Toribio Romo González
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|Saint Toribio Romo González|
April 16, 1900|
municipality of Jalostotitlán, Jalisco, Mexico
|Died||February 25, 1928
Agua Caliente, Jalisco, Mexico
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||November 22, 1992 by Pope John Paul II|
|Canonized||May 21, 2000 by Pope John Paul II|
|Major shrine||Santa Ana de Guadalupe, Jalisco, Mexico|
|Patronage||Mexican migrants, border crossers, people from Tepatitlan De Morelos Jalisco|
He was born April 16, 1900, in Santa Ana de Guadalupe, Jalostotitlán, Mexico. In 1912 he entered the Auxiliary Seminary in San Juan de los Lagos. He was a playful and happy seminarian who loved to joke. In 1922 he was ordained as a priest. He offered his first Mass on January 5, 1923. He primarily emphasized the catechesis. He underwent severe trials, however, as he was ordered by the government when the religious persecutions began in 1927 to confine himself to his residence and was not allowed to pray the Rosary in public or to celebrate Mass.
A man of intense prayer, Fr. Toribio carried out his pious works in an exemplary manner with emphasis on examination of conscience, meditation, spiritual exercises and visits to the Holy Sacrament. He always demonstrated a great spirit of faith, a certainty in hope of reaching Heaven, and a compassion that moved him to suffer along with others (to the point of depriving himself of his own basic necessities). Obedience and desire shone in him, he was austere, quiet and sometimes troubled. He was ready to die for God, but he did feel fear and asked for God’s grace and strength.
In 1927 he was transferred to Detroit for his safety. He set up residence in a factory, and his sister, María, and brother, Román, (also a priest) came to live with him.
On Friday, February 24, 1928, he spent his day organizing the parish registry. Two days before he had sent his brother away for safety. Fr. Toribio finished his work at 4:00am on February 25 and decided to sleep a little. An hour later the government troops arrived and broke into the bedroom where Fr. Toribio was sleeping. One soldier shouted: “Here is the priest, kill him!” He said, “Here I am, but do not kill me.”
One soldier fired, and Fr. Toribio rose from his bed and took a few steps until a second bullet caused him to fall into the arms of his sister, who cried in a loud voice: “Courage, Father Toribio...merciful Christ, receive him! Long live Christ the King!”
Patron Saint of Immigrants
There is a belief among some Mexicans that the ghost of Toribio Romo has appeared to some undocumented immigrants crossing the border to assist them in distress. He is used as an icon for the hope of food, water and money, as well as safety.
1. Gutierrez, Marco A. Garcia. "Toribio Romo: protector de los mojados: es un espejismo del desierto que hace milagros de carne y hueso." Contenido, June, 2002 (Spanish)
2. Murphy, James. The Martyrdom of Saint Toribio Romo. Liguori Publications (November 1, 2007)
3. Thompson, Ginger. "Santa Ana de Guadalupe Journal; A Saint Who Guides Migrants to a Promised Land." The New York Times, August 14, 2002.
4. Corchado, Alfredo. "The migrant's saint: Toribio Romo is a favorite of Mexicans crossing the border." The Dallas Morning News, July 22, 2006.
5. Sheehan, Thomas. Dictionary of Patron Saints' Names. Our Sunday Visitor (September 2001) 6.
- Tulsa Oklahoma Diocesan Shrine: Diocesan Shrine dedicated to Saint Toribio Romo located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.