Last updateFri, 05 Feb 2016 2pm

Executed boy to become Mexico’s next saint

A 14-year-old boy martyr who was executed in Mexico’s Cristero (Holy) War of the 1920s will become this country’s newest Catholic saint.

According to the Vatican, Pope Francis recently approved a miracle attributed to Jose Sanchez del Rio, the final stage of the process to canonization or sainthood.

It is unlikely that Sanchez del Rio, a member of the Catholic Youth Brigade, ever fired a shot in anger during the rebels’ struggle against the anti-clerical policies of President Elias Calles.  A devout Catholic, he had apparently pleaded with his mother to be allowed to join the fight against the federal government’s repressive regime.  Some versions of his story say that she eventually relented and gave him permission to join the rebels but only after writing to General Prudencio Mendoza, the leader of the Cristeros in Michoacan, explaining that her son did not know how to fire a weapon but was excellent at cooking beans.

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