José María Rubio

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José María Rubio
José Rubio (1864-1929).jpg
Born 22 July 1864
Dalías, Spain
Died 2 May 1929(1929-05-02) (aged 64)
Aranjuez, Spain
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 6 October 1985, Vatican City by John Paul II
Canonized 4 May 2003, Madrid by John Paul II
Feast 4 May [1]

St. Jose Maria Rubio (22 July 1864 – 2 May 1929) was a Spanish Jesuit, known as the Apostle of Madrid by the Bishop of Madrid. He was canonised in 2003 by Pope John Paul II.

Childhood and adolescence[edit]

Son of farmers and the oldest of thirteen brothers, born to Francisco Rubio and Mercedes Peralta, he grew up in the town of Dalías, in Almería, until he entered the seminary of Almeria; where he studied Human Studies and one year of Philosophy (1876–1879). He then studied Philosophy and Theology for four years at Granada (1879–1886), where he was sponsored and protected by the professor and canon Joaquin Torres Asensio. On Ascensio's move to Madrid, Rubio followed his professor to study theology for a fifth year (1886–1887). He obtained a degree in theology in 1896 and a doctorate in Canon Law from Toledo in 1897.

Priest in suburban Madrid[edit]

Ordained priest, he celebrated his first Mass on October 12 (1887) on the altar of the conversion of San Luis Gonzaga of the then Cathedral of San Isidro of Madrid, diocese where he worked for three years as curate at Chinchón (1887–1889) and pastor at Estremera (1889–1890). In both villages was notable for its extreme austerity, his catechesis of children and the poorest service.

Later Chaplain of Bernardine nuns in the church of the Sacrament of Madrid, Almudena parish then began to be distinguished by their activity in the suburbs of the capital with the mops and "dressmakers". He also taught Latin literature, pastoral theology and metaphysics (1890–1894) at the seminar in Madrid, and was a notary and registrar of the vicariate of the diocese. A journey as a pilgrim to Holy Land and Rome (1904) lets indelible mark. During this period, described himself as "Jesuit fans", because since his time as a student of theology at Granada, had wanted to belong to this Order, to the point of becoming confused as such among the spectators who organize clerical famous riot after the theatrical representation of the "Electra" of Galdós.

Anecdotes in the life of St. José María Rubio[edit]

Father Rubio was a famed confessor. The locals used to queue, having to wait for several hours, in order to be confessed by the Father Rubio.


While confessing, a lady came and gave him the sign of a man who had to confess soon, as he was dying. That evening, Father Rubio went to visit the dying, and following the signs, he had to go to a third floor without lift. When he finally arrived, knocked and asked for the gentleman.

It's me -the gentleman said- but I think that someone has played a practical joke on you, as you see I'm in perfect health. Come on, man! spend a drink and relax after you have had to raise so many stairs. Entering the room, the Father Rubio saw a portrait on the wall, while the dying course served him a drink. Father Rubio said that the lady was who had sent him.

The dying laughed and said that he might did not take attention, as that lady was his mother and died some years ago. Then, the gentleman said; "Look, anyway, as you are here, I'm going to confess because there been years since I did not enter a church and so your journey will not have been in vain".

He confessed that night and died.


A seamstress from Madrid told in confession that his father hated the faith in God, and considered the Christian religion a swindle and a lie. Thus, she was afraid of the eternal damnation of his father. Then, Father Rubio affirmed that she should not be worried, as her father would be saved.

Some days after the confession, during a retreat and preaching, that seamstress came late. At that moment, when she arrived, Father Rubio paused for a moment in his speech and said in loud voice: "At this very moment one of you just received a very special grace. Really very, very big. In a few days you will know what it is and whoever of you has received. That lucky has to be thank our Lord Jesus Christ".

All women who were there present took note of the time and day, as he was already famous for these prophecies that were fulfilled. The seamstress in a few days, she noticed that his father died holy, and just at that time when the Father Rubio was uttered, his father was confessing and receiving the last sacraments.

His last years[edit]

When his protector, Torres Asensio, died, he managed to make his old desire to join the Jesuits in Granada, where, after the novitiate (1909), he reviewed during a year, the Theology and had a pastoral experience in Seville. After the third probation (1910–1911) in Manresa (Barcelona), was sent to Madrid, where he professed in his residence at Calle de la Flor Baja and where lived the rest of his life.

He was a withdrawn and a modest man, of great charity and tireless devotion to work, he excelled as a preacher (though not for his oratorical skills) and as a regular confessor, which caused long lines of faithful, who were looking into it further support and spiritual help. Despite the lack of brilliant human qualities, which contrasted with his housemates, effectiveness and reputation grew quickly throughout the city. It was noted for his love of the poor, who came forward to help. He developed his evangelical work in towns and suburbs, and founded and organized several associations such as the "Guard of Honor of the Sacred Heart," the work of the "Marys of the Tabernacles" and social schools Ventilla neighborhood, aided by young teachers Juan and Demetrio de Andrés, known as "Ventilla martyrs" who will die killed during the Civil War, 1936.

He died in Madrid on May 2, 1929, sitting in a pine armchair, after ordered to burn his spiritual notes. When he died, the Archbishop of Madrid, Leopoldo Eijo y Garay, called him "apostle of Madrid" and wrote a pastoral letter to their example to the clergy of his diocese.

His canonization[edit]

In life were attributed miraculous events, such as bilocation, healings, prophecy and clairvoyance, some, perhaps legendary, but others ratified by numerous witnesses. But what dominates in his memory is the testimony of his example and his word next to the message that holiness is available to all for the simple way of surrender to the will of God. His ultimate favorite was: "Do what God wants and want what God does."

Beatified by John Paul II in Rome (October 6, 1985) and canonized in Madrid by the same pontiff (May 4, 2003), his remains are venerated in the church of San Francisco de Borja and the Sacred Heart Society of Jesus in Madrid. The extraordinary fact, considered as a miracle by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in order to his canonization, was the healing of a lung cancer to the Jesuit José Luis Gómez Munten (1988).

Reflection by St. José María Rubio[edit]

You do very well, in not seeking or wanting anything other than the fulfillment of the will of God. It is the surest way to sanctify the soul. This is the life-giving and sacrifice. It's what we want from the Divine Heart ...