Blessed Marcelo Spínola y Maestre
S. Fernando (Cadiz), January 14, 1835 – Sevilla, January 19, 1906
Born on the island of San Fernando (Cadiz province) in Spain, January 14, 1835, from the noble families Spinola y Maestre. In 1855, he obtained a degree in law, which leads him to become a lawyer. In this capacity Marcello stands out for his free assistance to the poor. He abandoned the profession, entered the seminary in Seville and was ordained a priest in 1864. For 15 years he was chaplain at Sanlucar de Barramela and parish priest of San Lorenzo in Seville. He was also spiritual adviser of some local confraternities. In 1879 he became canon of the cathedral and in 1881 he was elected Auxiliary Bishop of Seville, ultimately as a bishop in the diocese of Chur. He founded the Congregation of ‘Conceptionists Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.’ In 1886 the diocese was transferred to the most important of Malaga where people began to call him the “holy bishop.” In 1896, he was archbishop of Seville, where, by sharing the hardships of the poor, he was referred to as ‘the archbishop beggar.’ In 1905 he became a cardinal. He died in Seville in 1906. He was beatified in 1987.
Roman Martyrology: In Seville in Spain, Blessed Marcello Spínola y Maestre, Bishop, founded circles of workers to support social development, fought in defense of truth and justice and opened his house to the needy.
Archbishop of Seville, Cardinal and founder of a religious congregation for women, these are the titles of the Blessed Marcello Spinola y Maestre, who was born on the island of San Fernando (Cadiz province) in Spain, January 14, 1835, from noble families Spinola y Maestre.
Of his youth not much is known, but he was a diligent student and graduated in law in 1855, then dedicated himself to the profession of lawyer (this class gave the Church illustrious figures of holiness, as s. Hélory Yvo de Kermartin in Britain and Saint Francis de Sales Bishop of Geneva in 1600, just to mention a few), Marcello was noted for the free assistance he gave to the poor.
Later he left advocacy and, following his vocation as a boy who warned, advised by canon Don Diego Herrero its spiritual leader, entered the seminary in Seville, receiving ordination at age 29 on May 21 1864.
The next fifteen years saw him engaged in as a chaplain in Sanlucar de Barramela and as pastor of St. Lorenzo in Seville, deepening his zeal in every field, especially in the sacrament of penance, to which he devoted much of the day; he was the spiritual adviser of the Brotherhood of Jesus del Gran Poder and the Virgin of Soledad, historical institutions of spirituality and devotion of the people Seville, the confraternities are particularly active during Holy Week.
In 1879 he was given the appointment as canon of the cathedral, still engaging in confessions after the prayers of the choir, and two years later, on February 6, 1881 he was elected Auxiliary Bishop of the Archbishop of Seville, Cardinal Lluch Garriga, with the title of Bishop of Milo, in the middle of his episcopal coat of arms, put out the Heart of Jesus Christ, as a symbol of his desire to devote his life to extend his kingdom.
His undisputed unconditional basis and commitment in his work, appointing him a bishop of the Diocese of Chur; here he exerted an intense apostolate especially among the humble, because he was the first bishop to visit the most depressed of Spain, Las Hurdes , who was lying in his diocese.
His fervor as a man of God led him to found a religious congregation for women the “Conceptionists Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus”, the first sister and his collaborator, particularly in drafting the new regulation, was the Marchesa Celia Mendez y Delgado, who took the name of Maria Teresa’s Heart of Jesus, the Central House is located in Madrid today.
After two years, in 1886 he was transferred to the largest diocese of Malaga, where the social struggles permeated the city and especially worked to combat ignorance, opening schools, visiting hospitals and prisons, with a brisk pace of work and dedication , he who they began to call the ‘holy bishop’, was busy preaching.
Ten years later, in 1896, he became Archbishop of Seville, the sivigliani rushed en masse to welcome their “Don Marcello” who returned as archbishop, since then his life as a shepherd was closely linked to political, social, moral and religious the city is always in disaster for the poor, so that the archbishop was called beggar; pope s. Pius X elevated him to cardinal purple on 11 December 1905.
He had a cheerful, simple, humble and practical spirit and was a great apostle of charity, especially toward the poor, drawing his strength from his continual prayers.
After 10 years of episcopate nell’archidiocesi Andalusia, he died in Seville on January 19, 1906 and was buried in the Chapel of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Sorrows; in 1913 a great mausoleum was dedicated. His ‘Sisters’ continued their community life led by Mother Maria Teresa, until her death on June 2, 1908 and then by the archbishop’s sister, Rosario who became nun with the name of the parent San Marcello, until 1927.
On May 14, 1927 began the process ordinario in Seville for the cause of his beatification, the process ended with the solemn beatification by Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in Rome, March 19, 1987.
SOURCE: Santi e Beati