Saint Brigid Religious Education
100 Mayflower Street
West Hartford, CT 06110
Blessed Miguel Pro
Feast day: November 23
Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez
was the eldest son of Miguel Pro and Josefa Juarez.
Miguelito, as his doting family called him, was, from an early age,
intensely spiritual and equally intense in hi mischievousness,
frequently exasperating his family with his humor and practical jokes.
As a child, he had a daring precociousness that sometimes went too far,
tossing him into near-death accidents and illnesses. On regaining
consciousness after one of these episodes, young Miguel opened his eyes
and blurted out to his frantic parents, "I want some cocoa" (a
colloquial term for his favorite sweet bread). "Cocoa" became his
nickname, which he would later adopt as a code name during this
Miguel was particularly close to his older sister and after she entered
a cloistered convent, he came to recognize his own vocation to the
priesthood. Although he was popular with the senoritas and had prospects
of a lucrative career managing his father's thriving business concerns,
Miguel renounced everything for Christ his King and entered the Jesuit
novitiate in El Llano, Michoacan in 1911.
He studied in Mexico until 1914, when a tidal wave of anti-Catholicism
crashed down upon Mexico, forcing the novitiate to disband and flee to
the United States, where Miguel and his brother seminarians trekked
through Texas and New Mexico before arriving at the Jesuit house in Los
In 1915, Miguel was sent to a seminary in Spain, where he remained until
1924, when he went to Belgium for his ordination to the priesthood in
1925. Miguel suffered from a severe stomach problem and after three
operations, when his health did not improve, his superiors, in 1926,
allowed him to return to Mexico in spite of the grave religious
persecution in that country.
The churches were closed and priests went into hiding. Miguel spent the
rest of his life in a secret ministry to the sturdy Mexican Catholics.
In addition to fulfilling their spiritual needs, he also carried out the
works of mercy by assisting the poor in Mexico City with their temporal
needs. He adopted many interesting disguises in carrying out his secret
ministry. He would come in the middle of the night dressed as a beggar
to baptize infants, bless marriages and celebrate Mass. He would appear
in jail dressed as a police officer to bring Holy Viaticum to condemned
Catholics. When going to fashionable neighborhoods to procure for the
poor, he would show up at the doorstep dressed as a fashionable
businessman with a fresh flower on his lapel. His many exploits could
rival those of the most daring spies. In all that he did, however, Fr.
Pro remained obedient to his superiors and was filled with the joy of
serving Christ, his King.
Falsely accused in the bombing attempt on a former Mexican president,
Miguel became a wanted man. Betrayed to the police, he was sentenced to
death without the benefit of any legal process.
On the day of his execution, Fr. Pro forgave his executioners, prayed,
bravely refused the blindfold and died proclaiming, "Viva Cristo Rey",
"Long live Christ the King!"