Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator
Sadly, violence is not a stranger to the people of Mexico. This sad fact is present even in our own day as drug cartels wage war with government officials. Innocent people are often caught in the cross fire.
Today the Church remembers another victim of violence in Mexico, St. Christobal or Christopher Magallanes, a Catholic priest who was martyred before he could stand trial for the trumped up charge of fomenting revolution. He and some twenty other priests and a few laymen were shot by a firing squad. As the hour of his execution drew near, he comforted his brother priests with the words: "Be calm, only a few minutes and then on to heaven." He forgave his executioners and prayed that his blood would bring salvation to his fellow Mexicans. He was canonized by the late Pope John Paul II and added to the liturgical calendar on May 21, 2000.
St. Christopher was known for his pastoral zeal, but he was particularly known for his concern for the formation of holy priests. When the seminary of Guadalajara was closed by the government, he established his own seminary in his parish and quickly enrolled seventeen young men. The bishop assigned several teachers to the area to continue the formation of the clergy.
St. Christopher and his companions stand as witnesses to the faith we place in the Resurrection of Jesus and as models of pastoral zeal and commitment to the Gospel of Jesus our Savior.