Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A Patron Saint for the Falsely Accused [Father Miguel Augustin Pro, S.J.]
Catholic Exchange.com ^ | November 23, 2006 | Thomas Craughwell

Posted on 11/23/2006 9:36:05 PM PST by Salvation

Thomas Craughwell  

Other Articles by Thomas Craughwell
 
A Patron Saint for the Falsely Accused

November 23, 2006

On the morning of July 31, 1926, for the first time in the 400-year history of Catholic Mexico, no priest mounted the steps of an altar to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. By order of the Mexican bishops, and with the approval of Pope Pius XI, the celebration of Mass, the administration of the sacraments, and the day-to-day cycle of devotional exercises were suspended in every cathedral, church, chapel and shrine throughout the country. It was not an interdict; it was a church strike.

For 11 years the Church in Mexico had tried to reach some type of reasonable accord with Mexico's aggressively anti-Catholic government, but without any success. Mexico's president, Plutarco Elías Calles, encouraged the state governors to enact the most stringent laws against the Church in their own districts. In Tabasco, Governor Tomás Garrido Canabal sponsored new legislation that ordered all Catholic priests to marry and outlawed any priest who remained celibate. In other parts of the country priests who offered Mass and administered the sacraments, nuns who kept their vows, laity who sheltered priests or concealed the Blessed Sacrament in their homes did so at the risk of their lives.

 At this critical moment in the life of the faith, Father Miguel Augustin Pro, S.J., came home to Mexico from his studies in Belgium. Immediately Father Pro began to practice a clandestine ministry in Mexico City. Disguised as a mechanic or a student or a man taking his dog for a walk, Father Pro went from house to house, hearing confessions, baptizing infants, blessing marriages, giving last rites to the dying.

When Father Pro was finally arrested it was an accident. Three radicals plotted to assassinate a Mexican general. By chance one of them had bought a used car from Father Pro's brother Humberto. The murder plot failed, the would-be assassins were captured, and their car was traced to the Pros. At the family's home the police arrested Humberto and Father Pro, accusing them of conspiracy to commit murder. The charge was false, but that didn't matter, especially after Humberto admitted that he was active in Catholic organizations and Miguel revealed that he was a Catholic priest. With the explicit approval of Mexico's president, both brothers were sentenced to summary executions.

In the courtyard of the police station Father Pro made the Sign of the Cross over the firing squad and the spectators. "May God have mercy on you," he said. "May God bless you." Then, extending his arms like Christ on the cross, Father Pro cried out, "Viva Cristo Rey!" Long live Christ the King! The soldiers fired and Father Pro fell dead. A few minutes later his brother Humberto met the same fate.

The authorities returned the bodies of Father Pro and his brother to the Pro family, who gave them a joint funeral. As the coffins of the two brothers were carried through the streets of Mexico City people threw flowers from their balconies and thousands joined the procession. Many in the crowd surged forward to touch Father Pro's coffin. Once the committal prayers were finished and the coffins had been lowered into their graves, the martyrs' father approached the two priests who had conducted the funeral and asked them to intone the Te Deum. And so the funeral of the martyrs concluded with a hymn of triumph.



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: blessedmiguelpro; catholiclist; cristeros
For your information and discussion about Blessed Miguel Pro.
1 posted on 11/23/2006 9:36:09 PM PST by Salvation
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; NYer; american colleen; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ...
Saint of the Day Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Saint of the Day Ping List.

2 posted on 11/23/2006 9:37:22 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

Blessed Miguel Pro:Heroic Mexican Martyr["VIVA CRISTO REY!"]

Father Miguel Pro: Heroic Mexican Martyr

Blessed Miguel Pro[last dying words:"Viva El Cristo Rey"("Long Live Christ The King")]

Mexican "Cristeros" Martyrs Beatified

A Patron Saint for the Falsely Accused [Father Miguel Augustin Pro, S.J.]

3 posted on 11/23/2006 9:40:22 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Thank you for the post. I wish I had known this sooner, I would have had some favors to ask of him.


4 posted on 11/23/2006 9:44:16 PM PST by TAdams8591
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
What was Blessed Miguel Pro falsely accused of? I thought he was executed for being a priest and saying the Mass in Mexico, which was a crime in Mexico. He was a priest and he did say the Mass in Mexico, knowing that he could be executed for that crime.

[Blessed Miguel Pro lived in my town, at what was the a Jesuit seminary]

5 posted on 11/23/2006 9:56:58 PM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Hmmm, Fr. Pro has not been canonized, yet. How can he be a patron saint?


6 posted on 11/23/2006 10:07:37 PM PST by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
There was a Catholic terrorist movement (led by a nun, Madre Conchita, who was a sort of female Osama bin Ladin. Like OBL, she was a religious fanatic from a wealthy family and had the money to finance her dirty doings). The President-elect of Mexico, Alvaro Obregon, was assasinated by one of her followers in 1928.

In the "anti-terrorist" reaction, several innocent people were rounded up, including the Pro brothers. In Mexico, some half-jokingly suggest Miguel Pro should be the patron saint of lottery tickets. When he faced the firing squad he said "I win God's lottery as a martyr." The police station where he was executed was later torn down to build a new headquarters for... of course... the national lottery.

Madre Conchita's home was later seized by the government and given to the Lutherans (to prevent it from becoming a shrine to her (and MOST -- but not all -- of the church has repudiated her followers). It still stands, a couple of blocks from where I lived for several years in Mexico City.

There is a civil rights/civil liberties group -- well respected -- in Mexico named for the Pro brothers. Even Mexicans who are not "clerical" respect them as symbols of those unjustly accused.

7 posted on 11/24/2006 12:22:06 AM PST by rpgdfmx
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Historical Question since this is a period I have not studied, why was Mexico's Government Anti-Catholic, Anti-Clerical?


8 posted on 11/24/2006 2:05:23 AM PST by StAthanasiustheGreat (Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus Deus Aderit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
"What was Blessed Miguel Pro falsely accused of?"

It's a good question. Basically, he's guilty of being Catholic and loyal to Christ and remaining obedient to the Pope. Veeerrrry evil, huh? (sarcasm)

But here's a website that tells more:

http://www.catholic-forum.com/SAINTS/saintm16.htm

"Falsely accused in 1927 of a bombing attempt, Pro became a wanted man, was betrayed to the police, and without trial, he was sentenced to death."

The same website shows that his Canonization is pending, but he was Beatified on 25 September 1988 by Pope John Paul II.

So, the historical lesson learned is that when we face our martyrdom in the near future, false accusations will be the vehicle to the slaughter--like ripping the tag off your pillow, or walking carelessly under a ladder, or breaking a mirror, or something very horrible, despicable, and heinous enough to deserve a bullet in the face.

The anticlerical forces that murdered so many Catholics in Mexico are the same forces today who'd love to follow suit.

It's beautiful that our Blessed Padre Pro kept his sense of humor about the whole thing; but, that the Beatitudes for you:

Matthew 5
11
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.
12
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
9 posted on 11/24/2006 3:41:45 AM PST by SaltyJoe ("Social Justice" for the Unborn Child)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
http://puffin.creighton.edu/jesuit/pro/index.html



Rejecting the traditional blindfold, Miguel stretched his arms out in the form of a cross and facing the firing squad said, "May God have mercy on you. May God bless you. Lord, You know that I am innocent. With all my heart I forgive my enemies."



As the firing squad took aim, Pro spoke his last words. In a firm, clear voice, he said: "Viva Cristo Rey!" Long live Christ the King.



The firing squad was shaken by Pro's unflinching heroism; the bullets wounded, but did not kill him. A soldier walked over and shot him at close range, killing him.



The Martyr in death



Although Calles had forbidden any public demonstration, the people acted in open defiance. Never had the city seen such an enormous turnout for a funeral. As the martyrs' caskets left the house, the spontaneous cry went up: "Viva Cristo Rey!" Thousands thronged the streets and balconies, throwing flowers, praying the rosary and singing. It was a triumph -a glorious witness to the heroism of the brave martyr for Christ the King.
10 posted on 11/24/2006 3:57:54 AM PST by SaltyJoe ("Social Justice" for the Unborn Child)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rpgdfmx

Madre Conchita was not a "female Osama bin Laden," although I know it's all the rage to refer to her that way. The Church had been under heavy persecution for years with the rising "revolutionary" party of Mexico taking power. Many people did indeed meet at her home, since church services and assemblies were forbidden. But she was a Capuchin nun who was living at home because the convents had been closed by the Mexican government in 1924. She was not a billionaire spending her fortune on fomenting world-wide religious attacks. While I don't approve of violence in any way, the Catholic resistance was not a Catholic "terrorist movement," but a misguided attempt to fight back against the increasingly harsh and restrictive laws imposed by the Mexican leftists.

Whether she was even actually the intellectual author of the crime is in dispute. The actual killer, Toral, was a young man who had been around the fringes for a while, and it is unclear exactly what triggered him to kill Obregon, except possibly that a new set of anti-Catholic laws had recently been imposed.

He was sentenced to death and executed. She was sent to a women's prison, Las Tres Marias, where she spent a number of years and was famed for her kindness and good works to the other prisoners. After about 10 years or so, her sentence was commuted by a new administration that wanted to repair relations with the Church, the heirarchy of which had been in negotiations with the government to restore at least some religious freedom. She had married while in jail(her vows were not permanent)and left prison to take up life with her new husband. She was quite popular in Mexico, where many things are named after her.

Incidentally, it was only a few years ago that Mexican clergy and religious were given the right to appear in public in clerical clothing.


11 posted on 11/24/2006 4:50:50 AM PST by livius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: StAthanasiustheGreat
why was Mexico's Government Anti-Catholic, Anti-Clerical?

Masons supported by our government were put in power.

12 posted on 11/24/2006 5:31:41 AM PST by murphE (These are days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own. --G.K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: StAthanasiustheGreat; nickcarraway; ELS
Here is an audio link to a radio broadcast from Voice of Catholic Radio on Long Island about this very thing. If you are interested, download it now it may only be available for a few more days.

Synopsis:

THE CRISTEROS - Mexico's 20th Century Catholic Uprising

In 1924, Plutarco Elias Calles became President. For this descendant of Spanish Jews, a 33rd degree Mason, "the Church is the unique cause of all Mexico's misfortunes." For him, too, she had to disappear. With the complicity of a Masonic priest, Fr. Perez, proclaimed by the government "Patriarch of the Mexican Catholic Church," Calles founded a schismatic "patriotic Church," as the Communists were to do later in China. The wine used in the Mass was replaced by mescal. But the maneuver was met with widespread contempt. The government could finance the opening of 200 Protestant schools and Calles could smooth the way for heretical sects (already well financed by the US), but the Mexican people remained stubbornly attached to Rome! Their awareness of the supernatural character of their fight did not lead the Cristeros to neglect temporal realities: "Fight and organize; fight and moralize" was one of their mottoes. In the liberated territories, "administrators" were appointed, Catholic schools were opened (more than 200), public sins (drunkenness, prostitution) were suppressed. Does this not offer Catholics a strategy in their fight for the restoration of Christ the King to do likewise: resist and organize; resist and moralize", that is, to resist the popular culture and to organize a solid Catholic educational system.

LISTEN HERE

Article here:

The Cristeros

13 posted on 11/24/2006 5:50:26 AM PST by murphE (These are days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own. --G.K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: murphE
First link not working, try this: Voice of Catholic Radio on Long Island
14 posted on 11/24/2006 5:52:22 AM PST by murphE (These are days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own. --G.K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Fr. Pro was executed on the false charge of involvement in an assassination attempt against Álvaro Obregón. True, the government could have chosen to execute him merely for being a priest and saying Mass, but his actual charges were for conspiracy to murder.


15 posted on 11/24/2006 7:21:22 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Viva Cristo Rey.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Fr. Pro was executed on the false charge of involvement in an assassination attempt against Álvaro Obregón. True, the government could have chosen to execute him merely for being a priest and saying Mass, but his actual charges were for conspiracy to murder.


16 posted on 11/24/2006 7:21:30 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Viva Cristo Rey.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: SaltyJoe

great post - thank you -- Viva Cristo Rey!

and this Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King.


17 posted on 11/24/2006 7:26:42 AM PST by Nihil Obstat (viva il papa - be not afraid)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

**At the family's home the police arrested Humberto and Father Pro, accusing them of conspiracy to commit murder. **


18 posted on 11/24/2006 7:45:10 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ELS

**Hmmm, Fr. Pro has not been canonized, yet. How can he be a patron saint?**

I thought that was strange too. And from a Catholic site??? Go figure.

Matbe -- on the way to becoming a saint???


19 posted on 11/24/2006 7:46:20 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SaltyJoe

Thank you for all those details! Wow!


20 posted on 11/24/2006 7:50:06 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

I wonder if such terrible government oppression could ever come upon the U.S.


21 posted on 11/24/2006 6:23:17 PM PST by Ciexyz (Satisfied owner of a 2007 Toyota Corolla.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ciexyz

BTTT on the Optional Memorial of Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, November 23, 2007!


22 posted on 11/23/2007 2:58:20 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Ciexyz

**I wonder if such terrible government oppression could ever come upon the U.S.**

Of course it could! The leaders of Mexico, except for the previous one to our day, were all avowed Masons who hated the Catholic Church and did everything they could to shut it down, including shutting all the churches and expelling all the missionaries and putting the priests and nuns out of their monasteries and convents. Priests were forced to wear regular garb and work in regular jobs.


23 posted on 11/23/2007 3:00:46 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

bttt


24 posted on 11/23/2007 6:22:23 PM PST by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: ELS

One step toward sainthood?

That would be my guess. Of couse, then, we have the writers, but it is from Catholic Exchange. Hmmmm??


25 posted on 11/23/2009 7:25:58 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro

Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro
Priest and Martyr
Optional Memorial
November 23rd
[In the diocese of the United States]


Photo

(1891-1927) Miguel, one of eleven children, was born in Guadalupe, Mexico. He was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1925 in Belgium, having been forced to flee Mexico because of religious persecution. He returned the next year to minister to his native people. He had a great love for the Mass, devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and apostolic zeal for ordinary working men. Despite the fierce persecution of the Mexican Government as well as his own debilitating illnesses, Fr. Pro continued his ministry to the faithful. He was captured, imprisoned and martyred for his Catholic Faith in 1927 under charges of sedition.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

Collect:
God our Father,
you gave your servant Miguel Agustin
the grace to seek ardently your greater glory
and the salvation of your people.
Grant that through his intercession
and following his example
we may serve you and glorify you
by performing our daily duties with fidelity and joy
and effectively helping our neighbor.
We ask
this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever.

For readings please see Clement I, Pope and Martyr


26 posted on 11/23/2009 7:26:23 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson