Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blessed Miguel Pro's Feast Day!

Today is the feast day of Blessed Miguel Pro, a beloved Mexican saint (and in a tie for first place in my heart with Maximilian Kolbe). So, let's celebrate!

Presents to Share
First, here are some little presents for you:

It's a triptych. You can print it out on card stock first, then cut it and fold the outer panels in toward the bigger picture. You can decorate the outside of the triptych as you wish. Then just prop up the triptych wherever you'd like ... I hope in a place of prominence on such a lovely day!

And if you're new to Paper Dali, you might not have this printable:

Download black and white PDF of Blessed Miguel Pro.
Download his rarely worn cassock. (He wore it only a few times due to the persecution in Mexico.)
Download his "dandy" outfit. (It is a sketch of one of the many disguises he wore during his underground work.)
Download his mechanic outfit. (It's another of his disguises.)

Blessed Miguel loved Mexican chocolate ... or any sweets for that matter. Use the card below to invite someone to your Bl. Miguel Pro party or just as a cute gift for his feast day:
(Don't click on the pic. It's much too small to use! Download the Miguel Pro card here.)

Music & Treats
Now, let's cue up some music, and start this party! This song is "Las Mananitas," a traditional birthday song, but it's Miguel's heavenly birthday, so it'll work. (The clip is from a Pedro Infante movie.)

And we'll have something yummy to eat before I share a story. Do you like it? It's tres leches cake. You can make your own tres leches cake, cinnamon-espresso churros, or flan. Yes, we're all about sweets today because Miguel loved sweets. If you don't have time to make something elaborate, you can just go the easy route, too. (I won't tell. I'll be ducking into our local Mexican supermercado, too, so who am I to judge?)

Now that we've done a craft, heard some music and ate a Mexican treat, let's watch this fabulous, informative and eye-catching presentation about Miguel Pro. (You'll need Windows Media Player to see it ... and the image of a martyred Bl. Miguel might be a bit hard for little kids to see. Or not. It depends on your child.)

Did you see it? What do you think?

Our Friend Miguel
I'll share a little about the reasons that we love Bl. Miguel Pro so much here at Paper Dali.

The story of Blessed Miguel Pro begins just like it does for so many little boys. He loves his family, he likes to play and sing and goof around. He even gets into trouble ... quite regularly. Miguel, however, ends up becoming deathly sick at some point, and through the prayers of his family, God's goodness and the intercession of Mary, he miraculously pulls through it. His first words? "I want some cocol." Because, you know, being deathly ill makes you  crave chocolate as soon as you're feeling good. 

Blessed Miguel is such a lively person. He has this gift for storytelling, for being just funny and sweet. He plays tricks on his friends, gets involved in wordplay, dances, puts on plays, and even goes through a rough period in school (which isn't kind to Catholics).

But his life isn't ideal. His family is involved in the mines, so he knows first-hand about the hardship of the poor and struggling. His parents teach him about charity. So often does Miguel go to help out that the miners themselves start using his nickname, the Little Miner.

And when President Calles in 1917 begins his anti-Catholic provisions, the Catholic people in Mexico become deeply persecuted.

Bl. Miguel Pro continues, however, in his vocation. He undergoes tests (both spiritual, physical and intellectual) to become a priest. He has the reputation for being funny ... to the point that the priests at the seminary wonder if he can take his vocation seriously. While he waits to discuss his vocation with the head of the seminary, he is already being put through a test. First, they make him wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And, oh, yes, wait some more. And then, as he waits, he gets to "overhear" from other students about how hard and grueling the entire seminary is. He is given every opportunity to flee, but he doesn't. He knows his calling.

It's this same mix of perseverance, single-mindedness and even humor that make Miguel such a favorite here. Though he was constantly in danger of being caught for the crime of being a Catholic priest, he continued to celebrate Mass, administer the sacraments, and reach out to help the poor and hungry and lonely. If he had to dress like an old lady, a fancy-pants gentleman, a mechanic or, in one case, even as a policeman, so be it. He seemed to thrive in the circumstances.

One of our favorite stories is when Miguel was heading to celebrate Mass at a "secret" location. Apparently, it wasn't a very good secret, for the police officers were there, waiting for this renegage priest to show up. Somehow, Miguel had gotten a police uniform, which he wore to the house. He told the police officer outside the door, "I heard that there's a priest going inside. I'm going to check it out!" And then, he went in, performed his priestly duties, and then came outside once more. When asked about the priest, he answered, "There was a priest inside the house. But now, he's not there!"

His encounter with a communist is recounted in Ann Ball's book. It's funny and wise, just as Blessed Miguel Pro was. When the communist tells Miguel that he believes in sharing, Miguel says he does, too. When the communist describes the urge to help the poor, Miguel chimes in that he feels the same way. And when he is shown a threatening weapon, Miguel says he has the greatest weapon of all ... and he takes his rosary from his pocket to show the man.

When Miguel Pro is caught and then executed, he shows the same clarity and poise that marks every story about him. He forgives those who are about to kill him, he says a prayer, and he does not remain silent but cries out a triumphant, "Viva Cristo Rey!"

This final cry has been an inspiration to countless people. And in my own life, I find myself often referring to that shout amid the strange, upside-down world we live in. He was a radical and a rebel because he cared about the poor, the homeless, abandoned children, because he lived his life to the fullest in service of others ...

May this post inspire you to learn more about Miguel Pro ... or if he's already your friend, too, may it increase the fondness you already have for him.

Viva Cristo Rey!

Learn more about Blessed Miguel Pro by checking out the Linky Fiesta or watching the videos on my Miguel Pro page. If you have a post of your own about Miguel Pro to share, be sure to link to it at the fiesta, and you will be entered to win a free copy of my activity book, "Celebrating Blessed Miguel Pro: Crafts, Activities, Games."


evann said...

Thank you, Vee! Love the triptych!

Vee said...

You're welcome! Happy day, Evann!

Amy Caroline said...

Vee !! This is incredible!! LOVE this post, thank you!

Creative Commons License ... and please do NOT offer my works as downloads from your site.