Blessed José Sánchez del Río
Born in Sahuayo, Michoacan, 28 March 1913, son of Macario and Maria Sanchez del Rio, Jose Luis was murdered on 10 February 1928, during Mexico's religious persecution known as The Cristero War.The Cristeros were a large group Mexican Catholics leveled against the oppression of the regime of Plutarco Elías Calles.
A year before his martyrdom, José Luis had joined the forces' Cristero »General Prudencio Mendoza, nestled in the town of Cotija, Michoacan.
The martyrdom was witnessed by two children, one of seven years and the other nine, who later became founders of religious congregations. One of them is the Rev. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, born in Cotija, who in the interview book "My Life is Christ" reveals the crucial role that his vocation would be to the testimony of Jose Luis, who was a friend .
"He was captured by government forces, who wanted to give the civilian population that supported the Cristeros exemplary punishment," recalls the founder who was seven years. "They asked him to renounce his faith in Christ, on pain of death. Jose did not accept apostasy. His mother was pierced with grief and anguish, but encouraged his son, "he adds.
"Then they cut the skin on the soles of the feet and forced him to walk through the town toward the cemetery - remember -. He cried and moaned in pain, but would not budge. Occasionally they stopped and said, "If you shout 'Death to Christ the King'" will spare your life. "Say 'Death to Christ the King'." But he replied: "Viva Cristo Rey".
"Already in the cemetery, before shooting him, they asked last time if he deny his faith. He did and killed him right there. He died screaming like many other Mexican martyrs "Viva Cristo Rey!".
"These are indelible images from my memory and memory of the Mexican people, though not often speak of them in the official story," concludes Father Maciel.
Another witness to the events was the nine year old Enrique Amezcua Medina, founder of the Priestly Confraternity of the Operators of the Kingdom of Christ, with houses of formation in Mexico and in Spain and presence in several countries.
In the biography of the Fellowship that he founded, the father tells his meeting Amezcua - who always considered providential - with Jose Luis.
As discussed in that testimony, have been crossed with the child martyr Sahuayo - who asked to follow in his path, but, seeing him so small he said, "You'll do things I do I can not reach" - determined entering the priesthood.
Later, the training seminar Operators in Salvatierra, Guanajuato Seminar christened as Christ the King and his internship was called "Jose Luis", to honor the memory of this blessed future Mexican.
The remains of Jose Luis rest in the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in his hometown.
He was beatified on 20 November 2005 in the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. People have given him the title of The Martyr of Sahuayo and The Martyr of Christ the King.
Father may your martyr Jose
be an example of bravery so
we can love you so much we
will always protect you forever.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.