St. José Sánchez del Río
Feast Day: February 10th
Patron saint of: persecuted Christians, children, and the people of Sahuayo, Michoacán, Mexico.
Not too long ago, a fourteen-year-old boy named José lived in Mexico. He loved Jesus and Mary very much, and would always go to Mass and pray the rosary. At the time, the Mexican government threatened to kill Christians for their faith. But this didn’t stop Jose. In prayer, he asked God to make him a martyr for Jesus!
José wanted to help other Christian men in Mexico fight against the government for religious freedom, but his mother said he was too young and told him he shouldn’t go. “Mama,” José insisted, “do not let me lose the opportunity to gain heaven so easily and so soon.”
José joined the fight against the Mexican government as a flag bearer. During battle, he did something very brave. José saw the general’s horse fall, so he quickly rode up to the general and gave him his own horse. “My general,” said José, “take my horse and save yourself. You are needed in this battle more than me!”
Without a horse, the enemy easily caught José and held him captive. Under pain of death, they pressured José to deny his Catholic faith, but he refused. This made the government soldiers very angry. They planned to kill Jose, but first they tortured him and forced him to walk to his death. Though he was in agony during his death march, José prayed his rosary and shouted, “Viva Cristo Rey y Santa María de Guadalupe!” which means, “Long live Christ the King! Long live Holy Mary of Guadalupe!” José’s prayers were answered – he became a martyr for Jesus!
Are you brave like José? Do you attend Mass and pray even when you face difficulties? Today, ask Jesus to give you courage like José.
St. José Sánchez pray for us!