Skip to comments.For All the Saints: Christopher Magallanes and Companions, Martyrs (Mexican martyrs)
Posted on 05/21/2010 5:50:32 AM PDT by markomalley
Today the Church commemorates the lives and deaths of 22 parish priests, along with three lay Catholics, who were killed between 1915 and 1937 in Mexico because they professed the Catholic faith. These martyrs were all active members of the Cristeros Movement, which rose up against the Mexican government's persecution of Catholics. The Church has confirmed these men as saints: Pope John Paul II canonized them in 2000.
St. Christopher Magellenes, pictured above, built a seminary in his parish of Totiache at a time when the Mexican government banned foreign clergy and the celebration of Mass in some regions. When the anti-Church government closed his seminary, he opened another and still another. Eventually, the seminarians were forced to learn in private homes.
He wrote and preached against armed rebellion. But he was falsely accused of promoting the Cristeros guerillas. While heading to a farm to celebrate Mass, St. Christopher Magellenes was arrested on May 21, 1927. Three days later, without a trial, he was shot to death. Before he died, he gave his executioners his remaining possessions and offered them absolution. He was 48.
The last words heard from him were shouts from his cell. "I am innocent and I die innocent. I forgive with all my heart those responsible for my death, and I ask God that the shedding of my blood serve the peace of our divided Mexico."
How did this remarkable life begin? St. Christopher Magallanes was born in 1869 in the Archdiocese of Guadalajara. His parents, Rafael Magallanes and Clara Jara, were poor farmers and devout Catholics. He worked as a shepherd and entered the Conciliar Seminary of San Jose, pictured here, at the age of 19. He was ordained at age 30 and took a special interest in evangelizing to the local indigenous Huichos people.
My Jesus Mercy! My sins are more numerous than the drops of blood that Thou did shed for me. I do not deserve to belong to the army that defends the rights of Thy Church and that fights for her. I desire never to sin again so that my life might be an offering pleasing to Thy eyes. Wash away my iniquities and cleanse me of my sins. By Thy Holy Cross, by my Holy Mother of Guadalupe, pardon me.
Here in the United States I fear we Catholics have become lazy and indifferent in the practice of our faith, taking our freedom to worship for granted. I pray more of us will accept the offer of sanctifying grace that comes through the sacraments. What can we learn from our Mexican brothers and sisters in Christ? Let us thank God for the brave souls who gave their lives in defending the faith.
Mexico has not always been kind to Catholics. And I doubt that the government of Mexico is kind to Catholics today.
This martyrdom and that of Blessed Miguel Pro proved the “in the past” antagonism.......we shall see about the present supression of religion in Mexico.
(Don’t know how my fingers typed those words, for I have no present-day facts to base that supposition on.
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