Michael Pro


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Born in Guadeloupe (Zacatecar) of a devout Catholic family, he was sent to the Jesuit college in Mexico City at the age of ten, but recurring ill-health obliged him to leave. He was impressed when his sister became a nun, and in 1911 he became a Jesuit novice in the Mexican province of El Lano.

There was a power struggle in El Lano between General Carranza and Pablo Villa, both anti-Catholic. Carranza's followers sacked the novitiate and Michael and his companions fled to El Gato in California. He studied theology at Granada and Sarria in Spain and philosophy and theology at Enghien in Belgium, where he was ordained priest in 1925. His health relapsed and painful operations followed.

In July 1926 he returned to Mexico, then in a state of near civil war. The Church was outlawed in 1920, but a peasant uprising followed with the slogan ‘Long live the king and the Virgin of Guadeloupe’. Michael Pro set up an organization which managed to celebrate the Eucharist and other sacraments in spite of the police. He was arrested in 1927 and executed without trial. As he was shot, he shouted ‘Long live Christ the King’. It is said that 20,000 people attended his funeral, and he was acclaimed a martyr. He was beatified in 1988 and his canonization is expected shortly. Feast: 25 November.

B.L.S. (Concise edn.) 545–7.

Subjects: Christianity.

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