February 10 will mark the 85th anniversary of one of the most cruel and barbaric martyrdoms to be inflicted on any of the Cristeros. It redounds to God’s greater glory that His grace sustained and enabled a mere youth, “Tarcisius” as he was nicknamed by the men of his regiment, to win the palm of victory. This young boy, Blessed José Sánchez del Rio, enlisted at age 13 to join his two older brothers, Macario and Miguel, as soldiers of Christ. He was to die before his 15th birthday.
Though originally refused enlistment because of his age, José endeared himself to the General, when with charming and pleading simplicity he mentioned that he knew how to fry the beans for the men.
When he was captured, he told Calle’s General, “I am here because I ran out of bullets, but I do not surrender.”
As he lay bleeding, he took some of his own blood with which he traced the sign of the cross on the ground, and after kissing it, he was killed.
“Today I wish to speak to you, sweet José. I want to address to you my humble prayer that you show your countenance to all the youth of the world…There is very left to do before your canonization, before men raise you to the altars, because for God, you already have been raised and now reign with Him. Your youth was ripped from you, but not your spiritual childhood. Your feet were slashed, but not your footprints which even now continue to traverse Mexican hearts. Little José, warrior of the Lord, you stood up to the cruelest [scourge of] atheism which the people of Mexico in their entire history have been able to withstand. You confronted it, and you conquered. How? With your very life…a victory for whom? It was a victory of God in a child, for mankind. For men, death is failure; for God and for those who are with Him, it is victory.” – Part of a prayer composed by José Airam Fariña Marrero, Spain, as found on the Corazon Cristero facebook page.
Blessed Joselito, pray for me, for this apostolate of the Kankakee TLM, for the reign of Christ the King over society!