“Joan Miró i Trepat, the patron of pistoleros and president of Pavimientos y Construcciones S.A., one of the country’s biggest building ﬁrms, was the wealthiest, most inﬂuential and reactionary of Catalonia’s employers. Tall and distinguished looking with his wide brimmed Panama and his gold fob watch with its heavy chain which hung in an arc between the two pockets of his mustard coloured waistcoat, Miró i Treat’s trademark accoutrements were a small gold Sacred Heart of Jesus pin on his jacket lapel, a silver handled walking stick in one hand, and a Romeo y Juliet cigar in the other.
“He was also a man fired by a sense of mission, an almost hysterical obsession to restore to Spain and Europe the spiritual and temporal hegemony of the Roman Catholic Church — and in light of Germany’s defeat, the fragmentation of the Austro-Hungarian empire and the likelihood of apocalyptic terror and world revolution, that mission was now urgent. A hard-line, paranoid integrist who clung, barnacle-like, to the Tridentine traditions of Holy Mother Church, his life and enormous fortune were dedicated to advancing the cause of Rome. In his worldview, the Church—in its perfect sixteenth century manifestation — was the only institution of spiritual and temporal power by which the unity and glory of Europe could be restored to what it had been during Charlemagne’s Reich, the Holy Roman Empire.