10 February – St. José Sánchez del Río, Martyr: “Tell Christ the King I shall be with him soon.”

Today is the Feast of José Sánchez del Río.

I would very much like a relic of this wonderful saint.  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.

(Frankly, if the Catholics being rounded up also desired the TLM, highly placed prelates would help.)

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 proclaimed him to be a saint in 2016.  Oddly, he does not appear on the Vatican Curia calendar.  Hmmm….

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. Pingback: 10 February – St. José Sánchez del Río, Martyr: “Tell Christ the King I shall be with him soon.” – Via Nova Media

  2. michele421 says:

    Actually, it would be very unlikely to happen here if only because most twentieth-century Catholics (and most others) would be horrified at the thought of a fourteen-year-old child fighting in a bitter and cruel war. I realize that lifespans were shorter and children expected to grow up sooner, but this is excessive. What were they thinking?

  3. Father G says:

    Blessed feast day!
    Now, because of the 2020 decree “Cum sanctissima” from the CDF, it is permitted to celebrate his feast day with the TLM/EF.

    [YES! And will all due respect to St. Scholastica, I would have celebrated him today, but I since he wasn’t on my wall calendar (and not in a TLM Ordo) I didn’t realize it was his feast until after I had said Mass. I must dig up his Collect in Latin.]

  4. Gaby Carmel says:

    I remember reading that the man who kept him prisoner and tried in every way to break him was…his own godfather! Can anyone confirm this? Was he also the one who decreed
    the boy’s execution?

    The person who is scandalised by the fact this this child of 14 was actually a fighting cristero hasn’t read enough history: in every age, children have been personally involved in defending the faith.

  5. JonPatrick says:

    One thing that would make a future persecution worse is that much of our Church hierarchy sad to say would be on the side of the persecutors. We saw that recently during the COVID 1984 crisis when they were so eager to shut down the churches (but leave bars and strip clubs open) the church leaders were solidly behind this with a few exceptions.

  6. JesusFreak84 says:

    Indeed, Gaby. When St. Paul Miki and his companions were martyred in Japan, the two guys with the biggest mouths were 12 and 14!

    Now, I am a woman but I am NOT a crier, be it funerals, movies, whatever, but that scene in “For Greater Glory” made me BAWL like a BABY! He’d also seen, with his own two eyes, his parish priest be martyred, so this kid KNEW his days were numbered like the hairs on his head.

    I don’t think we’ll see massive persecutions in terms of bodies piling up, because I sincerely believe that most people who today call themselves Catholics will renounce it the second there’s a gun to their head. (Look at the effects of Cancel Culture!) When it becomes illegal to be “homophobic,” or “transphobic,” or any of the other euphemisms they will use to criminalize believing what the Church has always taught, will there be enough evidence to convict us?

  7. Sandy says:

    This movie is very touching, inspiring, and certainly an appropriate reminder for the times in which we live. How on earth did we get to this stage in history?

  8. Father G says:

    @Father Z,
    If you find his Collect in Latin, please post it.

    @Baby Carmel,
    Yes, it is true. His godfather, Rafael Picazo Sánchez, for his First Communion (in Mexico, it is custom to choose a sponsor for First Communion) ordered his assassination.

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