Six of the 8 were from or ministered in Latin America
There are eight patrons for the January 2019 World Youth Day in Panama: six saints and two blessed who will be invoked for the event:
They are: St. Jose Sanchez del Rio, Blessed Oscar Romero, Blessed Maria Romero Meneses, St. John Bosco and Pope St. John Paul II, as well as St. Martin de Porres of Peru; St. Rose of Lima; and St. Juan Diego of Mexico who was visited by Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Here are brief profiles of these holy patrons:
St. Jose Sanchez del Rio was born on March 28, 1913, in Sahuayo, Michoacan, Mexico. In 1926 the Cristero War broke out, as the anti-Catholic government attempted to close churches and make the faith basically illegal. Jose’s older brothers joined the rebel Cristero forces to fight against the laws.
Jose wanted to join the Cristeros, but since he was only 13 his mother refused his request. It mattered not. On February 5, 1928, Jose was captured by government soldiers and imprisoned in a church sacristy.
After five days of beatings and torture, Jose had still refused to denounce his Lord and his faith. The soldiers, showing no mercy, cut the soles of the teen’s feet and then made him walk to the nearby cemetery. The pain must have been horrendous. Arriving at the cemetery, Jose Sanchez del Rio shouted out, “Long live Christ the King!” The soldiers promptly shot the 14-year-old to death.
He was canonized October 16, 2016.