"When he came to Masnou no one knew him, but his piety and ardent love for the Eucharist soon became evident. He spent hours before the Blessed Sacrament without realizing it. His example converted more than his words," the president of the FJCC youth branch wrote in 1936.
Fr. José Gili Doria, the vicar of Masnou, wrote in 1936: "One day Joan said to me: 'I normally dedicate at least two hours a day to spiritual life: Mass, communion, meditation and visit to the Blessed Sacrament; it is little, but my work and the apostolate do not give me more."
In July 1936, Joan told some of his fellow members of the FJCC they should all be preparing to receive martyrdom with grace and courage, as did the first Christians.
In the intense persecution that followed, it is estimated that some 300 young people from this organization were killed in Catalonia, including some 40 priests. The headquarters of the FJCC was burned.
Joan's mother said that in those days her son "was relieving sorrows, encouraging the timid, visiting the wounded, searching hospitals daily among the dead to find out which of his own had been killed."
"Every night, at the foot of the bed, with the crucifix clasped in his hands, he implored for some clemency, for others forgiveness, and for all mercy and strength," she said.
Cardinal Omella said: "Joan teaches us that all Christians are called to live our faith in community. No one builds his own faith alone, the Christian faith is essentially communal."
Blessed Joan Roig Diggle is currently buried in a side chapel at the parish of St. Peter in El Masnou in Barcelona.
"He can be a model of Christian life for young people and adults in our society, his testimony can arouse the desire to follow Christ with joy and generosity. The deep friendship with God, prayer, the Eucharistic life and the apostolic ardor of the young blessed unites us to Christ and his Gospel," the cardinal said.