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    Friday, October 13, 2006

    "never without a seminary"

    In an Oct. 15 papal ceremony at the Vatican, Blessed Rafael Guizar Valencia is scheduled to become the first bishop born in the Americas to be declared a saint.


    Blessed Rafael was born to a wealthy family in Cotija de la Paz in the Mexican state of Michoacan April 16, 1878. In 1894 he entered the seminary of the Diocese of Zamora and was ordained a priest for the diocese in 1901.

    When the Mexican Revolution started, the Catholic Church was a target of rebel forces because it was considered one of the privileged institutions that dominated society under Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz. The then-Father Guizar became a target because of his defense of the church.

    After the successful revolution, the new government ordered Father Guizar shot on sight and in 1915 he fled the country, entering the United States. He then moved to Guatemala, Colombia and Cuba.

    Blessed Rafael returned to Mexico in 1920 as bishop of Veracruz and in 1923 joined the local Knights of Columbus council.

    As church persecution continued, he founded a clandestine seminary.

    "A bishop can do without a miter, a crosier and even a cathedral, but never without a seminary, because the future of his diocese depends on the seminary," he said.

    Like the Pope in Poland.

    I often wonder how Mexico can remain such a mess, and so dirt poor. I bet
    the fact they endured a revolution only 100 years ago means they are still
    living through the corruption and mismanagement that landed revolutionaries

    The fact that the winners were anti-religious sealed their fate.


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