Friday, November 20, 2015

Free Blessed Miguel Pro Coloring Page Activity

Need a Blessed Miguel Pro coloring page for his upcoming feast day? I have one for you!

Just print out the downloadable free Bl. Miguel Pro triptych here or by clicking the box below.

Next, you'll need to color the page and embellish it if you like.

Then cut the coloring page out and paste/glue it onto thicker paper. (I used red construction paper because red reminds me of Miguel's martyrdom.)

After the glue is dry, just cut around the triptych shape, leaving some space so your colored paper shows.

Ta-da! You've a lovely, colorful Blessed Miguel Pro triptych to display on his feast day... and every day. (And if you do make one, feel free to tag me at paper_dali on Instagram or share your picture via email at mypaperdali[at]

Get the free Blessed Miguel Pro coloring page here. And read on for more details about his life and reasons why he's a favorite at Paper Dali.

A Brief Overview of His Life

(from a classic Paper Dali post)

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." Cocol became his nickname as a child and then later on, his code name during his clandestine minisry.

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 is constantly in danger of being caught for the crime of being a Catholic priest, he continues 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 seems 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 renagade 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 eventually caught and sentenced to death, 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.

Why He's a Favorite of Mine

Every now and then, a saint will befriend you. Either you start noticing that the same saint keeps being mentioned to you in conversations or showing up in the books and movies and statues around you. And you think, "Maybe I should look more closely into the life of this saint."

And then other saints burst into your life with such energy and noise that you can't help but fall in love with them immediately.

One of the saints who broke open my life with his vitality is Blessed Miguel Pro. I'd been perusing books at a Catholic shop in Los Angeles and felt compelled to buy Ann Ball's book "Blessed Miguel Pro: 20th Century Martyr."

Now, the book cover is some Very Serious Business:

It looks like the other 3048232984023339482043424 books about saints. And he's a martyr, which is uber-serious. And I already have St. Maximilian Kolbe as my go-to martyr heavenly friend.

But what got me was the whole "20th century martyr" and a blurb on the back that described the anti-Catholicism of the Mexican persecution. "What?" I asked aloud. "I didn't know Mexico had persecuted Catholics recently."

And so history geek that I am, I bought the book.

Life's been different ever since I read it.

Meeting Bl. Miguel Pro was like meeting the big brother I'd always wanted. Stories about his mischievous youth, hilarious antics, love of music and drawing, the scrapes he got into... these all introduced me to a saint who was so interesting, energetic, hilarious, and faithful. Even during the trials of his life, he was unflagging in his enthusiasm and bravery.

I read, in this book and others, about how he would disguise himself as a mechanic, a "dapper" gentleman, a worker, etc. to sneak through the city and celebrate the sacraments with Catholics, who were forced to practice the faith in secret. He had brushes with police officers, who actively sought him, and even had a few salute him when he pretended to be a police officer. Despite the hostile environment around him, Miguel kept his spirits and that of others strengthened through prayer and the Eucharist. Even in his stints in prison, for being a priest, he spread the Gospel and brought fellow prisoners closer to Christ.

What also drew me to this saint is that he feels like someone I could have over for dinner and talk and laugh and listen to his playing the guitar. As much as I love other saints (I have coloring pages of myriad saints, after all!), many seem rather serious and quiet, and I think some might either give me the stink-eye over my noisiness or barely suffer through my loudness (sorry, Teresa of Avila, but I'd probably give you a headache).

But Miguel and me? I think we could hang out, draw together, sing, tell stories, and celebrate Christ with song and dance.

* * *

Want a good book about Blessed Miguel to read with your kids? I highly recommend Ann Ball's book about Bl. Miguel Pro for kids, "Jose Finds the King: a Blessed Miguel Pro Story."

And because Miguel Pro is a favorite here, you can find some very early super-rough drawings (but still color-able) I did of him here.

Viva Cristo Rey!

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