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More on the poet Roy Campbell and Carmel

In my last post I wrote about the South African-born poet Roy Campbell (1901-1957), translator of the poems of St John of the Cross, and about how he saved precious Carmelite manuscripts from destruction by the anti-Franco forces in the Spanish Civil War. I have been reading a biography of Roy by Catholic convert Joseph Pearce and I learn that Father Gregorio, the Spanish parish priest of Altea, who received Roy and his wife Mary into the Catholic Church in 1935, was actually murdered by those forces in 1936. And I have also learned that Roy's wife Mary, brought up an Anglican, was a great devotee of Teresa of Avila from her youth. She converted along with Roy, and indeed took the initiative, announcing one day shortly after they arrived in Altea, 'I'm going to become a Catholic' - to which Roy responded 'If you're going to I will too'. There's a sad end to their story, because she was driving their car when a burst tyre caused an accident in which Roy died.

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