Saint of the Day – 21 April – Saint Román Adame Rosales (1859-1927) Priest and Martyr of the Cristero War, St Roman had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin, Founder of the association of the “Daughters of Mary and Nocturnal Adoration,” Apostle of Catechesis and of the poor and the sick, spiritual guide, founder of many schools and Chapels – born on 27 February 1859 at Teocaltiche, Jalisco, Mexico and died by shooting by a firing squad on 21 April 1927 in a cemetery near Yahualican, Jalisco, Mexico.
More than 80 years ago – between 1914 and 1934 – the Church in Mexico experienced one of the bloodiest religious persecutions in history, in which several religious gave their lives in defence of the Catholic faith.
Among these Mexican martyrs is Saint Román Adame Rosales -priest of deep humility and pastor for several years in Nochistlán, a municipality located in the Mexican state of Zacatecas, whom the Church remembers today in a special way.
The Priest was known for his catechesis, for his great devotion to the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament – so much so, that part of his action in his parish ministry, was dedicated to the construction of chapels, so that the faithful could have the Blessed Sacrament close by. He was also reverred for giving great efforts to the care of the sick and the education of the children, both secular and religious.
Fr Román is also remembered for his courage and perseverance in the face of any suffering or difficult situation – such as the harsh persecution that led him to remain hidden and continue to administer the sacraments clandestinely – he always said: “Let everything be for God.”
On 18 April 1927 he conducted a Lenten service at Rancho Veladones. One of the people at the service betrayed him to a Colonel Quinones and Father Román was arrested the next day. He was jailed at Mexticacan, Mexico, then forced to walk miles to the parish at Yhualica. Quinones had commandeered the presbytery for his own use, he kept Fr Román tied to an outdoor post during the day, threw him into a cell at night and neglected to give him food or water. Some local lay people offered to buy the priest’s freedom. Quinones demanded a $6,000 bribe, pocketed the money and ordered Father Román executed anyway. On 21 April 1927 he was taken to an open grave, where he was executed by firing squad together with a soldier, Antonio Carrillo, who minutes before opposed the shooting of the priest.
The parish priest was Canonised by St Pope John Paul II on 21 May 2000, along with 25 other faithful, the majority priests, who like him gave their lives for Christ and the faith, their feast is celebrated together on 21 May.
Today the saint’s remains are venerated in Nochistlán and according to witnesses to the exhumation of his body, his heart was solidified and his Rosary was embedded in it.
Almighty God, who gave to Your servant Saint Román Adame Rosales boldness
to confess the Name of our Saviour Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world and great love for the Blessed Sacrament and for the Blessed Virgin Mary,
grant, we pray, that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us
and to suffer gladly, for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever.