A friend recently sent me this moving account about Blessed Jose Luis along with an invitation to pray through his intercession:
10th February is the feastday of Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio, the 14 year old Mexican boy martyr, who died heroically for the Catholic Faith. He pleaded with his mother to allow him to join the “Cristeros” in their fight for the freedom of the Catholic Church and of Mexico. At that time, the early decades of the 1900s, Mexico was governed by a freemasonic tyranny, that was mercilessly persecuting the Church and Her faithful, bishops, priests and laity, and executing many of them, Blessed Miguel Pro the Jesuit priest being one such martyr. “Viva Cristo Rey” – Long live Christ the King – was the cry on the lips of those valiant servants of God and His Holy Catholic Church, by which they professed and witnessed to their blessed faith in the generous shedding of their lifes’ blood.
One such, was young Jose Luis, begging his mother’s permission to publicly defend his Divine King. “In order to go to Heaven, we must go to war…will you deny me the chance to go to Heaven, and so soon?” said he, rending her heart with the fear of losing him. Having received her permission Jose went off to join the “Cristeros” in their heroic struggle against the oppressive regime of Plutarco Calles, the Masonic President. Soon Jose was captured and imprisoned, and found guilty of being an enemy of the state. During this time of his incarceration, he was heard praying the rosary and singing sacred songs. He did not falter, nor lose faith, but longed for his desired martyrdom; to die for his beloved Christ the King. Four days before his martyr’s death he wrote to his mother “I am resigned to the Will of God. I die happy because I die beside Our Lord. Do not afflict yourselves because of my death, since to die for God gives me joy.” Echoes here of St. Thomas More; “I die the King’s good servant; but God’s first.”
On his way to the site of execution, the soldiers were brutal, beating him and cutting the soles of his feet with razor-sharp knives. Moved by the greatest charity he told his torturers “I forgive you since we are all Christians. We’ll see each other in heaven. I want you all to repent.” In an attempt to get him to apostatise, they tempted him to save his life; “Say ‘Death to Cristo Rey’ and you can live” said they, to which he responded with a loud cry of “Viva Cristo Rey.” Enraged, the soldiers beat him yet more and then shot him several times, delivering a massive blow to his head. His blessed soul winged its way to Heaven and into the arms of Cristo Rey.
He is a great example and model for all of us, especially the youth; one who they can look to in their search for a spiritual ideal that nurtures a courageous faith, with a total commitment to Christ the King and His Holy Catholic Church. Let us pray to Blessed Jose Luis, for the courage to live and die for Christ our King, even if it be a “dry” martyrdom, in this age of disbelief, unbelief, and false belief. Generations, afraid and reluctant to commit themselves to anything other than the false gods of material pleasure, are lost in the wilderness of Godlessness. “When a man ceases to believe in God, he will believe anything.” wisely observed G. K. Chesterton. And so we see the world wallowing in self-indulgence pursuing the delights and excitements of every type of god, anything but the True God.
In view of the dreadful state of the whole world today, you are earnestly requested to pray a fervent novena begging this steadfast belief from God, through Blessed Jose Luis, for ourselves and especially the youth and the uncommitted, using one’s own words, commencing from 1st to 9th February, in preparation for celebrating the birthday into Heaven on 10th February of Jose Luis, the valiant Servant of Cristo Rey; on which day we salute and honour him, asking his prayers for our Holy Church, our youth, our families and our nations. VIVA CRISTO REY !!!