Skip to main content

“I will never give in. Viva Cristo Rey!"

Jose Sanchez del Rio
I was sick yesterday, and decided not to spread my germs around at Mass during a horrid flu season here in Michigan, and thus stayed home. I put that bit of extra time to good use by watching "For Greater Glory". While it's not the greatest movie I've ever seen, it did do one thing a good movie should make you do: want to learn more.

I was especially impressed by the performance of Mauricio Kuri, who plays young Jose', the teen who runs off to join the Cristeros. Jose Sanchez del Rio was a real young man, who left home at the age of 13 to do what he could (water horses, cook beans) for the cause of religious freedom. He was martyred for his efforts, but never seemed to waver in his faith in God and in justice.

At 11 p.m., the hour of martyrdom arrived. Believing that torture would change the mind of the boy, the government soldiers flayed the skin from the soles of his feet, thinking that José would weaken and cry out for mercy. But they were wrong. As the sharp pain seared through his body, José thought of Christ on the Cross and offered him everything, all the while shouting ‘Viva Cristo Rey!’

Then the soldiers, hurling insultsat him and giving him blows forced him to walk barefoot with his injured feet through the cobblestone streets toward the cemetery. Along the way, some of the soldiers cut his body with a machete until he was bleeding from several wounds.

At times they stopped him and said, “If you shout, ‘Death to Christ the King’ we will spare your life.” Jose would only shout, “I will never give in. Viva Cristo Rey! Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!”

When they reached the cemetery, the soldiers stood the boy before a newly dug hole, his grave. The executioners riddled his battered body with bayonet stabs. At each stab, the boy cried out louder, “Viva Cristo Rey!”

Then the commander of the guard addressed the youth, cruelly asking if he wanted to send a message to his father. To this José replied without yielding, “That we will see each other in Heaven. Viva Cristo Rey! ¡Viva Santa María de Guadalupe!” These were his last words.

You can read more about him at Traditioninaction.org. I pray that Bl. Jose and all the beatified and canonized Cristeros will pray for the USA as we battle now for religious liberty.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Crossing Guard

I saw you
today
as you guided
your little man across that busy street.

You were wearing some
big man boots
and
watching cars and lights.

Your little man had on
black sneakers and
a Mickey Mouse hat
that bounced
as he walked.

He wasn't watching nothing but
your big man boots
and
the white stripes of the crosswalk.

Just before
he got to the sidewalk again,
his step bounced a bit
- he hopped over
a spot where the asphalt broke.

You turned to look,
holding out a hand to
your little man.
Not rushed or angry,
just making sure
he got up
on that sidewalk.

Then you walked on,
in your big man boots,
face into a cold Michigan wind,
with the little man behind,
his hat bouncing.

Be Transfigured

From today's readings: 

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the and his clothes became white as light.

...we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Today we celebrate the Transfiguration. For whatever reason, Jesus brought three of His disciples to Mount Tabor to witness this miracle. They weren't sure what they were seeing, but they knew enough to throw themselves to the ground in the presence of Almighty God. St. Peter (who never did anything halfway) excitedly declares that he will erect tents on the mountain as a way of memorializing the event. But Jesus tells him and the others that they are not to tell people what they witnessed - at least not yet.

In the second reading, the requirement to be quiet has bee…