November 23, 2015
Today is the feast of Bl. Miguel Pro, a Jesuit priest and martyr, excuted at 36 years old during the religious persecutions of Mexico.
Being that the solemnity of Christ the King was yesterday and this is a Frassati relfection, I wanted to share more about him because he reminds me so much of our man, PG.
Like Frassati, Bl. Miguel had a prankster spirit and a thrill for adventure. During the persecutions in the 1920s, Fr. Pro spent much of his priesthood in an underground ministry. On one occasion when police entered a private home as he celebrated the Mass; after rushing everyone into other rooms of the house, he hid the Blessed Sacrament in his suit pocket. He accompanied police on their search for a priest, and when none was found, a guard was posted at the door of the residence. Upon his exit, a jovial Pro informed the guard that he would have remained behind to catch the priest were it not for a date with his girlfriend. Jesting about the near snare, Fr. Miguel later wrote, “…I returned to the place, but, somehow or other, the priest had not yet appeared…”
In 1927 Fr. Miguel bravely faced a firing squad without a bandana, and his last words were, “Viva Cristo Rey!”…Long live Christ the King!
In Holy Hour yesterday, I had an image of Jesus resting his forehead against my forehead with great love, and a beautiful crown on His head. But when He touched His head to mine, instead of feeling the coolness of gold metal, on “my side of the veil” as it were, it turned into a crown of thorns digging into me. Feeling the sharp pain of the thorns, my reaction in this image was not to draw away, but to push against Him, digging the thorns even deeper.
My friends, while this image is the ideal—and just so we’re clear, an ideal I am quite far away from—it depicts how the Lord, “…wills to give us a share in His mysteries and somehow to extend them to us”1…even the mystery of His death. As St. Paul says, “I complete in my own flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ”.2They are complete in the person of Jesus, yes, but they are not complete and perfect in us.
And by this extension, let us prepare for our martrydom by dying to self today, in what is small. Whether we meet a firing squad or the daily irritations, stay near to Jesus in all things, He will not disappoint. He is King, He and none other.
Bl. Miguel Pro, pray for us!
Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassat, pray for us!
1 – From a treatise On the Kingdom of Jesus by St. John Eudes; also found in the Office of Readings, 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Friday
2 – Colossians 1:24