A recently ordained Catholic priest died in hospital early Thursday morning after an explosion destroyed a parish building in the Spanish capital, Madrid.
Fr. Rubén Pérez Ayala was ordained to the priesthood last June. His first assignment was at the Virgen de la Paloma parish near the Puerta de Toledo in the center of Madrid, where he was serving when an explosion destroyed much of the parish rectory and office at 3 p.m. on Jan. 20.
The young priest was taken to hospital and underwent an operation for his injuries. His brother, Pablo, also a diocesan priest, administered the anointing of the sick.
Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra, the archbishop of Madrid, announced the following morning that Fr. Pérez Ayala had died from his wounds overnight. He was 36 years old.
“Last night the young priest has died, Rubén Pérez Ayala, whom I ordained only seven months ago. I am grateful for his life of dedication to Christ and to his Church,” the cardinal wrote on Twitter on Jan. 21.
At least four people have now died from the explosion, according to the Archdiocese of Madrid, which released a statement citing a gas leak in the parish building as a possible cause for the blast on Calle Toledo.
Cardinal Osoro said that he was praying for the victims of the explosion and all those affected by it.
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