Martyrs

Martyrs are Christian men and women and even children who loved Jesus so much that they willingly sacrificed their life, rather than give up their faith in Jesus Christ.

Father Miguel Pro S.J.

The year is 1927 and the country is Mexico. The anti-Catholic government is destroying churches, priests are hunted down and shot and homes are searched for religious pictures and crucifixes. Prison is the penalty for possessing them.

From 1926 to 1929 thousands of men, women and children went to prison and were murdered.

Father Pro, dressed in various disguises, celebrated secret Masses in private homes, garages and forests. A guard would be posted at the entrance and a password would be whispered.

A scene, much like the one leading to Father Pro's arrest, is described in Graham Greene's book, The Power and the Glory.

A voice whispered urgently to him, `Father.'
`Yes?'
`The police are on the way. They are only a mile off, coming through the forest.'
`Were they on horseback or on foot?'
If they were on foot, he had 20 minutes to finish Mass and hide.
Consecration was in silence. No bell rang.
Somebody opened the door and a voice whispered urgently, `They're here! They are all around the village.'
The priest was arrested and shot by a firing squad shortly thereafter.

This picture shows Father Pro standing before a firing squad. He had forgiven those who were about to shoot him. With a cross in one hand and a rosary in the other, he shouted out; "Viva Christo Rey!" (Long live Christ the King!)

The firing squad only wounded him. A soldier walked over and shot him at close range.

Pope John Paul II beatified Miguel Pro in 1988

The Mexican government, in hopes of showing Father Pro pleading for his life, allowed photographs. Then they tried to get the pictures back.


To The Heart Of Jesus (By Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.)

Does our life become from day to day more painful,
more oppressive, more replete with sufferings?

Blessed be He a thousand times who desires it so.

If life be harder, love makes it also stronger,
and only this love, grounded on suffering,
can carry the Cross of my Lord, Jesus Christ.

I believe, O Lord, but strengthen my faith...
Heart of Jesus, I love Thee, but increase my love.

Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee,
but give greater vigor to my confidence.

Heart of Jesus, I give my heart to Thee,
but so enclose it in Thee that it may never be separated from Thee.

Heart of Jesus, I am all Thine,
but take care of my promise so that I may be able
to put it in practice even unto the complete sacrifice of my life.



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