St. Mateo Correa Magallanes

St-MateoFeast Day: May 21

As a parish priest, Father Mateo Correa Magallanes, of Tepechitlan, Mexico, administered First Holy Communion to a youth who years later was to become a martyr, Blessed Miguel Pro. As it happened, Father Correa himself was to die for the faith in the same year as his communicant.

In 1927, during the Mexican government’s continuing persecution of the Catholic Church, Father Correa was arrested by soldiers as he was bringing Viaticum to an invalid. Immediately the priest consumed the Host he was carrying to save it from desecration.

After spending several days in custody, Father Correa was asked by a military officer, General Eulogio Ortiz, to hear the confessions of some imprisoned members of an insurgency movement, the Cristeros. The devoted priest did not decline this opportunity to administer the sacrament. But afterward, General Ortiz demanded of Father Correa, under pain of death, that he reveal the contents of the confessions. Father Correa refused, answering, “But don’t you know, general, that a priest must guard the secret of confession? I am ready to die.” He was shot to death on February 6, 1927.

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