Pedro Casciaro was a companion of St. Josemaria Escriva, and his father held high political office in the Red zone. In 1938, someone denounced Pedro as a communist spy and accused him of distributing communist propaganda in Albacete at the time of the elections in 1936.
The accusations had been made by Mr. Jorge Bermudez and his wife Teresa. Mr. Bermudez was the Administrator of properties and land taxes in Burgos. The Casciaro and the Bermudez used to be neighbours in Albacete. As the left wing parties came to power, Pedro’s father became more prosperous while the Bermudez family fortunes declined.
Before the Bermudez moved away from Albacete, they held an auction to sell some of their furniture and household goods. After much bargaining, Pedro bought some items from Mrs. Bermudez.
When Mrs. Bermudez met Pedro in Burgos, she looked surprised and displeased. Her husband then denounced Pedro as a communist spy. Father Josemaria urged Pedro to visit Mrs. Bermudez and explained to her that he had nothing to do with his father’s political position.
On August 1, 1938, Pedro, accompanied by Miguel Fisac, went to see Mrs. Bermudez. It was a very difficult meeting. Pedro recalled: “She was very rude to us. Among other things she said was that it was unjust that while her son was risking his life at the front, I was living peacefully in the rearguard, spying for the Reds!” Miguel tried to defend Pedro and the conversation became very heated and Mrs. Bermudez swore that not one letter of the accusation made by her husband would be withdrawn.
Father Josemaria also went with Jose Maria Albareda to see Mr. Bermudez in his office. It was another difficult meeting. Father Josemaria told Mr. Bermudez that he was going to deprive Pedro’s mother of both her husband and her son and that he should think what this would be like for his own wife. Mr. Bermudez replied that since he could not get Pedro’s father punished, the son should pay the price on his behalf.
Father Josemaria told him that his attitude was inconceivable in a Christian. He reminded him that he would have to render to God an account for his actions and advised him to consider that that very day Our Lord could ask him to render an account of what he intended to do. Mr. Bermudez, however, stubbornly repeated, “Both the father and the son have to pay for this!”
Father Josemaria left the office and Jose Maria Albareda heard him saying, “Tomorrow or the next day, a funeral.” Later, Father Josemaria said to Miguel Fisac, “Tomorrow or the next day, the lady will have a funeral. We will have to express our condolences.”
In the afternoon, Father Josemaria and Miguel saw a death notice posted on the wall next to a church announcing that Mr. Jorge Bermudez had collapsed in his office between 11 o’clock and twelve noon that day.
Father Josemaria informed Pedro that he went to see Mr. Bermudez that morning, and soon after they left Mr. Bermudez died suddenly. Father Josemaria said that he had not ceased praying for Mr. Bermudez and his family from the moment he left his office. Father Josemaria was morally certain that God had had mercy on Mr. Bermudez and had given him the grace of final repentance. Few weeks later, one of Mr. Bermudez’s sons, Rafael, a pilot, was killed when his aircraft crashed.
One day, Pedro came across Mrs. Bermudez at a church. He recalled: “When I realized it was her I slipped out of the church as unobtrusively as possible. But she saw me, and it seemed to me that she looked kindly at me.”