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He left his heart in Mexico City… another day, another saint

23 June 2006

Blessed Rafael Guízar y Valencia, whose feast day is 6 June, was approved for canonization by the College of Cardinals this morning. The Mexican papers (the “mainstream media” ones anyway) mention that he was a missionary in Cuba, Guatemala and among the wild pagans of the United States before taking up his post as Archbishop of Veracruz in 1920. What they don’t mention was the new saint was on the lam most of the time — after all, he was on the wrong side of the Revolution.

I suppose even saints have their off days. Marcial Maciel — who was finally forced into retirement after a long career of buggering seminarians and cozying up to fascists was one of his prize pupils.

The Patron Saint Index FAQ on Rafael Guízar is actually kind of interesting. During the anti-clerical era, he was some kind of holy Scarlet Pimpernel, working undercover disguised as a travelling salesman (though, as a missionary, he was a kind of travelling salesman to begin with).

For those with a taste for relics, Guízar’s heart (documented as such by the Bishop of Xalapa) is preserved in a silver salver (with a silver heart on top) in the Basillica of Guadalupe.

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