Real Religious Persecution

Today the church remembers a 20th Century Mexican priest, St. Miguel Agustin Pro, Martyr of the Faith.

St. Miguel was born in 1891 in Zacatecas, Mexico, and was known as a happy, cheerful, and privileged child. Despite his relatively high-born status, he developed a deep love and kinship for the working class families around him, and began to spend all of his time and energy working alongside the poor.

He eventually became a Jesuit novice at the age of twenty, and was exiled during the Mexican Revolution. He went to Belgium, where he was ordained, and eventually returned to Mexico in the wake of the war. He found churches closed, priests hiding, and being a Catholic now illegal. Fr. Miguel would regularly dress up in disguises to conduct secret and underground ministry, especially offering pastoral care, comfort, and the sacraments to the afflicted.

In 1927 St. Miguel was accused of being a part of a failed bombing attempt, though it is widely believed that the charges were false. He was handed over to the police and sentenced to death without so much as a trial.

As he was put in front of the firing squad he cried out, “Long live Christ the King!”

Though the government forbade a public funeral, people poured out of their homes to line the streets as his body passed by.

St. Miguel is a reminder to me, and should be for the whole church in the United States, that it was not so long ago that real religious persecution so close to home was a thing, so we should be very hesitant to claim it over baking cakes, serving pizza, and performing weddings and whatnot today.

-historical pieces from Pfatteicher’s _New Book of Festivals & Commemorations

-icon by Iknu Arts (https://displate.com/displate/2513912)

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