Spanish Civil War: Letter of the Bishop of Madrid to Fr Andrew Macardle, S.J. (22nd May, 1939)
The Jesuits at Gardiner Street in Dublin once maintained an association of laity and religious dedicated to furnishing essentials to poor or persecuted Catholics around the world. After the Fall of Madrid in the Spanish Civil War, the association – which was under the management of Fr Andrew Macardle, S.J. – dispatched large consignments of vestments, various altar requisites, etc. to Madrid. Mgr Leopoldo Eijo y Garay, Bishop of the Diocese of Madrid (now Archdiocese of Madrid) had earlier wrote to Fr Macardle asking him to send assistance when clergy were allowed to return to their churches. Leading Dublin retailing businesses donated large quantities and the prominent Palgrave Murphy shipping company transported everything to Spain for free. The assistance prompted the following letter of gratitude from the Bishop of Madrid to Father Macardle:
Dear Reverend Father,
A thousand thanks for your letter of April 15th, in which you informed me of the generous gift that the Irish Catholics were sending to their brethren in Madrid who had been despoiled of everything by Marxian atheism. It is needless for me to say how grateful we are to you all and how fervently we pray to the Lord to reward your generosity a hundred fold. All of you who so zealously have gathered the different objects, and those who so generously donated them, will occupy a special place in my prayers and in those of the faithful of my diocese.
Their regard for noble Ireland — the sister nation of Spain, will increase. I feel sure; for Ireland shares with Spain the feelings of submission and love towards the Catholic Church for which both nations have so often shed the blood of their sons. I request you to tender to all the donors my deepest feelings of gratitude and to entreat them all — both religious and lay people — never to cease to pray to Our Lord to give us the help and the necessary graces of which we are so much in need today, so that we may be enabled to carry out successfully the work of moral and material reconstruction of our diocese which we have so much at heart.
Thanking you once again and bestowing upon you my heartfelt blessing.
Sincerely yours in Our Lord,
Bishop of Madrid-Alcala.
Joint Letter of the Spanish Bishops to the Bishops of the Whole World Concerning the War in Spain (1937), the Reply of the Irish Hierarchy to the Spanish Hierarchy, and the Reply of the Cardinal Primate of Spain to the Cardinal Primate of All Ireland