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Booklet describes the life and times
of St. Toribio Romo

Pick up your copy at the Cathedral Gift Shop

A 48-page book on the life and times of Saint Toribio Romo (whose relic is in the Cathedral altar) is being released this week by Liguori Press. Written by Msgr. James Murphy, the booklet describes the murder of Toribio Romo on February 25 1928, in Tequila Mexico where federal troops shop him in his bed.

The booklet is an interesting read for anyone who is unaware of what Mexican Catholics suffered south of our border not so many years ago. It is of particular interest to Northern California Catholics because some 300 of the saint’s relatives live in the Sacramento area.

Looking through the eyes of this simple country priest, the booklet describes the turbulent twenties in Mexico when state governors went around confiscating church property, forbidding the teaching of religion, and doing whatever they could to terrorize “the dismal Catholic clergy” and their “fanatical followers.” In some places, agents of the government burned statues and religious works of art in the streets, and danced around the fire while wearing Mass vestments they found in the sacristy.

The story begins with Toribio’s struggle to get schooling in a place that had no schools (Santa Ana, Jalisco, where everyone was illiterate), and traces his journey from poverty to priesthood in the Archdiocese of Guadalajara. Other highlights of his story include:

  • Toribio's interest in Pope Leo XIII’s social justice encyclical Rerum Novarum and the trouble that got him into with conservative pastors and wealthy parishioners
  • His experience as a parish priest during the Cristero War when catechists were being hung from telegraph poles and his bishop was running the diocese from a hiding place in the hills
  • The climate of terror in which he ministered as priest friends began to disappear at the hands of the fanatically anti-Catholic government

Father Toribio Romo was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2000.



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