Loading
Moving testimonies from priests who attended to victims of Madrid bombings

.- In response to an urgent call for help from Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela of Madrid, hundreds of priests and religious rushed to the scene of last week’s terrorist attacks in Madrid in order to help and console victims of the bombings. “I remember an 18 year-old young man.  He was with his friend.  He no longer has a family.  His father died 8 years ago and he was living alone with his mother. On the 11th, she had the day off and decided to go shopping in Madrid.  At the Atocha station she was met with death.  He told me, ‘I’m all alone now. I only have my friends.’  I told him, ‘And you have a priest, too, who also loves you and prays for your mother.’  I gave him my address,” said Fr. Angel Camino of the Parish of San Manuel and San Benito.

”And this is perhaps the most tragic,” continues Fr. Camino.  “Maria de la Soledad was seated next to one of the backpacks filled with explosives.  She was identified by her fingerprints. She was totally blown to pieces, her sister tells me.  What a coincidence!  Her children were baptized in my parish and her funeral will be here at the express wishes of her husband and parents.  All I have done is listen and listen, offer consolation and be present through these small acts of love.  The reward has been infinitely greater.  I haven’t been turned away by hardly anyone.  Quite the contrary.  What a lesson of how love pain can be turned into love, of suffering offered up.”

Fr. Santiago Martín was present at the make-shift morgue set up to hold the bodies of those slain.  “It is very hard to describe the scene.  I have had a hard time sleeping, my chest is hurting and I am nervous.   The bodies were on the floor in white and black plastic bags, lined up like soldiers going to receive a medal:  the one God was going to give them in Heaven.”

“After I finished praying for the repose of their souls, I knelt down and found it very difficult not to weep.  Even now tears well up in my eyes.  Later we went to where more of the deceased were being held, according to the areas in which the victims were killed, blessing those bodies that were deprived of life.”

Soon after receiving word of the Archbishop’s request, Jesuit Fr. Alberto Lopez, 81, went to one of the places where victims were being treated.  “I remember speaking with a grieving young man, his eyes red from so many tears.  The remains of his pregnant wife of just three years had just been identified.  I was speechless, like a blank page,” he said.

“I was so moved by that young man who had lost his wife in the attacks,” said Fr. Juan Carlos Garcia.  “Although they advised him not to lift up the sheet that covered the body of his wife, he did so and broke down in tears and anger.  It was very difficult,” the priest said.


”I was moved and I approached him and asked if he wanted to pray the Our Father for his wife.  He tearfully agreed, and we prayed as our voices trembled.  I hugged him as we said goodbye and gave him my blessing.  Since then I have remembered him in all my Masses, that the Lord might console him, bless him and protect him,” he concluded.

Chaplains at the hospitals were the wounded were treated worked tirelessly to offer their assistance.  Fr. Jesus Herrero, chaplain of the Gregorio Marañon Hospital, recalled that he visited “an Ecuadorian who was under heavy sedation. When I told him I was the chaplain, he opened his eyes with joy and said, ‘Father, we must thank God for those who have survived and pray for those who didn’t.’ The strength of those wounded is remarkable.”

Fr. Fructuoso, chaplain at La Paz Hospital, said that “some of those wounded asked to go to confession and they and their family members were thankful for the spiritual assistance.  I concentrated on helping family members who came in search of their children.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: