Servant of God Father Ricardo Gil Barcelon (1873-1936)
From Manzanera (Teruel - Spain), killed by the revolutionaries in hatred of the faith at Valencia (Spain) in 1936, at 62 years of age, 24 of profession and 31 of priesthood.
Just turned 12, he joined the Seminary. At 20 he was a soldier in the Philippines. Back in Spain, he was ordained priest in 1904. His life was somewhat adventurous, both by choice and because of the way things turned out. He was a soldier, a musician, a very learned man, and an extremely lively and restless personality.
In 1909 he met Don Orione in Rome and became a faithful disciple, unshakeable and staunch in trusting Divine Providence. Since spending time in the Philippines, he always carried in his heart the desire to be a missionary. And he was a missionary in Italy and in his own country, Spain, where he opened the doors to the Congregation. Don Orione described him as of "most chaste life, exemplary among young people and people in general, ever ready to obey and preferring to stay in the house even more than necessary; a man of penance, given to fasting and wearing a hair-shirt, most ardent in prayer, reliable and unassuming".
Father Ricardo Gil carried heavy crosses, such as slander, in Calabria (Southern Italy), and religious persecution, in the years of social unrest in Spain, 1931-1936.
He was arrested in Valencia and urged to renounce his faith in exchange for his life; he died crying: "Long live Christ the King!"
Servant of God Aspirant Antonio Arrue Peiro
From Calatayud (Saragozza, Spain), killed in hatred of the faith at Valencia (Spain) in 1936, at 28 years of age.
He lost his mother in 1923 and a sister in 1926. And on August 28, 1928, the father too died, suddenly. Antonio, by now an orphan and abandoned by the relatives, around the age of 20 went through a very bad time. He got to Valencia, and in 1931, he met Father Ricardo Gil, who asked him to join him.
He was a conscientious young man, pious, given to sacrifice and work, of a few words. Father Gil, knowing his desire and thinking him suitable for the Congregation, wrote about him to Don Orione: "I would like to bring him to Tortona in the future, because he wants to be a member of the Little Work of Divine Providence. I am convinced of his vocation and I hope he will succeed well. He has no father or mother; he is tall and strong, has good memory, a painter and loves religious matters". For 5 years Antonio persevered, as an aspirant, in the life of prayer and dedication to serving others, not sparing himself in the work of charity by assisting the poor who, trustingly, came calling at the house in droves.
When on 3rd August he met the cart on which the militia men had forced Father Gil to mount, he, without any hesitation whatsoever, run to him and wanted to stay with him. Then, seeing the Father falling down under a barrage of bullets, he jumped near, trying to hold him up; one of the guards smashed his head with the butt of the rifle.