St. Christopher Magallanes and Companions
Today we honor St. Christopher Magallanes, priest and martyr, and his companions, martyrs.
Like Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro, S.J. (November 23), Christopher and his twenty-four companion martyrs lived under a very anti-Catholic government in Mexico, one determined to weaken the Catholic faith of its people. Churches, schools and seminaries were closed; foreign clergy were expelled. Christopher established a clandestine seminary at Totatiche, Jalisco. Magallanes and the other priests were forced to minister secretly to Catholics during the presidency of Plutarco Calles (1924-1928).
All of these martyrs except three were diocesan priests. David, Manuel and Salvador were laymen who died with their parish priest, Luis Batis. All of these martyrs belonged to the Cristero movement, pledging their allegiance to Christ and to the church that he established to spread the Good News in society—even if Mexico’s leaders had made it a crime to receive baptism or celebrate the Mass.
These martyrs did not die as a single group but in eight Mexican states, with Jalisco and Zacatecas having the largest number. They were beatified in 1992 and canonized eight years later.