The WORD in Other Words by Fr Florencio Lagura SVD (Philippines) for Thursday 6th Week of Easter
“Viva Cristo Rey”(Long live, Christ the King!) was the battle cry of Mexico’s Cristeros, the revolutionaries who fought the Marxist-inspired regime that oppressed, persecuted, brutalized and terrorized to no end the Catholic Church at the first half of the last century in the land once blessed by Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Among the innocent victims was a young priest by the name of Cristobal Magallanes Lara.
Son of a family of farmers, Cristobal—working his way early in life as a shepherd– entered the seminary at the age of 19, and after his ordination to the priesthood at 30, he became a school chaplain. Later, as the parish priest of his native town, he took care of the spiritual welfare of his people and their more earthly concerns; he established schools, work-shops and irrigation systems. Fr. Magallanes also made sure that, despite the persecution against the Church, young candidates to the priesthood could still be properly trained.
At the height of the revolution against the oppressive and atheistic regime, Fr. Cristobal or Christopher Magallanes was falsely accused of siding with the rebels, the Cristeros. On his way to celebrate mass he was arrested, and four days later executed without the benefit of a trial.
In the year 2000 A.D. Pope, now St. John Paul II, raised him to sainthood in a lovely and solemn canonization ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica. Thousands, including those from Mexico, joyfully took part in the celebration. They fervently prayed, through the intercession of their own martyr, Saint Cristobal or Christopher Magallanes, that the Lord grant, as He had promised, “in a little while” all the grief and suffering the people of Mexico, as well as the many more who suffer persecution in other parts of the world, will all pass away.
Source – Bible Diary 2020