21 May 2012

Church honours Mexican martyrs today

Today the Church honours a group of 25 Mexican martyrs, 22 of them diocesan priests and three of them laymen, St Christopher Magallanes and Companions. There is a list of their names here. Fr Pedro de Jesus Maldonado was killed in 1915, the others between 1926 and 1928. 

The movie, For Greater Glory, in Spanish Cristiada, which tells something of the story of the martyrs, will be officially released on 1 June. Peter O'Toole plays the part of St Christopher. Above is the official trailer.

St Cristóbal (Christopher) Magallanes Jara was born on 30 July 1869 and executed by firing squad on 25 May 1927. The son of farmers, and a one-time shepherd, he was captured while on his way to celebrate Mass with farmers, becoming a shepherd in a much deeper sense by laying down his life for his sheep. His last words were, I die innocent, and ask God that my blood may serve to unite my Mexican brethren.

Image of Blessed José Luis Sánchez Del Río (28 March 1913 - 10 February 1928)

One of the characters in For Greater Glory is 14-year-old Blessed José Luis Sánchez Del Río, beatified in Mexico on 20 November 2005. His part in the film is played by 14-year-old Mauricio Kuri. In an interview Mauricio speaks of the impact on him of the young Blessed and of his playing the martyr's part in the movie.

Pope Benedict in his message for this year's World Youth Day, celebrated in Rome on Palm Sunday, 13 April, wrote, Be enthusiastic witnesses of the new evangelization! Go to those who are suffering and those who are searching, and give them the joy that Jesus wants to bestow. Bring it to your families, your schools and universities, and your workplaces and your friends, wherever you live. You will see how it is contagious. You will receive a hundredfold: the joy of salvation for yourselves, and the joy of seeing God’s mercy at work in the hearts of others. And when you go to meet the Lord on that last day, you will hear him say: 'Well done, my good and faithful servant... Come, share your master’s joy' (Mt 25:21). 

Young actor Mauricio Kuri radiates some of that joy as he speaks about the young Mexican martyr whose part he played in For Greater Glory.

1 comment:

Ruth Ann Pilney said...

I'm looking forward to seeing this movie. I've always admired Blessed Miguel Pro. I enjoyed seeing the interview with the young actor that you embedded.