Priest and Martyr: 1888-1927
+ Born into a poor family in Buenavista de Cuellar, Guerrero, Mexico, David entered seminary in Chilapa, Mexico, when he was 14 years old. He was ordained a priest in 1913.
+ In addition to serving as the priest in his home parish, Padre David also served as secretary to the bishop of Tabasco, but anti-religious violence frequently interrupted his ministry and he served in a number of parishes.
+ On July 30, 1926, the bishops of Mexico ordered a halt to all public worship and closed churches in the midst of escalating anti-religious and anti-clerical violence during the Mexican Revolution. Padre David reluctantly accepted the order, but later returned to his pastoral ministry in secret.
+ Padre David was arrested on April 7, 1927, and taken to Cuernavaca. He was offered his freedom if he would accept to become a bishop in the schismatic church some government forces were trying to form. After refusing, he was taken to a remote location near San Jose Vidal, Morales, where he was executed. Before being shot, Padre David prayed for himself and his executioners.
+ Saint David Uribe-Valesco was canonized with Saint Cristobal Magallanes and 23 other “Martyrs of the Mexican Revolution” in 2000.
Graham Greene’s celebrated novel The Power and the Glory (published in 1940) is set during the period of religious persecution that claimed the life of Saint David and so many other priests and religious.
“I forgive all my enemies, and I ask God and whomever I have offended to forgive me.”—From the last will and testament of Saint David Uribe-Valesco, written on the day before his execution
Almighty and eternal God,
who made the Priest Saint Christopher Magallanes and his companions
faithful to Christ the King even to the point of martyrdom,
grant us, through their intercession,
that, persevering in confession of the true faith,
we may always hold fast to the commandments of your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Collect for the Commemoration of Saint Cristobal and the Martyrs of the Mexican Revolution)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.