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Victoria Díez

Victoria Díez by Julie Lonneman

Artist's Narrative:

Victoria Díez y Bustos de Molina was the only child born to a devout Sevillian couple of modest means. She was a gifted and charming person who fostered a deep spiritual life. At her parents' suggestion she studied to become a teacher, while taking courses at Seville's School of Arts and Crafts.

For ten years Victoria taught in the rural public school system, where schools had many students and few resources. By all accounts she was a competent and dedicated teacher who also supported the parish priest by her involvement in many parish ministries. She was known for her charity to her students, especially to the neediest children in her class, despite her own meager salary. Victoria recognized that her teaching was an important ministry. She once said, "Praying before the Blessed Sacrament I find strength, courage, light and all the love I need to help those entrusted to me on the way of salvation."

At the start of the Spanish Civil War, there was an attack on the Church in Hornachuelos, the small town where Victoria lived and taught. At nightfall on August 11, 1936, she was arrested along with seventeen others and taken to prison, all the while remaining calm, quiet and prayerful. At daybreak she and the others were shot to death by a firing squad in an abandoned mine. Witnesses recount her words of encouragement to everyone: "Come on, our reward is waiting for us!"

Spain, 1903-1936.

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During ten years Victoria was a rural teacher in the public school system, where schools had many students and few resources.

In 1928 she arrived in Hornachuelos, in southern Spain. She was 25 and well aware of having received an important mission: she had received a town and felt responsible for it. She worked in the local church, in Catholic Action, and catechesis and was unconditional support to the parish priest.

On the 11 of August of 1936, she was detained in her home, imprisoned and taken, with a group of men and the parish priest, to an abandoned mine outside the city. On the way, she encouraged her companions, reminding them that they would meet Christ. She was shot at dawn, on August 12.

Victoria was an exemplary teacher in the classroom and outside of it, in life and in death, then and now.

1903. Victoria Díez y Bustos de Molina is born on November 11th in Seville.

1917. Obtains her Diploma in Drawing

1923. Obtains the degree as a teacher at the normal School of Seville.

1926. Joins the Teresian Association. Obtains placement as a National Teacher.

1927. Arrives as a teacher in Cheles, Badajoz.

1928. Moves to Hornachuelos, Córdoba, as a teacher of a school of 70.

1929. Organizes night school for working women and a library for alumni. Visits the families, collaborates in the parish, creates a Catholic Action group for women.

1931. Is appointed to the Local Council of Elementary Education and then its President.

1936. Is detained August 11th in her home and is shot early on the 12th, close to an abandoned mine, giving her life as a martyr.

1993. Is beatified in Rome, with Father Pedro Poveda, on October 10 by Pope John Paul II.

—Excerpts from “Victoria Díez”, Teresian Association