Saint Christopher Magallanes, Priest and Companions, Martyrs
St. Christopher (1869-1927) 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. 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 four days later with Saint Agustín Caloca in Colotlán, Jalisco.
From a sermon of St Caesarius of Arles
He who bears witness to the truth will be a martyr of Christ
As often as we celebrate the feasts of martyrs, dearest brethren, we ought to consider that we are fighting under the same king under whom they merited both to fight and to conquer. We ought to reflect that we have been saved by the same baptism by which they were saved, have been confirmed by the same sacraments which they deserved to receive, and carry on our foreheads the sign of the same commander whose insignia they, too, happily bore. Therefore as often as we desire to celebrate the feasts of the holy martyrs, the blessed martyrs ought to recognise in us something of their virtues, in order that it may please them to beseech the mercy of God on our behalf. For “every living thing loves its own kind”
If, then, like associates with like, the unlike is separated at a distance. Behold, our special blessed patron, whose feast we are eager to celebrate with joy, was temperate; how can the drunkard be associated with him? What companionship can the humble soul have with the proud, the kind with the envious, the generous with the avaricious, the meek with the angry? Without any doubt the blessed martyr was chaste; how will an adulterer be able to associate with him? And since the glorious martyrs lavished even their own possessions on the poor, dearest brethren, how will people who rob the property of another be able to be friends with them?
The holy martyrs endeavoured to love even their enemies; how, then, will those who are often unwilling to make a return of love even to their friends have a part with them? Let it not grieve us, dearest brethren, to imitate the holy martyrs as far as we can, in order that we may merit to be absolved from all our sins through their merits and prayers. Now someone says: Who is there who can imitate the holy martyrs? If not in everything, at least in many things we both can and ought to do so with the help of God. You cannot endure the flame of fire? You can avoid dissipation. You are unable to stand the torturing claw which tears one to pieces? Despise the avarice which encourages wicked business deals and evil profits
If easy circumstances overwhelm you, how will harsh ones fail to break you? Peace also takes hold of its martyrs; for to overcome anger, to reject envy as the poison of serpents, to resist pride, to repel hatred from one’s heart, to bridle superfluous desires of the appetite, not to give way to immoderate drink – all this is a great part of martyrdom. Whenever and wherever you see the cause of justice oppressed, if you give testimony on its behalf, you will be a martyr. Because Christ is both truth and justice, whenever either justice or truth or chastity is in difficulty, you will receive the reward of the martyrs if you have defended it with whatever strength you possess. And since in our tongue a martyr is interpreted as a witness, one who has borne witness to the truth doubtless will be a martyr of Christ, who is the truth.
Almighty and eternal God, who made the Priest Saint Christopher Magallanes and his companions faithful to Christ the King even to the point of martyrdom, grant us, through their intercession that, persevering in confession of the true faith, we may always hold fast to the commandments of your love. Through our Lord.
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