Thursday, July 3, 2014


Recently I was privileged to visit the new Santuario de Santo Toribio Romo, one of the 25 Mexican Martyrs killed by soldiers during the persecution of the Church in the mid-1920s.

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Exterior of new Santuario in honor of Santa Toribio Romo
in Mexico
I was privileged to spend three days there at the Santuario, which is located in a small town called Santa Ana de Guadalupe--in the State of Jalisco, and in the Diocese of San Juan de Los Lagos.

The new Santuario draws huge numbers of pilgrims, especially on Saturdays and Sundays.  It is not unusual to have 50,000 people on a Sunday.

St. Toribio's Remains are in a special urn which is located above the main Altar, and is visible both from the Santuario and from a small Chapel behind it.  Pilgrims are welcome to honor him from either vantage point.

I was deeply moved praying before the Remains of Santo Toribio, and reflected upon the various murals depicting his life, ministry, and murder during the Mexican persecution.  He was ordained at age 22, and suffered martyrdom at age 27.

He is revered in this hemisphere as the Patron of Migrants.  Although during his life-time he was not involved with helping migrants and immigrants, nonetheless, after his death he was seen by many people along the border to Mexico assisting migrants who had run out of food and water.  One of the murals portrays that ministry.
Santo Toribio continues to be invoked constantly in our own time by todays' migrants, immigrants, and refugees.

In a nearby small town the Remains of San Pedro Esqueda are buried, and a new Chapel has been built over the site.  The soldiers had attempted to tie him to a large mesquite tree and burn him alive, but the tree would not catch fire.  Then, they shot him.

There is great devotion to Our Lady of San Juan de Los Lagos, and I visited her Basilica in that city.  There is a magnificent wooden image above the main Altar, and I was able to celebrate Mass there.  Various photos will show the interior of the Basilica.

Near Leon, Guanajuato, there is a large bronze statue of Cristo Rey on top of a high mountain overlooking Leon and that vast valley.  It is the largest bronze statue in the world, and truly inspiring to all.

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plaza in front of Santuario; future Bell Tower location
interior view of Santuario
chapel where Remains of Romo are preserved
mural showing the murder of Romo by soldiers

close-up of urn with Romo Remains
mural of Romo assisting immigrants along the border after his death
burial place of Fr. Pedro Esqueda, another Mexican martyr

Our Lady of San Juan de Los Lagos Basilica--Mass

Mass in the Basilica

Image of Our Lady above Altar

Image of Our Lady above Altar

celebrating Mass in the Basilica

Bronze Statue of Cristo Rey overlooking Leon, Guanajuato