Miguel Pro (1891-1927)
This heroic Cristo Rey priest gave his life for his faith during government persecution . . .
Many of us often act as though we are afraid of sharing the Gospel. Miguel Pro had reason to fear, but he spread the Word anyway. Miguel was the third of 11 children born to a Mexican business executive and his wife. The family was happy and devout in its faith. However, they paid for their devotion because it came at a time of governmental persecution.
Miguel discerned a priestly vocation and was ordained in Belgium. Upon his return, he had to practice his ministry in secret. He held a retreat for mechanics dressed as a driver to avoid attention. He dressed as a street cleaner or beggar in order to visit homes incognito and administer the sacraments. He even dressed as a policeman to administer Last Rites to some condemned men.
All of this made him the government’s Public Enemy No. 1. Authorities arrested him on trumped up charges and after a kangaroo trial, sentenced him to death. That morning, he bravely walked to the place of execution, blessed his executioners, prayed, stretched out his arms like Christ on the cross, and having shouted his last words, “Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!),” received the bullets that ended his life.
BRIAN O’NEEL is a writer, husband and father of six living in southeast Pennsylvania. His latest book is “39 New Saints You Should Know.”