Courageous Teen on the Way to Sainthood


A miracle attributed to the young Mexican martyr, Jose del Rio, has been approved by the Vatican, opening the door to his canonization.

Aleteia is reporting on the miracle which occurred in Sahuayo, Mexico to a baby girl named Ximena Guadalupe Magallan Gálvez – or “Lupis” as her family called her.

Lupis began fighting the odds even before she was born. Her mother, Paulina Galvez, had serious problems throughout the pregnancy, including placental abruption, a condition that can prove fatal to the unborn child.

It was during these early difficulties that Paulina began to pray to Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio, known locally as “Joselito”, who was born in Sahuayo in 1913.

Lupis was born on September 8, 2008, on the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, while Paulina was living in Los Angeles. A month later, she returned to Sahuayo, and shortly thereafter, the baby contracted pneumonia and tuberculosis. At four months, Lupis suffered a stroke, contracted meningitis and began to have epileptic seizures.

Gravely ill, she was transferred to an intensive care unit in Aguascalientes and underwent therapy and a series of tests. In an effort to stop her continuous spasms, doctors induced a coma.

The baby continued to decline until doctors determined that 90 percent of the baby’s brain was dead. They recommended that life support be removed.

Paulina agreed, but asked if she could hold the child in her arms for the last time.

“At that time I put my baby in the hands of God and the intercession of Joselito,” Paulina told the official Mexican news agency, Notimex.

Just then, Lupis “opened her eyes and smiled, looked at the doctors and started to laugh,” Paulina said.

Doctors were astonished, especially after CT scans and an EEG proved that Lupis’ brain had returned to normal.

The priest who baptized Lupis contacted Antonio Berumen, vice postulator of the cause of canonization for Blessed Jose and began the process of documenting and verifying the miracle. Seven years later, the Vatican approved the miracle.

Although Pope Francis will be visiting Mexico from February 12-17, it has not been announced if he will canonize Blessed Jose while there.

Sahuayo was the birthplace of Blessed Jose, who was martyred for the faith on February 10, 1928. Devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of Guadalupe, he was only 15 years old when he joined the Cristeros, a rebel band of Catholics who were fighting the violent anti-Christian despot, Plutarco Calles. After relinquishing his horse to a General during a particularly fierce battle, he was captured and locked up in a church sacristy that had been made into a prison.

On February 10, 1928, his captors decided to make an example out of him by executing him. They marched him out to a local cemetery, whipping him with sharp machetes along the way. With each blow, Jose cried out, “Viva Cristo Rey!” which means “Long live Christ the King.” His captors also cut off the soles of his feet and forced him to walk on salt. Even though he screamed in pain, Jose would not give in to the soldier’s wishes that he forsake his God. When they demanded that he shout, “Death to Christ the King,” Jose shouted all the louder, “Long Live Christ the King! Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe!”

Enraged, the soldiers finally rushed upon him with their bayonets, piercing his body in multiple places, but he still would not be silenced. “Viva Cristo Rey!” were the last words he uttered on this earth before the commander pulled out a pistol and shot him to death.

He was declared a martyr for the faith and was beatified in 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI.

His feast day is February 10.
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