Friday, November 20, 2009
Saviour of Catholic Spain
Today is the anniversary of General Franco - "El Caudillo," the saviour of Catholic Spain, who died on November 20th, 1975. A few lines from Belloc on meeting the General after the battle of Barcelona.
"I was led to the ante-chamber whence I should be ushered into the presence of a man last in succession to those many who on this same general battlefield have endured, planned and achieved Europe's recovery........It may be that the entry into Barcelona will mark another turning point and that a remote posterity may perceive it as something even more of a boundry-stone than the Battle of Warsaw. When Barcelona was set free the effort of those who had destroyed Christendom was, in this field at least, at an end. However this may be, when I entered Franco's presence I entered the presence of one who had fought that same battle which Roland in the legend died fighting and the Godfrey in sober history had won when the battered remnant, the mere surviving tenth of the first Crusaders, entered Jerusalem - on foot, refusing to ride where the Lord of Christendom had offered Himself up in sacrifice.
I will not linger upon that brief experience of mine. I was not there to record for my fellows a personal emotion which perhaps cannot be communicated and which at any rate should not be, but when I had spoken to this man of what he had done for us all and what he meant to us - when I had left him, to retain as I shall ever retain, the impression of those words exchanged in the noble, sombre room of a Spanish palace, majestic as all those proportions are in that land of majesty - I knew that I had experienced something unique. I had been in the air of what has always been the Salvation of Europe - I mean the Spanish Crusade. Worse luck for those who do not understand these things!"
Hilaire Belloc, The Salvation of Spain from Places, first published in 1942.