Saint (Brother) Jaime Hilario, FSC (January 2, 1889 Enviny, Lleida Province – January 18, 1937) was a Spanish member of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Born Manuel Barbal Cosan in Enviny near the Pyrenees in northern Spain, he entered a minor seminary at age 12 for the diocese of Urgel. He soon, however, developed hearing problems and withdrew from the school.
In 1917 he was accepted by the Christian Brothers and began his novitiate in Irun, Spain, where he took the name Jaime Hilario. He spent the next 16 years in various teaching assignments and was regarded as an exceptional teacher. His hearing problems continued to persist and worsen and by the early 1930s he was forced to stop teaching completely and began work as a gardener at the formation house at San José, in Tarragona.
At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936, while traveling to visit his family at Enviny, Hilario was arrested for being a religious. By December he was transferred to a prison ship at Tarragona. Although he could have claimed that he was a gardener, he insisted that he was a religious and in January 1937 was tried and convicted for being a member of the Christian Brothers.
When two volleys from a firing squad failed to harm him, the firing squad commander shot Hilario at close range. His last words were: “To die for Christ, my young friends, is to live.” He was the first of 97 Christian Brothers killed in Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War.
He was beatified on April 29, 1990 and canonized on November 21, 1999 by Pope John Paul II.
His feast day is January 18.
Educational institution named after Jaime Hilario
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