Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends. I have been praying even more for our parish this week, that we all would be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we spend time in prayer asking him what the appropriate amount for each of us is to give back to God in gratitude for all He has given us.
This weekend as we celebrate Christ the King, I would like to share with you a little bit about Blessed Miguel Pro, one of the Mexican martyrs of the last century. As a child Miguel was known for his deep spirituality as well as his sense of humor. While he was studying for the priesthood, a wave of governmental anti-Catholicism gripped Mexico and so he was sent to Spain then to Belgium to be ordained a priest in 1925.
Due to severe stomach problems, he returned to Mexico the following year. His ministry had to be undercover due to the government’s crackdown on the Faith. For example, Father Miguel would dress up as a gardener and then sneak into a home to baptize the children and celebrate the sacraments. Fr. Miguel was also known for his great charity and care of the poor.
Eventually, the government was frustrated by his successful ministry and falsely claimed that he was involved in a car bombing against the Mexican president. Fr. Miguel escaped arrest for some time (there is a picture of him in disguise standing outside of a police station—a sign that he did not lose his sense of humor during the persecution). Eventually, he was caught and brought before a firing squad. As he faced death with arms outstretched, he exclaimed, “Long live Christ the King!” and was martyred.
May we also be bold in sharing our faith to our coworkers, friends, and strangers.
Bishop Tim Freyer