Who says a fourteen-year-old can’t be a great saint?
Not our Holy Father.
This Sunday, Pope Francis will canonize – officially declare a “saint” – one very special fourteen-year-old, José Sánchez del Río. José is patron of both boys’ and girls’ ECYD, Regnum Christi’s youth counterpart.
José was martyred for the faith in February 1928 in Sahuayo, Mexico. Given the chance to regain his freedom numerous times in exchange for denouncing Christ, José refused.
He could have avoided martyrdom if it hadn’t been for perhaps his greatest act of reverence for God. Imprisoned in his own parish Church, which had been desecrated, José saw fighting roosters tied up on the main altar. “There where you belong, Lord, they tie up their animals? No,” he is recorded praying. He broke the necks of the roosters and wiped their filth off the altar with his own shirt. Later, the infuriated owner of the roosters had José murdered primarily for this act of reverence and devotion.
What can we learn from him today, as the Church raises him to its highest honor?
We can put God and His rights first. It is so easy for us to make gods out of little things – money, gadgets, our pride, control. For José, nothing was more important than God, not even his own life. José teaches us what truly matters and lasts: God and spending eternity with Him. Getting there is not about having the latest smartphone or “the perfect life”. It’s about having a real relationship with the Lord, a relationship that enfolds every moment of our day and is our greatest treasure.
ECYD and Regnum Christi gain a powerful intercessor this Sunday, as does the whole Church.
Soon-to-be-Saint José, pray for us!
The Canonization starts at 4:15am EST. It will be live-streamed on Youtube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7Hs4xFSVik
Read the life of José, “Blessed José”, by the author of this article, at: www.blessedjose.com