The martyrdom of Antonio Molle Lazo

Antonio Molle Lazo

During the early 1930s, Spain was in peril. The Church and her people were horrifically persecuted throughout the country. Laymen, priests, religious, and bishops were martyred. Religious buildings were set ablaze. These monstrous actions were carried out with wicked glee by communists, socialists, anarchists, and liberals alike with the permission from masonic lodges. These Christians have all earned their red crown of martyrdom in Heaven, but there is one martyr who stands out. As before he wore his red crown in Heaven, he wore a red beret on earth.

Antonio Molle Lazo was born to a regular Catholic family in Arcos de la Frontera, Cadiz on April 2, 1915. Antonio was blessed to have been born on that day for it was Good Friday. Moments after being born the procession of Our Father Jesus Nazarene was marching past his parents’ house, a foretelling of his martyrdom.

Throughout his life he was always known for his hard work and his dedication to his faith. He had a devotion to Christ the King and the Blessed Virgin Mary, he was enrolled in the brown scapular, would pray his rosary daily, and even avoided conversations that would entertain sin. He also received an education and worked a few odd jobs, both of which he was dedicated in his labor to do well. He proved to be a great inspiration to his friends who claimed that “one day he will be a great defender of religion.”

When he was 16 in 1931, from his family legacy and his desire to defend the faith, Catholic Spain, and the rights of the Church, he enrolled in the Carlist Youth Ministry. His role in his Carlist circle was invaluable. He formed a group of spies that would infiltrate communist and anarchist meetings in order to be informed if any churches or convents were going to be attacked. He also participated in distributing Carlist propaganda and items when there were Carlist public gatherings. In 1936, his fervent Carlist action would land him in jail as the Popular front (a political coalition of liberals, anarchists, socialists, and communists) would attempt to clamp down on the Church and Carlists even more. Even in jail his faith did not waver, instead it grew. He would sing catholic songs in the confines of his jail cell. When he was forbidden to do so, he would write prayers on the wall with chalk. He would be released two months before the start of the Civil War.

On August 10th, 1936, in the City of Penaflor, Antonio had received Holy Communion for the last time where he likely recited the act of accepting death, a common prayer among the Carlists. His time of martyrdom had arrived.

On the same day, the communists attacked the city. They surrounded the convent that Antonio and others were inside where they planned to burn it down with those trapped inside. By the grace of God all were able to escape with the help of Antonio and other Catholics. However, Antonio was captured. He was dragged out on the street where he was beaten and mocked. The demons had attempted to get him to blaspheme or reject the faith, but Antonio would respond with “Viva Espana!” and “Viva Cristo Rey!” In anger they threated to kill him and drink his blood, “you can kill me, but Christ will triumph” Antonio responded. Outraged, they cut off his ears and his nose, but Antonio would only cry out “Viva Cristo Rey!” Through the blows upon his body (especially his head) and through the excruciating torture he would not reject his faith and love of Christ. Then they took his eyes. With his last bit of strength, Antonio extended his arms and crossed his legs like Our Lord on the Cross and shouted one last time “Viva Cristo Rey!” One shot to his chest would end his life. He fell to the ground where he remained in the cross position. The communists continued to abuse his corpse and wore his eyes, ears, and nose and trophies. However, the Carlists and national army were able to push back the communists from the city where Antonio’s body would be discovered.

Antonio Molle Lazo had left his old red beret here on earth for he was rewarded with a new and glorious red crown by Our Lord in Heaven. Now he rests and sings out in praise and with joy “Viva Cristo Rey”. Antonio Molle Lazo. Pray for us.

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