St Christopher Magallanes

From Wikipedia: Saint Cristóbal Magallanes Jara was born in Totatiche, Jalisco, Mexico on July 30, 1869. He was son of Rafael Magallanes and Clara Jara, who were farmers. He worked as a shepherd in his youth and enrolled in the Conciliar Seminary of San José in Guadalajara at the age of 19.

He was ordained at the age of 30 at the Santa Teresa Temple in Guadalajara and subsequently served as chaplain of the School of Arts and Works of the Holy Spirit in Guadalajara. He was then designated as the parish priest for his home town of Totatiche, where he helped found schools, carpentry shops and the planning of hydrological works including the dam of La Candelaria.

He took special interest in the evangelization of the local indigenous Huichol people and was instrumental in the foundation of the mission in the indigenous town of Azqueltán. When government decrees shut down the seminary in Guadalajara in 1914, he offered to open a seminary in his parish. In July of 1915, he opened the Auxiliar Seminary of Totatiche, which quickly achieved a student body of 17 students by the following year and was recognized by the Archbishop of Guadalajara, José Francisco Orozco y Jiménez, who appointed a precept and two professors to the seminary.

Magallanes Jara wrote and preached against armed rebellion, but was falsely accused of promoting the Cristero Rebellion in the area. Arrested on May 21, 1927 while en route to celebrate Mass at a farm, he gave away his few remaining possessions to his executioners, gave them absolution, and without a trial, he was martyred with Saint Agustín Caloca in Colotlán, Jalisco. His last words to his executioners were “I die innocent, and ask God that my blood may serve to unite my Mexican brethren.”

He was succeeded as parish priest of Totatiche by José Pilar Quezada Valdés, who went on to become the first bishop of the diocese of Acapulco.

He was canonized by Pope John Paul II on May 21, 2000.

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