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Saint Cristobal Magallanes Jara and Saint Agustin Caloca Cortes

Saint Christobal (or Christopher) and Saint Caloca were priests martyred by government forces during the Cristero war after being falsely accused of inciting rebellion.

Saint Cristobal was the son of two farmers, Magallanes Romero and Clara Jara Sanchez and was born on July 30th, 1869 in Jalisco, Mexico. He spent his youth joining his parents in pastoral and Shepard work before entering the Conciliar Seminary of San Jose in Guadalajara at the age of 19. He studied and attended the seminary for the next 11 years. After being ordained at Santa Teresa in 1899, Saint Cristobal served as chaplain of the School of Arts and Works of the Holy Spirit in Guadalajara. He was then assigned to be the parish priest in Totatiche.

At Totatiche he aided locals in building several schools and carpentry schools and even assisted in the planning of the La Canderlaria dam but took special interest and devotion in evangelizing the local Huichol people. In 1914 the ruling government of Mexico, in an act of Anti-Catholic persecution, ordered the seminary in Guadalajara closed. Saint Cristobal took it upon himself to open a secret seminary in his own parish to further the education of those seeking the priest hood. It officially opened as the auxiliary Seminary of Totatiche in July of 1915 and was formally recognized by Archbishop Jose Francisco Orozco y Jimenez with the appointment of two professors and a precept. the following year.

Saint Cristobal wrote and preached against taking up arms in the rebellion exploding around him. Government officials falsely accused him of promoting the Cristero Rebellion. While walking on a small road with a fellow priest (Father Calcoa) to celebrate Mass and the feast of Saint Rita of Cascia the two priests were arrested by government forces. The government accused them both of inciting rebellions in the area (a shootout between Cristero and government forces near the village had recently occurred). Saint Cristobal gave away his possessions to his executioners and suffered in prison for four days with no trial.

Saint Augustin Caloca Cortes

His fellow priest, Saint Agustin Calcoa Cortes was born on May 5th, 1898 into a peasant family in Zacatecas. He studied at the Auxxiliary Seminary that Saint Cristobal had formed and was ordained on August 5th, 1923. He served as parish priest and prefect of the auxiliary seminary but was forced to flee alongside eleven students to Cocoatzco in December of 1926. In May the following year he returned to the seminary to warn the remaining students that the Mexican government soldiers were quickly approaching and was arrested after helping them escape. A government officer took pity on him and offered his freedom to him but Saint Caloca refused unless Saint Cristobal would be allowed the same freedom.

On May 25th, the two were lead into a courtyard. Saint Cristobal granted his executioners absolution for the coming martyrdom and said aloud:

"I die innocent, and ask God that my blood may serve to unite my Mexican brethren."

Saint Calcoa's final words were

"We live for God and for Him we die."

On May 21st, 2000, Saint Pope John Paul II formally canonized both priests. Their optional memorial is celebrated on May 21st.

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תגובה אחת

San Cristobal Magallanes’ father was named Rafael Magallanes. St. Cristobal is my great granduncle. Thank you for this publication!

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