10 February – St. José Sánchez del Río, Martyr

Today is the Feast of José Sánchez del Río.

I would very much like a relic of this wonderful saint for our time.  Anyone?

I suspect many people, perhaps even among the readers here, have convinced themselves that the persecution of the Church and Christians on a great scale could never happen in our time.   There couldn’t possibly be such a change in our present conditions such that Catholics, priests especially, were rounded up and shot against the walls of their churches, hanged in their sanctuaries, put into concentration camps.  No, No.  That couldn’t possibly happen.

Nor could a civilized society pass laws allowing abortion even up to the moment of entirely normal and natural birth.  Nope.  Couldn’t happen.

José Sánchez del Río, just a boy, joined the Cristeros when in Mexico there was a persecution of the Church by the government.  Eventually he was captured.  Soldiers made him watch the hanging of another Cristero in order to torment and break him, José – Josélito – encouraged the man, saying, “You will be in Heaven before me. Prepare a place for me. Tell Christ the King I shall be with him soon”.  His captors tortured him by flaying the skin of the soles of his feet, forcing him to walk through salt, and then walk to the cemetery where he was to be executed.  The soldiers said that if he denied Christ, they would spare him.  Josélito shouted “Long live Christ the King! Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe!”.   They shot him.  He was 14 years old.

He was beatified during the pontificate of John Paul II and Francis canonized him in 2016.

His relics are to venerated in the Church of Saint James the Apostle in Sahuayo.

Here is an excerpt from the movie For Greater Glory, about the Cristeros. US HERE – UK HERE   

Remember.  This happened in the 20th c.   But it could never happen today!  Right?

Finally, there was a just too cool “coincidence” involving Josélito and the marvelous portable altars made by St. Joseph’s Apprentice.  HERE

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Gregg the Obscure says:

    The fact that the Church has persevered through such persecutions in the past and my certainty that such a persecution is coming soon – especially for those who uphold basic human dignity – are among the things that impelled me to leave protestantism for the Church. since riots in my hometown in 1992, i have expected to be eventually tortured and exterminated by a political entity for refusing to pretend that homosexual identity is in any way good

  2. TonyO says:

    Always in the past, when there has been such great social evil willed by so many in society, there followed great suffering before God mended the society, or eradicated it – it is virtually a fact of nature. We should expect great suffering to come in connection with the great evil we see today, though nobody can be sure of the time or the way it will happen.

    I hope and pray that I and my children may be spared the worst of it, but I hope and pray more that we remain in the faith through whatever comes.

  3. Spade says:

    I feel like it should always be pointed out that while St. Jose was captured by government soldiers, he was only captured after he first expended all his ammunition.

  4. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    I expect to see Martyrs in the coming decades who refuse to hand their children over to newly-legalized pedophiles.

  5. SKAY says:

    Given what government laws have forced upon us in recent years from the evil living among us, I
    am afraid that you may be right YoungLatinMassGuy.

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