12/4/2017 0 Comments
Viva Cristo Rey!
The killing of Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio, 14-year-old Mexican Cristero martyr
At 11 p.m., the hour of martyrdom arrived. Believing that torture would change the mind of the boy, the government soldiers flayed the skin from the soles of his feet, thinking that José would weaken and cry out for mercy. But they were wrong. As the sharp pain seared through his body, José thought of Christ on the Cross and offered him everything, all the while shouting ‘Viva Cristo Rey!’
Then the soldiers, hurling insults at him and giving him blows forced him to walk barefoot with his injured feet through the cobblestone streets toward the cemetery. Along the way, some of the soldiers cut his body with a machete until he was bleeding from several wounds.
At times they stopped him and said, “If you shout, ‘Death to Christ the King’ we will spare your life.”
Jose would only shout, “I will never give in. Viva Cristo Rey! Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!”
When they reached the cemetery, the soldiers stood the boy before a newly dug hole, his grave. The executioners riddled his battered body with bayonet stabs.
At each stab, the boy cried out louder, “Viva Cristo Rey!”
Then the commander of the guard addressed the youth, cruelly asking if he wanted to send a message to his father.
To this José replied without yielding, “That we will see each other in Heaven. Viva Cristo Rey! ¡Viva Santa María de Guadalupe!” These were his last words.
The captain drew his pistol and shot him in the head. José fell into the pit. It was half past eleven on Friday, February 10, 1928. He was 14-years-old.
--- From "José Sánchez del Rio, Martyr for Christ the King"
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THERESA MARIE MOREAU is an award-winning reporter who covers Catholicism and Communism.