Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez

1891 - 1927

Feast Day: November 23

Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez was born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe. Guadalupe is a suburb of Zacatecas in the Mexican state of Zacatecas. He was executed on November 23, 1927). He was the eldest son of Miguel Pro and Josefa Juarez.

Miguelito, as he was affectionately known, was intensely spiritual from an early age and equally intense in naughtiness, often provoking his family with his humor and practical jokes.

As a child, he had a daring serotinous attitude that sometimes went too far, leading him to near-death accidents and illness.

When young Miguel regained consciousness after one of these episodes, he opened his eyes and blurted out to his frantic parents, "I want some cocol" (an informal term for his favorite sweet bread). "Cocol" became his nickname, which he would later adopt as a codename during this clandestine ministry.

Miguel began to recognize his calling to the priesthood when his older sister, with whom he was close, entered the monastery.

Though popular with the senoritas and looking forward to a lucrative career managing his father's thriving business concerns, Miguel renounced everything for Christ, his king, and entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1911 in El Llano, Michoacan. .

In 1914, a tidal wave of anti-Catholicism crashed into Mexico, where he studied, forcing the novitiate to dissolve and flee to the United States, where Miguel and his brother seminarians traveled through Texas and New Mexico before arriving at the Jesuit home. in Los Gatos, California.

In 1915 Miguel was sent to a seminary in Spain, where he remained until 1924, when he went to Belgium for his ordination to the priesthood in 1925.

Miguel suffered from a serious stomach problem and after three operations, when his health did not improve, his superiors allowed him to return to Mexico in 1926 despite the severe religious persecution in that country.

When he moved to Mexico, churches were closed and priests went into hiding. Miguel spent the rest of his life in a secret ministry for the sturdy Mexican Catholics.

In addition to meeting their spiritual needs, he helped the poor in Mexico City with their temporal needs. He took on many interesting disguises when carrying out his secret ministry.

He would come dressed as a beggar in the middle of the night to baptize babies, bless marriages and celebrate mass. He would appear in prison disguised as a police officer to deliver the Holy Viaticum to convicted Catholics.

When he went to fashionable neighborhoods to buy supplies for the poor, he would appear at the door dressed as a fashionable businesswoman with a fresh flower on his lapel. His many exploits rivaled those of the most daring spies.

In all that he did, however, Fr. Pro remained obedient to his superiors and fulfilled the joy of serving Christ his King.

Miguel was falsely accused of the bombing of a former Mexican president and became a wanted man. Betrayed to the police, he was sentenced to death without the benefit of any legal process.

On the day he was executed, Fr. Pro forgave his executioners, prayed, bravely refused the blindfold, and died proclaiming, “Viva Cristo Rey,” “Long live Christ the King!”