Martina Vázquez

From Vincentian Encyclopedia
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Martina Vázquez Gordo (30 January 1865 in Cuellar, Spain – 4 October 1936 in Valencia) was one of eight children born to Zacarías and Antonia Vázquez, owners of a pastry shop.

Despite the opposition of her parents, Martina entered the Company of the Daughters of Charity. She served in hospitals, including as the organizer of a military hospital in northern Africa. She also served in various leadership roles. She was known for her courage in advocacy for the poor, her optimism, and her great sense of humor.

When the Spanish civil war broke out, Martina and other members of the community were housed as prisoners for a time in the home of someone who had been served by the Daughters.

Several times Martina was threatened with death. Believing that she was to die on October 4, 1936, she dressed herself in her habit and, as she was led to a firing squad, prayed for those who were persecuting her. Immediately before she was shot, she knelt, made the sign of the cross and, with crucifix in her right hand, proclaimed her belief in the words of Christ in Matthew 10:32: “Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.”