During the 1930’s the leftist Republican Government of Spain attempted to introduce atheism into all aspects of Spanish life, including the education system. It was also during this time that the Spanish Civil War brought depression and bloodshed to Mallorca.
The events that took place and their effect on society ignited a burning passion in many of the Spanish youth and they responded to a call from Pope Pius XI to begin a crusade declaring Christ as saviour.
In an attempt to show the world that faith was alive in Spain, thousands of youth were organised into a spiritual army that was destined to make a great pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, the ancient shrine of St James the Apostle in northern Spain.
The organisation of the pilgrimage was undertaken by Catholic Action which was created in Italy by Pope Pius XI. It operated at the diocesan and national levels and its sole purpose was to take 100,000 youths to Santiago on the pilgrimage.
The method entailed training leaders in what was known as ‘Cursillo for Pilgrim Leaders’, at the diocesan level, and ‘Cursillo for Pilgrim Guides’ at the parish level. Catholic Action cursillos had the specific purpose of preparing, spiritually and materially, for the pilgrimage to Santiago. They were focused exclusively towards the wealthy young men from the upper class, students of the schools and colleges run by the great religious orders and who already belonged to Catholic Action. Each Cursillo lasted for an entire week.
The diocesan President of the Mallorca branch or Catholic Action, Jose Ferregut, recognised the potential of one Eduardo Bonnin as someone he considered to be a prime candidate for leadership in Catholic Action.
Eduardo was born into a business family who exported grains and dried fruits. The Augustinians were Eduardo’s educators and his parents hired special professors in order to give their children teachings that would be in accordance with the Catholic Church. At the time, discrimination against everyone who had converted to Catholicism and whose family name was Jewsish, was still very present, and they were compelled, in spite of their conversion, to live in ghettos and to marry within.
So Eduardo grew up in a devout Catholic family and his environment consisted solely of friends and acquaintances who were practicing Catholic, young men from the middle and rural classes. These young people spent their leisure time enjoying activities that revolved around the world of the clergy and under the ideology of Catholic Action.
Leave a comment
Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.