Friday, 8 July 2016

Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio

Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio - On the way to execution, soldiers struck him savagely with sharp machetes. With every blow, the young boy cried out, "Viva Cristo Rey!" When he got to the cemetery, he was bleeding heavily. His torturers had also cut off the soles of his feet and forced him to walk on salt. The boy screamed with pain but would not give in. As the road was nothing but rocks and dirt, the stones where he had walked were soaked in his blood. 

In 1927, Catholic Mexico was immersed in a violent storm of religious persecution. The President of Mexico at that time was a despot named Plutarco Calles.  His hatred for the Church had no limits. He killed priests and burned churches.
In legitimate self defense, countless Catholics took up arms to defend their Faith.  Whenever they charged into battle, the Cristeros, as they were called, shouted: "Viva Cristo Rey!" "Long live Christ the King!"

Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio

Young Jose Joins the Cristeros

Many Catholics shed their blood in this conflict.  Many were martyred. And Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio was among them.  

From a young age he had a great love and enthusiasm for the Blessed Sacrament, and encouraged his friends to have more devotion to Our Lord and Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Whenever Jose heard of the glorious battles of the Cristeros, which his two brothers were engaged in, his desire to join the holy army only intensified.  Finally, Jose wrote a letter to one of the Cristero Generals, Prudencio Mendoza, pleading to be allowed to fight. The general acquiesced.

Mexican soldiers "Cristeros" standing up for the Catholic Faith

Capture and Imprisonment

In a certain battle, Jose was rushing to bring a fellow soldier a new supply of ammo.  Just then, he caught sight of the General whose horse had been shot dead.  On foot, without a horse, the General was extremely vulnerable. 

From movie For the Greater Glory
about  Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio 

Making a sacrifice that might cost him his life, Jose freely gave the general his own horse.  Moments later, he was caught by the federalists and locked up in a church sacristy that had been turned into a prison.  One of the guards had put a number of expensive fighting roosters inside the church for safekeeping.  This sacrilege troubled young Jose. He said: "This is not a barnyard! This is a place for God!"  He soon caught all the prized roosters and snapped their necks.

The enemies of Christ the King soon decided to kill him.

Holy Boldness in Defense of the Faith

On the way to execution, soldiers struck him savagely with sharp machetes.  

With every blow, the young boy cried out, 

"Viva Cristo Rey!" 

Representation of Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio
depicted in a movie about him

 When he got to the cemetery, he was bleeding heavily.  His torturers had also cut off the soles of his feet and forced him to walk on salt.  The boy screamed with pain but would not give in.  As the road was nothing but rocks and dirt, the stones where he had walked were soaked in his blood.  The soldiers said:  "If you shout, ‘Death to Christ the King’, we will spare your life."  

He only answered: 

"Long live Christ the King! 
Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe!"

The commander ordered the soldiers to bayonet Jose.  They pierced his body.   But with every stab he only shouted louder and louder:

 "Viva Cristo Rey!"  

The commander was so enraged that he pulled out his pistol and on February 10, 1928 killed Blessed Jose on the spot.  There was no trial.

Blessed Jose is an outstanding example of faith and courage for all Catholic young men — for you— who wish to be faithful to Christ.  

He was declared a martyr and was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on November 20, 2005.

Blessed Jose, pray for us!

Will YOU be able to give your life up for Christ and His Mother?  The times are coming when you may have to do just that.  Pray for strength and courage to be a martyr for Christ.

Miraculous Cure Intercession of Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río

Mexico City, Mexico, Jan 29, 2016 / 12:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The miraculous cure of a baby with brain damage through the intercession of Mexican martyr Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río has been approved by the Vatican, completing the final step for the teen’s path to sainthood.

Pope Francis signed the decree Jan. 21, verifying the inexplicable recovery of a baby who doctors said had “no hope of survival” due to a myriad of health problems including brain damage caused by a stroke as a miracle attributed to Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio, a teenager who was martyred for his faith during the Cristero wars of the 1920s.

Ximena Guadalupe Magallón Gálvez was just a few weeks old in September 2008 when her parents took her to Sahuayo in the Mexican state of Michoacán where Bl. José was born. During the visit, Ximena began running a fever that her regular doctor was unable to treat, her mother Paulina Gálvez Ávila said in a post on the Facebook page dedicated to Bl. José.

Concerned that the fever was a sign of something more serious like pneumonia, the doctor sent her to have X-rays at Santa María Hospital in Sahuayo where doctors ruled out that disease, but were still unable to treat the fever. Her parents took Ximena to get a second opinion from Dr. Rosendo Sánchez in Aguascalientes State who had the child readmitted to the hospital, saying that she might be suffering from atypical pneumonia.

“We spent two months living that nightmare and (the doctors) didn’t know what was going on since she wasn’t responding to any treatments,” Mrs. Gálvez said.

They sought another opinion from Dr. Adán Macías who diagnosed her with pneumococcus, a bacterial infection that can cause several different life-threatening illnesses including meningitis, severe pneumonia, and bloodstream infections. Ximena was transferred back to to Aguascalientes where Dr. Rosendo discovered that Ximena’s right lung was filled with fluid. She would need to immediately undergo an operation which could be very risky on such a young child.

“Dr. Rosendo spoke with us and informed us that she would have to undergo a very delicate operation since she could bleed and die. We gave our consent and we told him to do whatever it takes  to save little Ximena and that we were putting her in God’s hands,” Mrs. Gálvez said.

Concerned about their young child’s worsening health, the couple decided to have her baptized before the operation rather than waiting until she was older.

The operation was successful, but upon examining lung tissue, doctors discovered that Ximena had been suffering from tuberculosis.

“When they told us it was in fact tuberculosis and they brought her to us in the room, she looked strange, just staring off with an empty look in her eyes. We talked to her but she didn’t react. I told the doctor she looked bad, it wasn’t my baby because she was always smiling before,” the mother said.

The baby underwent began intense treatment for tuberculosis, but her health took a turn for the worse when doctors informed the parents that baby Ximena had suffered from a stroke, causing 90 percent of her brain to be dead.

Mrs. Gálvez asked to see her daughter. Before going into the room where the child was, one of the doctors warned her “that my baby was already in a vegetative state and that appropriate procedures should be initiated.”

“Dr. Rosendo arrived and crying I begged him to save my daughter. They put her into an induced coma and gave us 72 hours to see if she would live, since 90 percent of her brain was dead,” she said.

During those three days, Ximena’s parents went to Mass everyday “to ask God and Joselito to intercede for my baby, that they would work a miracle” she said, using the affectionate nickname her family had for Bl. José Luis Sánchez del Río.

Mrs. Gálvez said, “I asked them to let me be with her and hug her, then they disconnected her.”

“At that moment I put my baby in God’s hands and the intercession of Joselito and at that moment she opened her eyes and smiled.”

Ximena looked at the doctors “and she started laughing with them.”

The doctors “couldn’t explain what had happened. Because they had done everything medically possible and that’s when they said it’s a miracle.”

The doctors took Ximena to do a CT scan and an encephalogram. They were surprised to see that 80 percent of her brain had recovered. When they examined her the next day, her brain had become completely healthy again.

Even after such an inexplicable recovery, doctors told Ximena’s parents that as a result of the temporary brain damage, she would never be able to eat or walk properly and that would most likely be blind and deaf and unable to speak due to the stroke.

However, when her mother gave her a bottle of milk at the hospital, she drank eight ounces right away. The doctors were astonished.

Contrary to all of the doctors predictions, Ximena completely recovered and is “perfectly well thanks to God and the intercession of Joselito,” Mrs. Gálvez said.

“We give endless thanks to Almighty God for this miracle and to Blessed Martyr José Sánchez del Río for his ample intercession.”

Mexican Martyr’s Miracle Helped Save Hometown Girl

Lupis was on the brink of death when her mother sought Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio's intercession

The miracle attributed to a young Mexican martyr who will now be canonized was the healing of a girl from the future saint’s hometown.

Ximena Guadalupe Magallan Gálvez, known by family and friends as Lupis, fought tremendous odds to live, but because of the intercession of Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río, who was killed at age 14 during the Mexican Cristero war, she is now a healthy seven-year-old.

The Vatican announced last week that Lupis’ cure, attributed to Blessed José, was accepted as a miracle, clearing the way for his canonization. Pope Francis will make his first visit as pope to Mexico Feb. 12-17, though it has not been announced whether he will canonize Blessed José while he is there.
The future saint grew up and died in Sahuayo, which is in the state of Michoacán. Pope Francis will be visiting Morelia, that state’s capital. The area has suffered from drug cartel-related violence in recent years.

Lupis was born in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sept. 8, 2008, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her mother, Paulina Gálvez, told Aleteia’s Spanish edition that she’d had serious problems during her pregnancy, including placental abruption, a condition that can lead to the unborn child’s death.
She had heard stories of Blessed José, known locally and affectionately as “Joselito,” and the Cristeros of Sahuayo since her childhood. “As the pregnancy progressed and I came to live in America for a while, I became more attached to him,” she said.
They returned to Sahuayo a month after Lupis was born, but the girl contracted pneumonia and tuberculosis. At four months, Lupis had a stroke, contracted meningitis and experienced epileptic seizures. She was transferred to an intensive care unit in Aguascalientes and underwent therapy and a series of tests.
Because she was continuing to endure constant spasms, doctors induced a coma. In an interview with Notimex, the official Mexican news agency, Gálvez said the doctors told her that 90 percent of Lupis’ brain was dead. She asked if she could hold her child in her arms while they disconnected life support.

“At that time I put my baby in the hands of God and the intercession of Joselito,” she said.

Then Lupis “opened her eyes and smiled, looked at the doctors and started to laugh,” said the mother.

A subsequent CT scan and EEG showed that Lupis’ brain was 80 percent recovered. The next day, after further tests, the brain appeared normal.

“The doctors were shocked because they believed that if she lived, she probably would not walk and would not speak due to the stroke,” Gálvez explained.

Gálvez contacted the priest who had baptized her daughter and told him what had happened after she prayed to Blessed José Sánchez del Río. Together, they contacted Antonio Berumen, vice postulator of the cause of canonization. The process of documenting and verifying the miracle culminated in this month’s announcement at the Vatican, just short of seven years after Lupis was brought back from the edge of death.

“The canonization of child Joselito means we are blessed in a land of martyrs,” Gálvez said. “Having a saint in our Mexico and Michoacán is the best thing that could have happened at this difficult time.”

Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río

Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río History – YouTube

PT I - Heart of a Hero - The Story of Blessed Jose Sanchez Del Rio

PT II - Heart of a Hero - The Story of Blessed Jose Sanchez Del Rio