Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Feast of Blessed Miguel Pro SJ, Priest and Martyr.

“We ought to speak,
shout out against injustices,
with confidence and without fear.
We proclaim the principles of the Church, the reign of love,
without forgetting that it is also a reign of JUSTICE!” (Blessed Miguel Pro, SJ).

"Jesus said to the crowd: “They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name.

"It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” (Luke 21: 12 - 19).

Wednesday 23rd November 2022 of the 34th Week of Ordinary Time
is the feast of Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, SJ. (1891 - 1927). Mexican. Priest of the Society of Jesus and Martyr during the fierce Mexican persecution of the Church in the 1920s. Miguel Pro traveled to Europe to complete his theological studies for the priesthood because of the demonic opposition to the Church in Mexico. After his ordination to the priesthood, he returned to Mexico and ministered to the people in secret escaping  arrests by hiding and disguises. He was eventually captured and executed by firing squad.  Miguel Pro spread his hands in form of a cross and shouted "CRISTO REY" (Christ the King) as the executioners rained bullets into his body.

Our key Scripture is from Luke 21: 12 - 19. This is one of the most powerful and comforting promises Jesus made to His followers. Soon after the experience of Pentecost, Peter and John confirmed the truth in their encounter with the Sanhedrin (the Supreme Court of Israel). Other Apostles including Stephen and Paul confirmed the reliability of this promise of Jesus in their ministry. This promise has blessed me on a number of occasions. Hence I call the Holy Spirit the Voice that speaks in Court.

Martyrdom is the badge of honor for Christians. Tertulian, the 2nd century African theologian stated that "The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity."

"Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  (Matthew 5: 10).

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