Grabbed this from Facebook. May we all defend the faith so boldly in the face of such adversity.
----The Courageous Child-Martyr of the Cristero Prayed the Daily Rosary—
Today is the feast day of the martyr, Saint José Luis Sánchez del Río (March 28, 1913 – February 10, 1928). This Saint was a Mexican Cristero who was put to death by government officials because he refused to renounce his Catholic faith. His death was seen as a largely political venture on the part of government officials in their attempt to stamp out dissent and crush religious freedom in the area. He was dubbed "Joselito.”
José Luis Sánchez del Río was born on March 28, 1913, in Sahuayo, Michoacán. He attended school in his hometown and later in Guadalajara in Jalisco. When the Cristero War broke out in 1926, his brothers joined the rebel forces, but his mother would not allow him to take part. The rebel general, Prudencio Mendoza, also refused his enlistment. The boy insisted that he wanted the chance to give his life for Jesus Christ and so come to Heaven easily. The general finally relented and allowed José to become the flagbearer of the troop.
The Cristeros nicknamed him Tarcisius, after the early Christian saint, martyred for protecting the Eucharist from desecration.
During heavy fighting on January 25, 1928, Mendoza’s horse was killed, and José gave his horse to the general so that the fight could go on. Then he sought cover and fired at the enemy until he ran out of ammunition. The government troops captured the boy and imprisoned him in the sacristy of the local church.
José’s martyrdom was witnessed by two childhood friends. It was later reported that José was captured by government forces, who ordered him to renounce his faith in Christ, under threat of death. He refused to apostasize.
To break his resolve, he was made to watch the hanging of another Cristero that they had in custody, but instead José encouraged the man, saying that they would soon meet again in Heaven after death.
In prison, José prayed the Rosary daily and wrote an emotional letter to his mother, saying that he was ready to fulfill the will of God to whom he dedicated himself. His father attempted to raise a ransom to save him, but he was not able to appease the government in time to do so, thus failing to secure the release of his son.
Others recalled the gruesome events that transpired after the government’s failure to break José’s resolve on the evening of February 10, 1928:
“Consequently they cut the bottom of his feet and obliged him to walk around the town toward the cemetery. They also at times cut him with a machete until he was bleeding from several wounds. He cried and moaned with pain, but he did not give in. At times they stopped him and said, ‘If you shout, “Death to Christ the King” we will spare your life’. José would only shout, ‘I will never give in. Viva Cristo Rey!’” In front of his parents, he was cruelly executed.
The remains of José Luis Sánchez del Río are enshrined above a side altar in the Church of Saint James the Apostle in Sahuayo, his hometown.