Friar Buenaventura García de Paredes OP., Former Master General of the Order of Preachers, was born and baptized on April 19, 1866, in Castañedo de Valdés, near Luarca, Asturias, Spain. He had a brother who was a Diocesan Priest, and as a young boy he took care of his father's sheep as a shepherd boy. He began his primary studies in his hometown and in a preceptory at the behest of the Dominican Friar Esteban Sacrest, he entered the Apostolic School or the Minor Seminary of Corias, where he continued his studies for two years, but his precarious health forced him to go home and rest. Once recovered, he proceeded to the Apostolic School of Ocaña, Toledo, where he was given the cell once inhabited by Dominican Bishop and Martyr, Saint Melchor Garcìa Sampedro. He made his Profession through the Order of Preachers on August 31, 1884, after terminating his third year theology, and was sent to the University of Salamanca to take up civil law which he later continued with philosophy and letters, in Valencia and Madrid. He was ordained to the priesthood in Ávila on July 25, 1891, and successively served as Professor of Political and Administrative Law at the University of Santo Tomás in Manila and as editor of the Catholic Daily "Libertas", defending the case of Msgr. Bernardino Nozaleda OP., the Archbishop of Manila.
Elected Prior of Santo Tomás de Ávila in 1901, Rector of the College of Santa María de Nieva, Segovia, and Prior of Ocaña in 1910, during this time, he was elected Prior Provincial with residence in Manila. For seven years he developed a fruitful activity of service to the Province which was then the most numerous and the most extensive Province within the Order. He ceded some Mission Fields in China and Vietnam to other Provinces. The House of the Province in Valencia was given up to begin the restoration of the Province of Aragon. He founded the Magazine "Misiones Dominicanas" and acquired new properties to build the new Campus of the University of Santo Tomás in Manila. He founded the Apostolic School of La Mejorada, near Olmedo, Valladolid, and extended the presence of the Province to the United States, in Tangipahoa, and the Center of Studies at Rosaryville, New Orleans, Louisiana, which was inaugurated in 1911.
In 1917 he took charge of the construction and was made Superior of the Convent of the Rosary of Madrid at Calle Conde de Peñalver and for nine years, he dedicated himself to the Ministry and the direction of souls. In 1926, he was elected Master General of the Order, he prostrated on the floor to supplicate the Chapter Fathers to free him from this office, but seeing the insistence of the Electors, he accepted the Office at the end, succeeding Friar Ludwig Theissling. Though his Mastership only lasted for two and a half years, he visited different provinces, acquired the locale for the Angelicum in Rome, wrote various circulars and faithfully complied with the obligations of his office. In 1929, due to some problems and the precarious state of his health, he presented his resignation, being succeeded by Friar Martin Gillet.
He retired to Ocaña and was in Madrid in the middle of July 1936. Although he had to seek refuge in various places, he always manifested a great religious spirit and devotion to the Eucharist. He was convinced that only by confiding to the mercy of God can one conceive some hope during those chaotic situation. Detained on August 11, the Friar was brought to the Checa García de Paredes. From there he was escorted to Fuencarral, Madrid, where he was martyred by a firing squad on August 12, in a property called Valdesenderín del Encinar. A breviary and a Rosary were later found beside his cadaver.
Originally buried at the Cemetery of Fuencarral, his remains were exhumed in 1940, and moved to the Crypt of the Santísimo Rosario Church in Madrid, and ultimately to the Santo Tomás de Ávila Convent in 1967.
The shepherd's son who rose to become the pastor of the Order of Preachers, was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI, on October 28, 2007.
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