Orona Madrigal, Justino, St.

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Martyr, pastor, b. April 14, 1877, Atoyac, Jalisco, Diocese of Ciudad Guzmán, Mexico; d. July 1, 1928, Guadalajara. Justino was the son of an extremely poor family. He completed his initial studies at Zapotlán, then entered Guadalajara's seminary (1894). After his ordination (1904), he served as a parish priest at Poncitlán, Encarnación, Jalisco, and Cuquío. Despite an atmosphere of anticlericalism and religious indifference, he was an exemplary priest. While he was pastor of Cuquío (Archdiocese of Guadalajara), he founded the Congregation of Claretian Brothers of the Sacred Heart to care for orphans and poor children. When the persecution intensified, he and his pastor, (St.) Atilano cruz, decided to remain with their flock despite the danger, but hid themselves on the nearby ranch of Las Cruces with Justino's brother José María and Toribio Ayala (June 28, 1928). Federal forces arrived there at dawn with the mayor of Cuquío. Justino opened the door, shouted "Viva Cristo Rey!," and was shot. His body was deposited in the Cuquío's town square. His mortal remains were moved to San Felipe Church in Cuquío. Fr. Orona was both beatified (Nov. 22, 1992) and canonized (May 21, 2000) with Cristobal magallanes [see guadalajara (mexico), martyrs of, ss.] by Pope John Paul II.

Feast: May 25 (Mexico).

Bibliography: j. cardoso, Los mártires mexicanos (Mexico City 1953). j. dÍaz estrella, El movimiento cristero: sociedad y conflicto en los Altos de Jalisco (Mexico, D.F. 1979).

[k. i. rabenstein]