How surprised I was in September, 2002  to receive an email from historian, Marķa Rosa Fernandez Pena, who was doing research on Fray Pedro de Corpa, the first of the Martyrs to be killed!  Maria Rosa was writing a history of Villabilla, a
village close to Madrid, and the city believed to be the birth place of Fr. Pedro de Corpa.  She wanted to include in her book a chapter on the native son.  Maria Rosa related that for four hundred years the people of Villabilla have maintained a devotion to Fr. Pedro de Corpa but there was no documentation to support the popular
devotion.  They had no proof that Fr. Pedro de Corpa was indeed from Villabilla.  Could I help her?
     My first question was how she found my web site.  Maria Rosa replied that a search of the Internet led her to the site.  I was happy about that!
     And, yes, I was able to connect Maria Rosa with Dr. John Worth who gave Maria Rosa the documentation she needed.  It was neither a birth nor a baptismal certificate but a poem written shortly after the deaths of the Martyrs that names Villabilla as Fr. Pedro de Corpa's birthplace. 
     When I mentioned to Fr. Tom Murphy, OFM, about the "Villabilla connection," he was very pleased as he said it was news to him, and that a four-centuries devotion to Fr. Pedro de Corpa in his place of birth would assist the Cause of canonization!

Right: A recent photograph of Villabilla taken by Maria Rosa Fernandez Pena.

Left:  The font in the church, Santa Maria la Mayor, in Villabilla where Fray Pedro de Corpa was baptized. 
Picture is from
Villabilla y Los Hueros, Historia de dos villas castellanos by Maria Rosa Fernandez Pena, Ayuntamiento de Villabilla, April, 2003, pp.142.

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