I would like to inform you with joy that Pope Francis authorized the Congregation of the Causes of Saints on October 2 to promulgate the Decree of the Martyrdom of the Servant of God Joan Roig i Diggle, layman.

As General Postulators, FF. József Ruppert, Mateusz Pindelski and I have provided this service to the cause at the request of the Associació d’Amics de Joan Roig i Diggle.

The connection of the Servant of God with our Order is because he studied at our School of Barcelona Escola Pia Nostra Senyora in Carrer Diputació from 1927 to 1934, that is when he was 10 to 17 years old. There he stood out for his seriousness, respect and dedication to the study. He was very close to the Piarist fathers Francisco Carceller Galindo and Ignasi Casanovas  Perramon, both killed in 1936 and Beatified by John Paul II on October 1, 1995.

Synthetically we can say of the life of Joan Roig that he was born in Barcelona (Spain) on May 12, 1917, lived from his childhood in a way consistent with his faith. He studied  first with the Brothers of the Salle. Then he went to our school to study high school. Having serious economic problems his family, they had to leave Barcelona and went to a nearby town, Masnou. He began working to help his family, first in a tissue warehouse and then in a factory in Barcelona, alternating it with his studies so that he could finish high school and then become a lawyer. In Masnou he actively participated in the ideals of the Federation of Young Christians of Catalonia. During the war, a hidden Barcelona priest entrusted the Eucharistic reserve to him to have it at home and distribute communion to his family and to those who needed it. The day he was arrested, realizing that the reserve was in danger, consumed it all to avoid its desecration. When he said goodbye to his mother, when he was taken away by the militiamen, he said to her “God is with me.” After this he was shot near the cemetery of Santa Coloma de Gramanet on September 12, 1936, when he was 19 years old.

Every cause has a process of many steps that lasts for years and involves historical research, testimonies, study, theological research, collection of documentary evidence, etc., all of them necessary to ensure the truthfulness and authenticity of the object of the object of the study. As an illustration I share this process or iter leading to the approval of the promulgation of the decree of the Martyrdom:

The investigation of the process took place  in the Diocese of Barcelona on November 24, 1998  with the  nulla osta of the Holy See; the opening session was held on October 4, 1999 and the closing session on May 16, 2001;  on March13, 2000, the Declaration of  Non-cultu was made; on January 29, 2002 the Decree opening the diocesan investigation of martyrdom; on June 6, 2003, the Congregation of the Causes of Saints issued the Decree on the Validity of the Diocesan Investigation on  Martyrdom; on October 31,  2003 the appointment of the Rapporteur, Msgr. José Luis Gutiérrez Gómez; on May 19, 2006 the “ Positio super Martyrio” is introduced to the consultant theologians; on December, 9 2014, the Peculiar Congress of Theologian Consultants on Martyrdom took place; on March 19, 2019,  the final theological Congress on Martyrdom was held; on October 1, 2019 it was the Ordinary Session of Bishops  and Cardinals; finally on October 2, Pope Francis approved the promulgation of the Decree of Martyrdom of the Servant of God.

May the life and death of this young man who knew how to remain faithful to his friendship with Jesus and his values inspire us in these times of existential relativism a life of greater dedication, trust in the Lord and work for his Kingdom to reach all, especially the children, young people and families entrusted to us in our Piarist Ministry.

Fr. Andrés Valencia Henao Sch. P.

General Postulator

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