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Bl. Miguel Pro

Bl. Miguel Pro by Julie Lonneman

Artwork Narrative:

Jesuit priest Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, S.J. was executed before a firing squad during a persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico. His “crime” was his secret ministry to his beloved people, who at that time were forbidden by the government from practicing their Catholic faith.

“Neither suffering nor serious illness, neither the exhausting ministerial activity, frequently carried out in difficult and dangerous circumstances, could stifle the radiating and contagious joy which he brought to his life for Christ and which nothing could take away. Indeed, the deepest root of self-sacrificing surrender for the lowly was his passionate love for Jesus Christ and his ardent desire to be conformed to him, even unto death.”
—Saint John Paul II

“We ought to speak, shout out against injustices, with confidence and without fear. We proclaim the principles of the Church, the reign of love, without forgetting that it is also a reign of justice.”
—Miguel Agustin Pro, S.J.

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Miguel was the son of a mining engineer. From childhood he was known for high spirits and cheerfulness, and he grew up in a pious home. Born to privilege, he had great affinity for the poor and working classes. Miguel became a Jesuit novice at 20. He was exiled during the Mexican revolution. Miguel was ordained in Belgium in 1925 at age 36. He was a victim of recurring stomach disorder. Miguel returned to Mexico in 1926, a time when churches were closed, priests were in hiding, and persecution of the Church was policy. Father Miguel used disguises to conduct an underground ministry, bringing the comfort of charity and the sacraments to the faithful.

Falsely accused in 1927 of a bombing attempt, Pro became a wanted man, was betrayed to the police, and without trial, he was sentenced to death. As he was about to be shot, he forgave his executioners, refused a blindfold, and died shouting "Love live Christ the King!" The government prohibited a public funeral, but the faithful lined the streets when his body passed.

Born: 13 January 1891 at Zacatecas, Mexico

Died: Martyred by firing squad in 1927

Beatified: 25 September 1988 by Pope John Paul II

Readings:

We ought to speak, shout out against injustices, with confidence and without fear. We proclaim the principles of the Church, the reign of love, without forgetting that it is also a reign of justice.
—Miguel Agustin Pro

Does our life become from day to day more painful, more oppressive, more replete with sufferings? Blessed be he a thousand times who desires it so. If life be harder, love makes it also stronger, and only this love, grounded on suffering, can carry the Cross of my Lord, Jesus Christ.
—Miguel Agustin Pro

I believe, O Lord, but strengthen my faith... Heart of Jesus, I love Thee; but increase my love. Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee; but give greater vigor to my confidence. Heart of Jesus, I give my heart to Thee; but so enclose it in Thee that it may never be separated from Thee. Heart of Jesus, I am all Thine; but take care of my promise so that I may be able to put it in practice even unto the complete sacrifice of my life.
—Miguel Agustin Pro