Short biography of Blessed Manuel Gómez González and Adilio Daronch
Fr. Manuel Gómez González was born to José Gómez and Josefa González on May 29, 1877, in the parish of San José de Ribartame, Diocese of Tuy, Spain. He was ordained a priest on May 24, 1902, and first performed his priestly ministry in his own Diocese of Tuy. In 1904, he moved to the Diocese of Braga, Portugal, where he worked for several years in the parish of Val de Vez. In 1911, he was transferred to the parish Monsaò. In August 1913, with the permission of the ordinary of Braga and due to political and religious problems in Portugal, he departed for Brazil. After working briefly in the parish of Soledade, he was made the pastor of Nonoai on December 7, 1915, a parish spread over a huge territory of land, almost as large as the present-day diocese of Frederico Westphalen (11,000 Km). In the eight years for which he was pastor, he totally changed the appearance of the parish, also taking care of the Indians there. For a little while, he was also the parochial administrator of another immense parish, Palmeiras das Missoes, in which territory he would be martyred. On his long journeys, he was often accompanied by Adilio Daronch, an adolescent boy who would assist him as an altar server. He was a good and faithful boy and a student at Fr. Manuel’s school. The son of Italian immigrants from Agordo, in the province of Belluno, he was born on October 25, 1908. Bishop Atico Eusebio da Rocha, the bishop of Santa Maria, asked Fr. Manuel to visit a group of German-Brazilian settlers who lived in the forest of High Uruguay, present-day Tres Passos. Even though revolutionary fervor was then reigning in the region, the priest departed promptly for this mission. After celebrating Holy Week in his parish of Nonoai, he began the long journey, stopping at Palmeria for two weeks, he administered the sacraments and urged the local revolutionaries to respect him, for they were all Christians and Brazilians. Such talk did not satisfy some of the more extreme revolutionaries, who did not appreciate the work of the priest, helped by his altar server, when he buried with all charity the bodies, until then left unburied, of some victims of a rival band. Following the long journey, still joined by young Adilio, Fr. Manuel stopped first at Braga, and then in a military settlement, where he celebrated his final Mass in the ruined chapel. It was May 20, 1924. Though the Christians there had warned him not to make the journey, because he was risking his life, on the next day he continued his walk in the woods to reach the settlers at Tres Passos. Once there, he would have performed baptisms, blessed marriages and heard confessions. Along the way, he stopped at a market to ask a group of soldiers for the right direction. The soldiers offered to accompany them, but it was not by chance that they were there. The leaders of the troops, knowing their route, were laying in wait for them in this remote part of the forest. Having gone a little further into the woods and come to some high ground, they made Fr. Manuel and young Adilio get off their mules, bound them to two trees, and cruelly executed them by firing squad. Thus they died as victims of anticlerical and materialist hatred, the worthy pastor of the wilderness and his faithful altar boy. It was the morning of May 21, 1924. The remained unburied for four days, but the wild animals of the woods respected their bodies, which remained incorrupt. The settlers of Tres Passos gave them a merciful burial in an improvised cemetery at the spot of their martyrdom, praying and singing hymns. Two crosses, a larger and a smaller one, were placed on the mounds of earth. Eight years after this brutal killing, their venerated bodies were moved to the parish church, and a monument was erected over the site of their martyrdom. Later, in 1964, at the request of Bishop Joao Hoffmann, the first bishop of the new diocese of Frederico Westphalen, the martyrs’ mortal remains were transferred to the parish church of Nonoai, first journeying for three months to all the parishes of the diocese, in order to be venerated by the priests and faithful of the diocese. The fame of their martyrdom among the faithful has never declined, and large numbers of pilgrims are always going to prayer before their tombs, which never lack for candles and flowers. After the beatification of Fr. Manuel and Adilio in 2007, the precious relics were placed beneath the high altar of the parish church.
Rademaker H. S., Cruz e Coroa de Três Passos, Itapecerica da Serra (SP) 1954.
Rubert Pe. Arlindo, Servos de Deus Pe. Manuel e Adilio, Pluma, Frederico Westphalen (SC) 2007.
Id., O herói do Alto Uruguai, S. Maria (RS) 1986.
Actor of the Cause: Diocese of Frederico Westphalen
Path of the Cause
Diocese of Frederico Westphalen
-Nihil Obstat from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints March 29, 1996
-Diocesan Inquiry 1996-1997
-Opening of the Transunto of the Diocesan Inquiry May 7, 1997
-Decree of Legal Validity December 4, 1998
-Appointment of a Relator, Mons. José Luis Gutierrez, January 22, 1999
-Meeting of Historical Consultors February 13, 2001
-Meeting of Theological Consultors September 26, 2006
-Appointment of the Proponent of the Cause October 17, 2006
-Ordinary Session of Cardinals and Bishops November 21, 2006
-Decree of Super Martyrio December 16, 2006
-Celebration of Beatifications October 21, 2007