Posted by: wordofthevine | October 15, 2013

A Saintly Example


I returned several days ago from Mexico, after studying Spanish and attending an international congress on Catholic Spirituality. The last day, I was part of a pilgrimage to the town of one of the recently beatified, Mexican martyrs, Blessed Toribio Romo. Everyday while in Guadalajara, I had walked into the ancient Cathedral in the Central area of downtown, not realizing that Father Toribio had been ordained there in 1923. He was martyred at age 28 during the Mexican Revolution because he was a priest.

His story intrigued me. He grew up in a poor family with twelve children; and he entered the apostolic school to become a priest at age 12. While he heard and responded to his vocational state very early in life, a very commendable thing to do, what captivated me  was his courage in living his call, even before he was martyred. He taught the Catechism to the laity, which brought the consternation of his pastor, who withdrew his priestly faculties for a time. His story continues, on February 23, 1928, just five years past ordination, soldiers in the Mexican military woke him from a sound sleep by pelting him with their rifles. They asked him, “Are you Father Romo” which he answered, “Yes!” They drug him outside in front of the parish, in plain view of everyone and assaulted him again, before they shot him in the head. His sister, saw the commotion and ran towards him, just as he was shot. He died in her arms, as she shouted, “Courage, Father Toribio, merciful Jesus, receive his spirit. Viva Cristo Rey (Long live Christ the King). His witness to his priesthood, called forth a valiant response in his sister,


who sat like Mary holding the dead Jesus. Let us live an unflappable commitment to loving Jesus, no matter the cost. While many of us witness in more ordinary circumstances of life, of pardoning other people around us who offend us with their selfishness, let us be prepared to give a very generous response when we are surprised by circumstances. We don’t know what Christ would ask of us.  Our faithfulness can draw forth generosity and heroism in others around us, like Father Toribio did for his sister.

What is God asking of you today? Google Father Toribio Romo Gonzalez and be inspired by his story. I have had a challenging reentry back into life in the United States for some reason, after living in Mexico for five weeks. Father Toribio is a powerful intercessor! ~ Mary

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