Blessed Miguel Pro, 1891-1927
Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez was born on January 13, 1891, in Guadalupe, Mexico. He was very close to his older sister. When she entered a convent, he felt a calling to the priesthood. He could have had a good income managing his father’s business. Instead, in 1911, Miguel chose to become a Jesuit.
In 1914, a wave of anti-Catholicism spread in Mexico. Miguel fled to Spain where he studied from 1915 to 1924. Finally, he was ordained as a priest in 1925 and returned to Mexico in 1926.
Anti-Catholic feelings were still strong in Mexico. Miguel would spend the rest of his life in a secret ministry. He cared for the spiritual and physical needs of the people. In the middle of the night, he would dress as a beggar to baptize infants, bless marriages, and celebrate Mass. Dressed as a police officer, he would visit people in jail. Dressed in a suit with a fresh flower in his lapel, he would go to wealthy people to get items for the poor. He lived like a daring spy.
Miguel became a wanted man. He was falsely accused of trying to assassinate a former Mexican president. The police arrested him, and he was sentenced to death without a trial. At his execution on November 23, 1927, Father Pro would not take a blindfold. As he died, he bravely said, “Viva Cristo Rey,” which means “Long live Christ the King!” Blessed Pope John Paul II beatified Father Pro in 1988.
Discuss: Blessed Miguel Pro disguised himself so that he could still minister to others as a priest. Who do you know that has overcome great obstacles in order to help others?
Mexico has changed since the days of Blessed Miguel Pro. Share the following facts with the young people.