Jenaro Sánchez Delgadillo
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|St. Jenaro Sánchez y Delgadillo|
Jenaro Sánchez Delgadillo
|Priest and martyr|
September 19, 1886|
Agualele, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
|Died||January 17, 1927
La Loma, outside of Tecolotlán, Jalisco, Mexico
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church (Mexico)|
|Beatified||November 22, 1992 by Pope John Paul II|
|Canonized||May 21, 2000 by Pope John Paul II|
|Major shrine||Church of St. Michael the Archangel, Cocula, Jalisco, Mexico|
Jenaro Sánchez y Delgadillo was a Mexican Catholic priest who was executed by the Mexican military during the Cristero War in that country. He is now honored as a martyr and saint by the Catholic Church.
Sánchez Delgadillo was born in the town of Agualele, in the municipality of Zapopan, Jalisco, the son of Cristóbal Sánchez and Julia Delgadillo, on September 19, 1886. With a scholarship, he entered the seminary of the Archdiocese of Guadalajara and was later ordained a priest of the Archdiocese by Archbishop José de Jesús Ortíz y Rodríguez on August 20, 1911.
Sánchez then served as a curate in various parishes of the Archdiocese, becoming known for his humility and his obedience to the pastors under whom he served. The care of the sick was a major focus of his ministry, as well as teaching the catechism to the children of the parish. When he was stationed in Cocula, Jalisco, he taught classes at a minor seminary established within the parish.
As a result of the increasing tension between the Catholic Church and the government of Mexico, in 1917 the Archbishop of Guadalajara, Francisco Orozco y Jiménez, issued a pastoral letter on behalf of the bishops of Mexico—most of whom were then in exile in the United States—in which he detailed the sufferings he was enduring for defending the rights of the Church against government interference. For reading this letter publicly at the Sunday service in his church, Sánchez was jailed by the local police.
In 1923 Sánchez was appointed as the vicar of the village of Tamazulita, within the parish of Tecolotlan. Due to the prohibition of public worship by the Republic of Mexico, Sánchez conducted secret Masses in private homes. He and his parents were given shelter by the Castillo family at their home at Rancho La Cañada. On January 17, 1927, he was out hunting with Herculano, Crescenciano and Cresencio Castillo, Lucio Camacho and Ricardo Brambila. Soldiers were waiting for him. Though everyone said he should escape, he decided to stay and face the consequences. The soldiers took them prisoner and tied everyone back to back.
At midnight, Sánchez was transferred to Tecolotlan. On a hill known as La Loma or Cruz Verde, the executioners chose a mesquite tree. The soldiers then encircled the priest, and one tied him by the neck with a rope and threw the rope over the branches of the tree, from which they then hung him.
Before dawn, as he was still alive, the soldiers shot Sánchez in the left shoulder and let loose the rope, upon which his body dropped and was lying on the ground. One of the soldiers then pierced his chest with a bayonet, killing him.
Sánchez' body was then taken to a private home. The authorities ordered its immediate burial in the cemetery of Tecolotlan.
In 1934, with the approval of the Curia of Guadalajara, the remains were transferred to the parish church in Tecolotlan Cocula, Jalisco. He was beatified on November 22, 1992 by John Paul II and canonized by that same pope at the Jubilee of 2000, on May 21 of that year.