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Pope Francis

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Who was the Cristero child Jose Sanchez del Rio?

2016-03-15

Jose Sanchez del Rio,who is also known as the "Child martyr,” was executed on February 10, 1928 by officers of the Mexican army during the Cristero War.

Fidel Gonzalez perhaps knows Sanchez del Rio's life story best, and has taken his cause for canonization to the Vatican. The martyrdom of this candidate was atrocious. They tore off the soles of his feet and forced him to walk to the cemetery where they brutally tortured and killed him. 

FR. FIDEL GONZÁLEZ
Postulator Cause José Sánchez del Río
"Before the drama of a Mexico where fundamental principles of religious liberty were denied and priests were imprisoned and killed, he joined a popular movement in defense of religious freedom, like many of his friends and relatives. His parents didn't agree because he was considered too young, but managed to convince them and joined the Cristeros.” 

The Cristero revolt was initiated by Mexican laity because of religious persecution that was started by the government in the late 1920s. His story was brought to theaters in "Cristeros” a film staring Andy Garcia. The young Jose Sanchez del Rio is one of the characters in the film.

During his visit to the Cathedral of Morelia in Mexico, Pope Francis placed some flowers on the sculpture that remembers this young martyr. There was also the girl whose miraculous healing is being attributed to the boy, something which opens the door to his future canonization.


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