February Feast Days

St.Mateo Correa Magallanes

Fr.Correa was born at Tepechitlán, Zacatecas, Mexico. He attended the seminary at Zacatecas on a scholarship, in 1881. He was ordained as priest in 1893 at the age of 27. As a young priest, he gave first communion to Miguel Pro who also became a priest and was later martyred. Fr. Correa was assigned as a parish priest to Concepción del Oro in 1898, and then to Colotlán in 1908. Following the government’s repression of the Catholic Church in 1910, he went into hiding. He was assigned to Valparaíso in 1926.

In 1927, during the government’s continuing persecution of the Church, Fr. Correa was arrested by soldiers as he was bringing Viaticum to an invalid woman.Accused of being part of the armed Cristero defense, he was jailed in Zacatecas, and then in Durango.

On 5 February 1927, Fr. Correa was asked by General Eulogio Ortiz, to hear the confessions of some imprisoned members of the Cristeros, an uprising of Catholic men who decided to fight back against the persecution of the Church led by Mexico’s president Plutarco Elias Calles. Father Correa agreed to administer the Sacrament of Confession to these prisoners, but afterward General Ortiz demanded to know what the condemned prisoners had confessed. Fr. Correa refused. General Ortiz then pointed a gun at Fr. Correa’s head and threatened him with immediate death. Fr. Correa continued to refuse, and at dawn on February 6, 1927, he was taken to the cemetery on the outskirts of Durango and shot through the head.

He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on November 22, 1992, and then canonized on May 21, 2000 during the Jubilee of Mexico.

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