Joan Baptista Grau i Vallespinós

Joan Baptista Grau i Vallepsinós was born in Reus in 1832; he was 20 years older than Gaudí. At age 14, attended the mission of San Antony Maria Claret in the nearby village of la Selva del Camp, as the saint was prevented from entering in Reus. Joan Baptista did with other young people from Reus two hours away and even spent a night sleeping at the bare, to be able to confess with saint Antony Maria Claret. Listening to the sermon of the holy day of the Magdalene, she was called to the priesthood. He studied in the seminar of Barcelona, and at the civil University was appointed assistant Manuel Milà i Fontanals in the chair of literature. He was ordained priest in 1859 and then graduated in law and in philosophy and literature. In 1863 he was appointed canonical of Tarragona, then the metropolitan archdiocese of Catalonia, of which he was vicar general with a special dedication to the Catholic press and the Christian archeology. Since 1867 he was president of the Archaeological Society Tarraconense, from where it was working with the Associació Catalanista d’Excursions Científicas. He founded several free schools for children of laborers in Tarragona. He was appointed by Pope Leo XIII bishop of Astorga, and took office on Oct. 16, 1886, going to live, like its predecessors, in the episcopal palace. On December 23, 1886 burned the building and Dr. Grau commissioned Gaudi to the reconstruction. In just three years, turned around to the underdeveloped status of the diocese, through various initiatives such as a new curriculum of the seminar, the magazine "El Criterio Tridentino", the Catholic weekly magazine "La Luz", schools in various locations, etc. . Imbued with the ideals of the Renaissance Christian of Catalonia, was related to Fr. Jacint Verdaguer and with the bishops Josep Morgades and Josep Torras i Bages, and gave a cash prize of Jocs Florals of the Catholic Youngest in Barcelona. He died in 1893 during a pastoral visit to the village of Tábara and left his library to Catholic Center of Reus.

Josep Maria Tarragona, December 6, 2008

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Last update: 06/05/2016