augustinian Order as a young man. He studied in Germany, then returned to Spain to teach at Valladolid and La Vid.

He was named Prior Provincial in 1932. He gave particular importance to visitation of all the Augustinians in his Province. This required difficult journies to China, the Philippines, the United States, Peru and Colombia, since many of the Spanish Augustinians were engaged in missionary activity. On his visits, he encouraged his brothers in their work of of evangelization and urged them to live a religious life faithful to the ideals of Saint Augustine.

In 1935 Anselm was named Bishop of the Diocese of Teruel and Albarracin. When Civil War broke out in Spain, in 1936, Anselm voluntarily remained in his Diocese, in spite of the strong anti-Catholic persecutions brought by the war. In deciding to remain with his people, he followed the same advice that Saint Augustine himself had given to Bishop Honoratus centuries earlier:


“When all are threatened by the same danger, that is, Bishops, clergy and laity, those who need the others must not be abandoned by those of whom they have need.”

— Possidius, Life of Augustine 30, 11

When all are threatened by the same danger, that is, Bishops, clergy and laity, those who need the others must not be abandoned by those of whom they have need. --Possidius, Life of Augustine 30, 11
In 1938, Anselm was captured by anti-Catholic forces and thrown into prison at Pont de Molins. While in prison, he organized an intense life of prayer along with the other prisoners. On February 7, 1939, just a few days before the end of Spain’s Civil War, he was taken outside the prison and was executed by a firing squad a short distance from the Spanish-French border. The Vicar General of his Diocese, Philip Ripoli, was killed at the same time.

Anselm’s mortal remains are at the Cathedral of Teruel.

The martyrdom of Anselm and Philip gave strong witness to their faith in Jesus Christ and their faithfulness to his Church.

Anselm was beatified October 1, 1995 by Pope John Paul II.


Blessed Anselm Polanco

The evocation of the life and martyrdom of Blessed Anselm Polanco, as the supreme act of love, still speaks to people today, reminding them that the Christian must be ready to confess Christ before all, and to follow Christ on the way of the cross.

Anselm Polanco was born in Buenavista de Valdavia, Palencia Spain, on 16 April 1881. After his entry into the Order of Saint Augustine in the Province of the Philipppines (Spain), he professed vows in the monastery of Valladolid in 1897. Here he pursued his philosophical studies and then studied theology at Santa Maria de la Vid Monastery where he was ordained a priest in December 1904. Afterward he studied in Germany, and then returned to Spain to teach in Valladolid and La Vid. He was engaged in formation for some time and, from 1923 to 1929 was prior of the community at Valladolid. In 1929 he went to the Philippines as provincial councilor. Three years later, in 1932, he was named Prior Provincial of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines (Spain).
As prior provincial he was assiduous in carrying out the visitation of his brothers, giving careful attention to the different countries where his province was represented. This meant traveling to China, the Philippines, the United States, Columbia, and Peru, bringing to every one a word of encouragement in their work of evangelization, and a fraternal exhortation to live a genuine Augustinian religious life.

In 1935 Father Anselm Polanco was appointed bishop of Teruel, Spain, at a extraordinarily difficult time. Civil war broke out in Spain and the city of Teruel, where he resided, immediately became one of the points of cruel and bloody conflict. The city was on the very battle line and was besieged. In this dramatic situation the bishop, followed by his vicar, resolved to remain at his post and to share the fate of the rest of the population, despite the fact that they could have gone to safety as many advised them to do.

Inspired by the logic of the faith and a profound pastoral sense, Bishop Polanco put into practice the advice of Augustine to Bishop Honoratus: “When all are threatened by the same danger, that is, bishops, clergy, and laity, those who need the others must not be abandoned by those of whom they have need” (Possidius, Life of Augustine 30,11).

When the city fell into the hands of the besieging troops, the bishop was arrested, and in this state he suffered great pressure, especially that he should withdraw his signature from a joint pastoral letter of the Spanish bishops, in which the religious persecution suffered by the Church was denounced before the world public opinion. Bishop Polanco refused to withdraw his signature, in spite of threats, as well a promises, from the politicians. According to some witnesses, they even offered to support him for the office of archbishop of Barcelona. He knew very well that resistance put his life at risk. However, he endured the danger out of fidelity to ecclesial communion with his brother bishops and out of obedience to the pope, the only one from whom he could accept another appointment in the Church.

He quietly endured the prison, where he was confined for over a year, accepting it as God’s will. In this time of trial he was able to organize with the other detainees an intense life of prayer, based on the practices of piety and meditation. Only rarely was he permitted to celebrate the Eucharist.

Bishop Polanco and father Felipe Ripoll, the vicar general of the diocese of Teruel, were assassinated on 7 February 1939, shortly before the war ended, and so they are counted among the last victims of this Spanish civil strife.

Bishop Polanco was man of deep faith, sincere piety, and constant prayer, to the point of being considered a saint even before his martyrdom. His dedication to God and to his sisters and brothers was exactly the best spiritual preparation for his martyrdom.

Accordingly, he is regarded as a model, through the different stages of his life, for his wholehearted commitment, his availability, his uncompromising dedication, and his service first of all to his religious brothers, and then to the faithful of his diocese.

Pope John Paul II beatified Bishop Polanco at St. Peter’s in Rome on 1 October 1995.

The Augustinian family celebrates his feast on 7 February.

Rotelle, John, Book of Augustinian Saints, Augustinian Press 2000


Blessed Anselm Polanco by Dante Ricci