Saint of the Day – 30 January – St David Galván Bermúdez (1881-1915) Martyr of the Mexican Revolution, Priest, Lecturer, apostle of Charity. St David was born on 29 January 1881 at Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and was martyred by firing squad on 30 January 1915 at Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
St David Galvan entered the seminary in Guadalajara, Mexico at age 14. He was an excellent student but during a period of discernment of his vocation, he left the seminary for three years. He worked, dated, wasted his time and lived a dissolute lifestyle; at one point he was arrested for hitting his girlfriend while he was drunk.
However, he finally realised he could not ignore the call to his vocation. After a year’s probation, he was allowed to return to the seminary and was ordained on 20 May 1909. He was appointed as the Seminary Superior and Lecturer at Amatitán Seminary.
During periods of armed rebellion, he went into the field of fire to work with the injured, patching wounds and hearing confessions.
In 1914 he protected the sanctity of marriage by assisting a single young lady who was being harassed by a married man, a young lieutenant, Enrique Vera. Not long after this incident, on Saturday 30 January 1915, violent clashes broke out in Guadalajara between the opposing factions of the Villistas and Carrancistas. Frs David Galván and José María Araiza, went to assist the dying and wounded on the streets which had become a bloody battlefield. On his way to minister to the wounded, he said, “What greater glory is there than to die saving a soul?”
Whilst working with the injured and dying victims, they were intercepted by Lieutenant Enrique Vera, who ordered their immediate arrest and without a trial, they were condemned to the death penalty. A pardon saved the life of Father Araiza but Galván would die by Firing Squad.
Whilst in prison, St David comforted and assisted his fellow prisoners with prayer and confessions. He refused to be blindfolded and, to his executioners, he calmly pointed to his chest. He was shot by the firing squad on 30 January 1915 at Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
In June 1922 , his remains were enshrined in a Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, near the place of his martyrdom, in the Retiro neighbourhood. He was beatified the 22 November 1992 and canonised 21 May 2000 during the Jubilee of Mexico by St Pope John Paul II.