The religious persecution
During the nineteen thirties, antireligious and anticlerical intolerance became much more radical, intense and violent than in preceding years. There were constant lootings of church property that went unpunished, monasteries and churches were set alight and burnt, priests, male and female religious and lay Catholics murdered. In Spain, divided by the Civil War, religious persecution continued in the area under Republican control until, so that by the end of the summer in 1935, 6,832 people had been killed, not because they were engaged in the fighting but simply because of their religious faith.
The nuns from Al Pie de la Cruz monastery, had, from 1931 onwards, to flee the cloister on repeated occasions and find refuge with benefactors and private families. In that atmosphere of insecurity and danger, Blessed Maria Guadalupe was elected Prioress since she could lead the sisters with prudent decisions. Later, as Mistress of Novices for the second time, she knew how to transmit enthusiasm and unconditional dedication to the will of the Father through the example of her own virtues: serenity, peace and the certainty of an everlasting life of communion with God.
In the summer of 1936, by order of the Archbishop, the nuns donned secular clothes and yet again abandoned their monastery to take refuge with their relatives and families. During the time she was in Albal, Maria Guadalupe lived the last weeks of her life in the home of her sister, Filomena, who lived in Calle de la Torre. Despite the terror that the killings of many priests and nuns generated, no-one remembers her showing any sign of fear or insecurity. On the contrary, phrases of hers have come down that show her deep peace and trust in God:
- “By myself, I would be afraid, but now I have no trust in myself but in God; if He wants me to be a martyr, He will give me what I need to be one.”
The Lord supported his faithful servant in her hour of trial and she, abandoning herself into his hands, entrusted her spirit to Him.
If God wants me to martyr
will give me what
I need to be.