Saint February 25 : Saint Toribio Romo González a Martyr Priest who said "Lord...grant me this favor: do not leave me a day of my life without saying Mass..." Patron of Immigrants


 Priest and Martyr
Roman Martyrology: In the village of Tequila, in the territory of Guadalajara, in Mexico, saint Toribio Romo, priest and martyr, who because of his priestly status was assassinated in a time of religious persecution (1928).
Patron of Immigrants
Canonization date: May 21, 2000 by Pope John Paul II.
Prayer: My Father, you who listen to me and that you like us to ask you for favors; as your children and souls in need, through the intercession of Santo Toribio Romo, your beloved servant, shower your graces on me. Help me to be simple and humble of heart to know how to adore you as he did; who gave his life “Loving God above all things” I want to give you the best of me without any condition; and just as Santo Toribio was faithful to You, until martyrdom, I also offer you my fidelity, my jobs, my sacrifices and my prayers, to praise and bless you tirelessly. Grant me this special favor that I ask of you today, if it is within your divine plan: (make the request) Give me what you think I need and let it be for my salvation; I ask you with great faith, with great humility and with great hope. So be it. Holy Toribio, pray for us! Pray three Our Fathers, three Hail Marys and three Glories. Make the prayer and prayers for three consecutive days.
He was born in Santa Ana de Guadalupe, a ranchería (currently with 390 inhabitants) that belongs to the municipality of Jalostotitlán, in the area of ​​Los Altos de Jalisco, on April 16, 1900. He was the son of Patricio Romo Pérez and Juana González Romo, who took him to be baptized the day after his birth in the parish of the Virgen de la Asunción.
Like all children, he attended the parochial school of his town and at the age of twelve, on the advice of his sister and with the support of his parents, he entered the Auxiliary Seminary of San Juan de los Lagos. María, in addition to being a sister, was a zealous promoter of Toribio's education. Her parents opposed her studying, because she was a support in the tasks of the field. "Quica", as María was familiarly called by her closest relatives, even contributed to instilling in him his vocation and was the one who accompanied him to all his destinations to help him.
After eight years he went to the Guadalajara Seminary. at 21 years of age he had to request a dispensation of age from the Holy See before proceeding to receive the priestly order. Archbishop Francisco Orozco y Jiménez conferred the diaconate on him on September 22, 1922, and on December 23 of the same year he administered priestly ordination. He rendered his ministerial services in Sayula, Tuxpan, Yahualica and Cuquío. In the parish of this last destination he met the priest Justino Orona, a kind father who offered him his friendship.
Callista persecution against the Catholic Church inflamed the spirits of the inhabitants of Cuquío and on November 9, 1926, more than three hundred men took up arms to repel the oppression of the Government, which persecuted to death the parish priest and the priests, who went to jump of kills fleeing from one place to another, waiting for death from one moment to another. Father Toribio wrote in his diary: ..."I ask the true God to order this time of persecution to change. See that not even the Mass can we celebrate your Christs; get us out of this ordeal, to live as priests without celebrating the Holy Mass. However, how sweet it is to be persecuted by justice. God has allowed a storm of harsh persecutions to come upon my sinful soul. Blessed be He. To date, June 24, ten times I have had to flee hiding from the pursuers, some outings have lasted fifteen days, another eight... some have kept me buried for up to four long days in a narrow and stinking cave; others have made me spend eight days on the top of the mountains at the full will of the elements; to sun, water and serene. The storm that has wet us, has had the pleasure of seeing another one that comes to not let us dry, and so on until the ten days are wet..."
His great love for the Eucharist made him repeat this prayer frequently: Lord, forgive me if I am daring, but please grant me this favor: do not leave me a day of my life without saying Mass, without embracing you in Communion. Give me a great hunger for You, a thirst to receive You that torments me all day until I have drunk of that water that springs up to Eternal Life, from the blessed rock of your wounded side. My Good Jesus! I beg you to allow me to die without stopping saying Mass for a single day.
In September of 1927, Father Toribio had to retire and from the hill of Cristo Rey he cried sadly because he had to leave the town, say goodbye to his beloved parish priest; because the superiors ordered him to take charge of the parish of Tequila, Jalisco, which was not an appetizing mission since the municipality was then one of the places where the civil and military authorities most persecuted priests.
He was not intimidated by it and located an old tequila factory that was abandoned near the Agua Caliente ranch, he used it as a refuge and a place to continue celebrating masses.; he sensed that his inevitable death would be there, and he said: "Tequila, you give me a tomb, I give you my heart."
Due to the serious dangers, Father Toribio could not live in the parish of Tequila, and he stayed in the Agua Caliete ravine in the house of Mr. León Aguirre. In December 1927, Toribio's younger brother was ordained a priest and also sent to Tequila as cooperating vicar; A few days later, his sister, Maria, also arrived to attend to them and help them.
Father Toribio had offered his blood for the peace of the Church and soon the Lord accepted the offer. On Ash Wednesday, February 22, Father Toribio asked Father Román (his brother) to hear him in sacramental confession and give him a long blessing; Before leaving, he gave her a letter instructing her not to open it without an express order. He also spent Thursdays and Fridays arranging parish affairs to bring everything up to date. At 4 in the morning on Saturday the 25th he finished writing, lay down on his poor otate bed and fell asleep.
Suddenly a troop made up of federal soldiers and agrarians, notified by an informer, besieged the place, jumped over the fences and took the rooms of Mr. León Aguirre, in charge of the farm and an agrarian, shouting: "This is the priest, kill him!" His father and sister woke up to the scream and he answered scared: "Yes I am... but don't kill me"... They didn't let him say more and they shot him; With hesitant steps and dripping blood he went towards the door of the room, but a new discharge knocked him down. Her sister Maria de Ella took him in her arms and shouted in his ear: "Courage, Father Toribio... Merciful Jesus, receive him! And long live Christ the King!" Father Toribio gave him a look with his clear eyes and he died.
When her brother was already dead, they tied her back to back with the corpse, while they assembled a stretcher of branches to transport the body of Father Toribio.
The executioners stripped him of his clothes and looted the house and then took his sister María prisoner on foot to the town of "La Quemada", without allowing him to bury his brother, but before they had passed in front of the municipal presidency with the body of the Martyr Toribio on the improvised stretcher with sticks that some neighbors were carrying, but there, the soldiers who, in addition, were whistling and singing obscenities while the others prayed.
María, already freed from her brief imprisonment, barefoot, as she was, traveled on foot to Guadalajara, to her parents' house, to isolate herself from hatred, take shelter in paternal love and mourn with her family the loss of her "dear child" .
The Plascencia family got permission to hold a vigil at his house and the next day, Sunday, February 26, with many people praying and crying, they buried him in the municipal pantheon.
After a few days his brother, Father Román, obediently opened the letter in Guadalajara, finding that it was Father Toribio's testament and read its contents: "Father Román, I entrust our elderly parents with much, do everything you can to avoid suffering. I also entrust to you our sister Quica, who has been a true mother to us... I entrust all of them to you. Apply two masses that I owe for the Souls in Purgatory, and pay three pesos fifty cents that I owed to Mr. priest of Yahualica..."
Father Toribio died as a martyr for the Christian faith on February 25, 1928. Twenty years after his sacrifice, the remains of the martyr Toribio Romo returned to their place of origin, and were deposited in the chapel built by him, in Jalostotitlán. On November 22, 1992 he was beatified, and on May 21, 2000 he was canonized along with 24 companions.

This article is part of the book "Wood of Heroes" Semblance of some Mexican heroes of our time, by Luis Alfonso Orozco.
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