Méndez Montoya, Jesús, St.
MÉNDEZ MONTOYA, JESÚS, ST.
Martyr, priest; b. June 10, 1880, Tarímbaro, Michoacán, Archdiocese of Morelia, Mexico; d. Feb. 5, 1928, Morelia. Jesús completed his seminary studies in Michoacán and was ordained (1906). His ministry in various parishes centered on the confessional, the sick, lay groups, and the poor. He also taught music and formed a magnificent choir. At the time of his death, he was pastor of Valtierrilla, Guerrero, Archdiocese of Morelia. Having exhausted every legal recourse to counter the anti–religious laws of Calles, many took up arms. Federal soldiers entered Valtierrilla to suppress a small group of Cristeros. The soldiers found the house where Méndez was hiding; they took him to the town square and shot him repeatedly. Fr. Méndez was both beatified (Nov. 22, 1992) and canonized (May 21, 2000) with Cristobal ma gallanes [see guadalajara (mexico), martyrs of, ss.] by Pope John Paul II.
Feast: May 25 (Mexico).
Bibliography: j. cardoso, Los mártires mexicanos (Mexico City 1953).
[k. i. rabenstein]