Martyr's Of The Spanish Civil War
The Spanish civil war lasted from July 1936 to April 1939. It unleashed an immediate wave of hatred against Catholic priests, religious and lay people. During the war, 6,832 priests and religious were put to death. If they and many more lay people are all to be seen as martyrs, then this becomes by far the largest collective martyrdom in the history of the church.
The late Pope John Paul II at their beatification described them as men and women of all ages and conditions, diocesan priests, men and women religious, fathers and mothers of families, lay youths. They were killed for being Christians, for their faith in Christ, for being active members of the Church. The Spanish bishops wrote a document called 'Constructors of Peace'. They finished it by saying "Nothing of this kind, on either side, should ever be repeated. May forgiveness and magnanimity provide the climate for our times.