Blessed Miguel Pro

God’s Jester and Our Lady of Guadalupe

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“If I meet any long-faced saints in Heaven I will cheer them up with a Mexican hat dance!”

Blessed Miguel Pro

I love Blessed Father Miguel Pro, SJ.  He was always ready with a joke and a quip and the sheer joy with which he radiated the faith of Christ throughout his life was a wonder to behold.  From early in his life he was dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe.  When a small child he had a bad case of food poisoning that spread infection to his brain.  For one year he could not talk and could barely recognize his parents.  Eventually he seemed near death.  His father took him in his arms and kneeling before an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe prayed, “Madre mia give me back my son.”  At that moment the boy came out of his coma, vomited blood and began his recovery.

Hagiography often relates the perfections of saints in their younger days.  No such accounts are possible with Father Pro.  He was a mischievous boy fond of practical jokes.  As a teenager his path to the priesthood began when he heard a priest preach a sermon on the Passion.  “All this, Jesus Christ did and suffered for us, and we, what are we doing for Him?” Miguel was overcome with the thought that thus far he had done nothing for Him.

Joining the Jesuit novitiate in 1911, he studied in Mexico until 1914 when a wave of anti-clericalism arising from the Mexican Revolution forced the Jesuits out of Mexico.  Miguel comtinued his studies in Spain and taught in Nicaragua from 1919-1922.  He completed his studies in Belgium and was ordained a priest on August 31, 1925.  His health was always precarious and after several surgeries from ulcers he returned to Mexico.  Because of the anti-clerical Calles laws, he became an underground priest, using many disguises as he went around saying Mass and providing the sacraments.  He went about his duties with a glad heart and seemed to get a kick out of the “cloak and dagger” aspects of his undercover priesthood. Continue reading

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