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Blessed Francisco Solís Pedrajas


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Feast Day: April 3

Birth: July 9, 1877
Death: April 1, 3
Blessed Francisco Solís Pedrajas, also known as Blessed Francisco Solis, was born on July 9, 1877, in Marmolejo, Jaén, Spain, into a poor yet devoutly Catholic family. From a young age, Francisco displayed a deep piety and a strong desire to serve God.
Following his calling, Francisco was ordained as a priest in the diocese of Jaén on December 22, 1900. He began his ministry at the parish of Santiago Apóstol in Valdepeñas de Jaén, Spain, where he served for six years. During this time, he fervently pursued his theological studies, earning a degree in theology and becoming known for his exceptional knowledge, zeal, and piety.
In 1914, Francisco was appointed as the Archpriest of Mancha Real, Spain. In this role, he demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and a commitment to the spiritual welfare of his parishioners. He established a Catholic Union and created both men's and women's branches of Catholic Action. Through these organizations, he aimed to foster the faithful's active involvement in the Church and promote the values of the Catholic faith.
Amidst the tumultuous times of the Spanish Civil War and the subsequent anti-Christian persecutions, Father Francisco Solís Pedrajas found himself imprisoned, along with other priests and faithful. Despite the difficulties and restrictions imposed on him, Father Francisco tirelessly ministered to his fellow prisoners, providing spiritual guidance, hearing confessions, and offering absolution. His unwavering faith and compassionate service during these dark times of persecution earned him the admiration and respect of those around him.
Tragically, Father Francisco was sentenced to death for the "crime" of being a priest. However, due to the deep respect that his fellow prisoners held for him, he was the last of the group to be executed. Seizing this opportunity, Father Francisco made the most of his remaining time, continuing to hear confessions, grant absolution, and comfort his companions until his final moments.
On April 3, 1937, at the parish cemetery of Mancha Real, Jaén, Spain, Father Francisco Solís Pedrajas was executed at dawn. His body was callously dumped into a common grave in the cemetery, a testament to the brutality and persecution faced by the Catholic Church during this period.
Recognizing the heroic virtues and martyrdom of Father Francisco Solís Pedrajas, Pope Francis proclaimed him Blessed on October 27, 2013. The beatification recognition ceremony was held in Tarragona, Spain, commemorating his sacrifice and celebrating his elevation to the ranks of the Blessed.
Blessed Francisco Solís Pedrajas serves as an inspiring example of a faithful and dedicated priest who, even in the face of persecution and imminent death, courageously continued to fulfill his priestly duties and minister to the spiritual needs of others. His life and martyrdom stand as a testament to unwavering faith, selfless service, and uncompromising devotion to God and the Church.