February Martyrs North America Saints

Saint José Luis Sánchez del Río

Feast Day: February 10

Today I am Feasting with… Saint José Luis Sánchez del Río.

Portrait of Saint José Luis Sánchez del Río

To celebrate his feast day, I’m making Pozole Verde. A traditional Mexican dish.

How to make Pozole Verde

José Luis Sánchez del Río

José Sánchez was born on March 28, 1913, in Sahuayo, Mexico. He was the third child out of four. José was baptized in the church of St. James the Apostle and his godfather was Rafael Picazo Sánchez.

José was twelve years old when the Cristero Wars began in Mexico. He longed to fight for and defend the Catholic faith from the atheist Mexican government.

Unfortunately, José was still to young to join the fight. Instead, he and his family prayed the rosary daily and, despite the dangers, continued receiving Holy Communion.

Flag Bearer

When José turned fourteen he begged his mother to allow him to join the war saying, “Mama, do not let me lose the opportunity to gain Heaven so easily and so soon.”  He eventually was allowed to join the war as a flag bearer.

During a battle, General Guízar Morfín’s horse was killed, endangering the general of being captured. José offered his own horse to the general, insisting Morfín was more important to the cause than José was.

The general managed to escape, but José was captured by the Mexican government. José was imprisoned in the abandoned church of St. James the Apostle.

¡Viva Cristo Rey!

The Mexican government tried to get José to deny his faith and reject the Cristero cause, but José bravely refused to do so.

It was José’s own godfather, Rafael Picazo Sánchez, who ordered José’s execution. The soldiers seized José, cut the bottom of his feet, and forced him to walk barefoot to the cemetery of Sahuayo.

At the cemetery, the general of the guard offered José one more chance to deny his faith. José responded with, “¡Viva Cristo Rey y Santa Maria de Guadalupe!” which translates to, “Live Christ King and Saint Mary of Guadalupe.”

Furious, the general ordered his soldiers to stab José with their bayonets. As a last act of defiance, José dipped his finger in his blood, drew a cross in the dirt, and kissed the bloody cross. The general pulled out his pistol, and at point-blank range, sent the martyr into the arms of his Savior.

Saint José

José died on February 10, 1928, at 11:30 pm. Just one month before his fifteenth birthday.

Saint José’s Feast Day is February 10 and he is the patron of persecuted Christians, children, adolescents, and Sahuayo.

Saint José Luis Sánchez del Río, pray for us!

How to make Pozole Verde