Barbastro, Spain. The newly renovated Museum of the Claretian Martyrs of Barbastro is getting ready to open its doors after a significant renovation, marking a new chapter in the history of the Claretian Missionaries. On December 11, 2023, an emotional event took place, attended by Father Mathew Vattamattan, CMF, the Superior General of the Claretian Missionaries, members of the General Government, and all the Governments of the Provinces of Europe (ECLA), along with the Claretian community of Barbastro. The museum’s blessing symbolizes a commitment to the martyrs’ history and legacy, representing a renewal of their mission.
The museum has been preserving the memory of the 51 Claretians beatified by Pope John Paul II since its opening in 1992. These martyrs have had a strong connection with the city of Barbastro since 1869 and are an eternal witness of faith and loyalty to Christ. The renovation has made the museum more modern and accessible while maintaining its historical message’s essence.
The museum has recently undergone several improvements and now features eight rooms, each with a unique theme. Visitors can access multimedia content using QR codes, which enhances their interactive and educational experience. Furthermore, the crypt, the sacred space that holds the martyrs’ remains, has been kept untouched, preserving the solemn and reverent atmosphere of the museum.
In September 2022, the Provincial Government of Santiago decided to renovate the Claretian Martyrs Museum in Barbastro. The renovation work has been ongoing for over a year, with more than eighty Claretians and lay people involved. They have adapted eight rooms with explanatory panels, created over one hundred explanatory videos, launched a website for the museum, and designed a web guide to assist visitors during their tour.(Fr. Miguel Ángel Velasco, CMF, project coordinator)
The blessing ceremony, which included the celebration of the Eucharist, underscored the importance of this space as a witness that helps to live the faith with the radicality and dedication lived by the martyrs, whose only treasure was Christ.
The Museum of the Claretian Martyrs of Barbastro, which has already received more than 113,000 visitors since its opening, is set to reopen its doors to people worldwide. This museum is an integral part of Claretian history and showcases the life and martyrdom of these missionaries, inspiring all who visit.
The reopening event will take place soon and will be announced on their website at www.martirescmfbarbastro.org.
Source: European Conference Communication Committee