A new song about the martyred Jesuit priest executed during the Cristero War.
As a Catholic musician, I love writing songs about the saints. One of my favorite saints is Blessed Miguel Pro. He is a wonderful example of both courage and joy in the face of persecution.
Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro lived from 1891-1927. He was a Jesuit priest from Mexico (born in Guadalupe) and was executed during the wrathful reign of president Plutarco Elias Calles during the Cristero War.
While alive, he was forced to do ministry underground because of the anti-Catholic laws. Fr. Pro celebrated the sacraments with great devotion in secret in the homes of the faithful. He often disguised himself in different costumes, such as a street sweeper or wealthy businessman, in order to not get caught.
He was eventually arrested and falsely accused of an assassination attempt on the former president of Mexico. The government meant to make an example out of his execution and invited reporters to photograph the event. With a rosary in one hand and a crucifix in the other, he cried out “¡Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!)” Tens of thousands attended his funeral procession, and his death only gave more energy to the Catholics to fight through prayer and arms for their faith to not be destroyed.
One interesting fact about him is that he himself was a musician. He played guitar. In the following quotation from one of his letters, there is a sense of his unshakable faith mixed with a contagious humor – one that laughed in the face of evil:
“I see God’s hand so palpably in everything that almost—almost I fear they won’t kill me in these adventures. That will be a fiasco for me who sighs to go to heaven and start tossing off arpeggios on the guitar with my guardian angel.”
As you listen to my song, you may wonder why I am mentioning Haley’s Comet. When Blessed Miguel was 19, he stayed up until 3 a.m. watching the comet pass by in the night sky. This experience of God’s beauty encouraged him to reflect upon a calling to the priesthood and also caused his neighbors a bad night of sleep as he cried out:
“¡Viva Mi Padre Dios, the Worker of things so lovely! Just wait, little star — or big — until you see how I shall outdo you by leaving my trail across the heavens.”
Let us always remember the two things he held in his hand when he shouted “¡Viva Cristo Rey!” and breathed his last as the bullets struck his chest: a crucifix and a rosary.
Let us all pray the Rosary daily! I encourage you also to honor Jesus crucified by praying the Prayers of St. Bridget of Sweden to honor His wounds and stay focused on what is ultimately important in life: The salvation of your soul and the souls of others.
I wrote the song “Viva Cristo Rey,” from the perspective of Christ. May He inspire us as He inspired Blessed Miguel Pro to be joyful at all times, especially when times are tough.
Look at Leo in the sky, Look at Hailey’s comet As if flies by
You could shine Brighter than these, Follow me
The great high priest
There is no greater love than this
Than to lay down your life for you friends, Behold I’m sending you
Like lambs among the wolves
It’s a long road ahead
But your guardian angel
He is so glad
For soon you’ll be
Jamming in paradise
You know I offered up My life
Behold the man
With outstretched hands
A crucifix and rosary clenched, He refused to say
Death of Cristo Rey
He cried ¡Viva Cristo Rey!
Miguel, my good and faithful servant, Come to me
Receive your inheritance
You have found
The pearl of great price, Enjoy the warmth
Of my Father’s house