If something can be said of Juan de Isasa, died Saturday at 78 years, without thinking much is that he was a man who loved and also had a great capacity to love. That's why we all could feel his friends, because he really was our friend.
When we speak of all we refer to the world of the editors, because Juan was also editor. So editor who was elected president of all the editors, first of those of Madrid and after those of all Spain. Presidencies that he exercised with extraordinary bonhomie and with firmness, with a auctoritas undisputed derivative of his kindness and his honesty.
Juan, a Marianist priest, appeared in the publishing sector on behalf of the SM publishing house and he did it with great discretion, with a friendly attitude, with intelligent interventions and always with appeasing ability, which earned him the immediate respect of all those who knew him. Then, I respect that soon became friendship and affection. Always friendly, always attentive, his rare and infrequent anger gave us a huge impression. It seemed that Juan could never be angry. But he could when it was strictly necessary.
Juan came to SM together with Jorge Delkader and they both got together and worked in unison and carried out one of the most intelligent and effective editorial transformations we have ever seen. Later Juan would be president of SM until his retirement. SM is an editorial that belongs to a religious congregation and that, therefore, is an editorial impregnated with a religious spirit. But both understood that to be a good editorial of Christian inspiration it had to be also a good editorial. And they got it and they got it. They made an excellent editorial dedicated to the world of education, childhood and youth. And they did it without prejudice, looking for quality and excellence, as attested by the excellent collection The Steamboat, children's albums or good and current textbooks.
Not many days ago, the Federation of Publishers Guilds of Spain celebrated its fortieth anniversary. And Juan announced his presence, which he later had to cancel. We already feared the worst, and the worst just happened. Because Juan, although he was already retired a few years ago, was still one of ours, another editor, friend of his friends, for whom he always found time in the midst of his priestly duties. Tasks that, by the way, he never stopped exercising and that he always combined with his editorial activity. And although those tasks were foreign to the publishing world, Juan, besides being our president, was our "priest" and there was no wedding, baptism or funeral for which the editors did not resort to Juan. That he always agreed willingly and always had the right word, the precise and hopeful message.
Man of little clerical mood, but of deep religious convictions, was always respectful of the ideas of others. But he also always had a word of consolation, of support, of hope or a modest but opportune advice for those who approached him. We will miss him so much while we wait for our turn. Rest in peace our friend. And may God, whom he loves and in whom he hopes, welcome him in his mercy.
Antonio María Ávila, Jorge Delkader Y Mauricio Santos They are publishers.