Monday, May 16, 2011


Blessed Miguel Pro
"Viva Christo Rey"

Jesus lived His life according to the will of God.  He loved us with infinite love.  He did His ministry with obedience to the Father and love toward others.  He was so selfless that He even died for us.  Many saints have been inspired by His example and followed in His footsteps.

Father Miguel Pro was a priest who risked his life for God and for others.  When he was about 9 years old, he felt the call to join the priesthood.  However as a child, he was known to be a jokester.  Even in the seminary, he liked to joke around.  Once he joked about cheering up any sad saint by doing a Mexican hat dance! 

When Fr Miguel was about to enter the seminary, he was known among staff and students there as one who liked to joke around.  Because of this, they doubted his sincerity in wanting to become a priest, so his vocation was tested.  In the rector's office, he heard the seminarians yelling about what an awful place the seminary was.  However he stayed calm, and this helped him pass the test.  So he was admitted and he eventually became a priest.

Fr Miguel risked his life ministering the scraments to the people because at that time, it was forbidden to be a Catholic.  Catholic priests were outlawed.  People would be thrown into prison just for going to Mass, and a person could be killed just for receiving communion!  So Fr Miguel had to be really careful.  He travelled on bicycles just to outrun the police.  He wore disguises so that he would not get caught.  Some days he would dress as a mechanic, a peasant, a farmer, a traveller and a beggar. 

Once, when he was being chased by the police, he was dressed in shabby clothes.  He tried to blend into the crowd, but he was carefully eyed, until he spotted a young woman.  He ran up to her, linked his arms with hers, and whispered in her ear:  "Help me.  I am a priest."  The young woman realized what was happening and went along with Fr Pro and pretended to be his girlfriend.  So he was never caught.

Fr Miguel was finally caught and arrested in 1927 when a bomb was thrown from a car which was previously owned by Fr Miguel's brother.  Although Fr Miguel had no involvement in the bombing, General Calles (who was the target of the bomb) ordered the arrest of Fr Miguel and his brother.  There was no trial, so they were never given the chance to prove their innocence.  General Calles soon ordered their execution.

On the day of their execution, Fr Miguel prayed with his brother and the other prisoners and helped them be calm and prepare for death.  He heard their confessions.  The policeman who arrested Fr Miguel asked to be forgiven and the priest gently forgave him, as well as the members of the firing squad for what they were about to do.  Although it was difficult not to be angry at them for being so cruel and unjust, Fr Miguel remembered that Jesus forgave His enemies on the Cross.

At the moment of his execution, Fr Miguel stretched out his arms in the form of a cross and shouted, "Viva Christo Rey!"  (This means "Long live Christ the King!")  These were his last words.

General Calles prohibited anyone from attending the funeral of Fr Miguel and the others, but he could not keep the crowds of people away.  Silently and respectfully they filed past his coffin.  One blind woman who touched Fr Miguel's body was instantly healed.

Fr Miguel died on November 23, 1927.  He was beatified by Blessed Pope John Paul II in September 1988.

All Catholic priests are referred to as Alter Christus (meaning, another Christ), but Blessed Miguel Pro was one priest who truly lived as another Christ.  Just as Jesus sacrificed His life for the human race, Blessed Miguel lived his life for others.  He devoted his life for the church, just like our Lord.  Jesus forgave His enemies, and in imitation of this, Blessed Miguel forgave his.  Even the way Blessed Miguel Pro died, with arms outstretched as in a cross, was very much like how Jesus Christ died on the Cross!

Blessed Miguel Pro, pray for us!

(Creative writing,
Grade 5,
2011, Term 2, Week 2)