I‘ve had to use Google translate for this post because I couldn’t find enough info in English, so please do excuse any mistakes. And if anyone has more info, let me know and I’ll edit.

This is taken directly from an article on Catholic.net and I’ve had to edit for clarity – the original (in Spanish) can be found here


It was the evening of December 28, feast of the Holy Innocents, in 1952. The coffin with the mortal remains of the now-servant of God Josefina Vilaseca Alsina arrived at the cemetery of her native town, Horta d Avinyó, in the Catalan region Of Bages. A dense burial procession took the long journey from the parish church to the cemetery.

Crowds also followed the funeral procession to the church and then to the cemetery of this city, where they performed the autopsy before transferring it to their home town.

Why this large crowd? Who was this Josefina? What had happened?

A frail virgin had died martyr as a result of the wounds caused by Josep Garriga, infuriated because she had not allowed him to satisfy his libidinal desires.

Josefina had been sent by her mother to the Salabernada farmhouse, in the municipality of Artés, adjoining Horta, to help and accompany the owner, Dolors Guardiola. Josep Garriga, who was there, was an orphan since the age of nine, illiterate and neglected in religion. At that time he was already twenty-four years old and had become infatuated with Josefina, a young woman of twelve. When Josefina went to her house on weekends, she told her mother she did not want to go back to Salabernada. His mother answered: Patience that is for a short time. It is known that another girl from Horta, Felicitat, endured only one week in Salbernada, before Josefina.

On December 4, when the owner of the house had left to shop for Artés, Josep Garriga used this circumstance to force Josefina. But she resisted, crying, “Not this! God does not want this! It is sin!” Meanwhile, the young virgin tried to escape the greedy claws of carnal desire.

Josep, for a time, ran after Josefina in the large mansion, causing several injuries with a kitchen knife. When she came to the room next to the kitchen, where they used to sew and do other needlework and crochet, which in principle could have been a safe haven once the door key had been locked, the evil aggressor prevented her from locking herself in with his foot. Then he lunged at the fragile victim, who fell immolated, bleeding near the brazier.

The young man, believing her dead, left her and, with all his coolness, went to his tasks. He came back again to make sure she was not alive. Then she lay still, making herself appear dead, so he would not get mad at her again and finish her off.

When Dolors returned, she was surprised that Josefina was not there to receive her. Uneasy, she begins to call her, as she climbs the stairs to the first floor, where there is the large dining room, the kitchen and the rooms (usual in large Catalan country houses). Upon hearing it, Josefina moves as she can to make noise and get Dolors’ attention. This was how Dolors found the dramatic consequences of unbridled passion.

Josefina, although it seems incredible, is still alive. Dolors reacts quickly and ties a handkerchief around her badly wounded neck, puts her on the bed and locks the door. Josefina, as a result of the severed trachea, could not speak.

By means of a sign-language dialogue, she manages to communicate the identity of the perpetrator. Dolors confronts her employee: What have you done? He replied surprised to find himself trapped: So, is she still alive?

Then began a frantic attempt to save Josefina’s life. A taxi took a doctor and the civil guard to the enclave where the Casanova i Riusec houses were. From there, on foot, they marched towards the farmhouse, scene of the brutal aggression.

Priests improvised a stretcher as transport – Josefina was taken by taxi to be transferred to Artés and from here, by ambulance, to Manresa, where she was admitted to the Sant Josep Clinic. The rapid surgical intervention gave a good result and the girl improved day by day. But on Christmas day, it got worse. A new operation was useless and the girl died.

Josep, the aggressor, collaborated in the tasks of giving part of what happened, as well as in the transfer of Josefina so that she could be attended to. He repented and received Josefina’s explicit pardon. He was tried and sentenced to prison. After serving his sentence, he married, he was an honest construction worker. He died of a fatal accident at work.

The exemplary death of Josefina and the fame of her virtues soon spread throughout the city and the whole region, through the bishopric of Vic, Catalonia, Spain and beyond. From all over the world, there is still a message of interest for her testimony of holiness, which hopes to be recognized by the church with beatification and later canonization, for which the process is well advanced.

A teenager like all in a Christian family.



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