Francisco Sauri was born in Catalonia in 1795 and entered the Society of Jesus at the age of 22. His congregation assigned him to the Imperial College in Madrid, where he was appreciated for his good character. He was assigned the position of procurer of the house. There, he was in the summer of 1834.
The situation was complicated, because a cholera epidemic had arrived in Europe from India and was ravaging the Villa and court. Politically, the weak liberal government of Martínez de la Rosa feared the arrival of the troops of H.C.M. Carlos V and from the bases of the liberal party, that is to say, from the lodges, they worked actively to intoxicate the atmosphere with anti-Catholic and anti-Royalist propaganda.
They spread the rumor that the cholera epidemic had its origin in the water of the springs, previously poisoned by members of the religious orders. This rumor was intensely spread among the Urban Militia —paramilitary corps— and the people, who watched in horror as the epidemic progressed. July 17, 1834 was the day marked by the secret societies: a day of revolution, that is, of massacre, pillage and desolation. It is known as the day of the ” Beheadings of the Friars “.
With shouts of “Long live liberty!” members of the Urban Militia and revolutionary elements burst into the building of the Imperial College, located on Toledo Street. Some of its occupants were able to take refuge in the chapel and, by Providence, saved their lives. Others, like Father Francisco Sauri, did not have enough time.
Father Sauri remained seated in his cell, praying the Rosary. That is how the assailants found him. Before taking him out to shoot him dead, they could hear him say “O Most Sacred Heart, receive my spirit; forgive them, for they know not what they do”.
Translated by Daniel Rodríguez Guerra, Círculo Carlista Camino Real de Tejas