A beautiful and holy death is the testimony of a good and virtuous life.
That was the case of Jose Sanchez del Rio, only fourteen years old when he was murdered by the federales, soldiers of the Mexican Communist government.
Jose was a young Cristero, a Catholic soldier in the holy war to liberate Mexico from the Communist government of the 1920s. He was recently declared blessed by Pope Benedict XVI.
During a battle with the Communist federales, his commanding general had his horse shot out from under him, and brave Jose gave him his, saying, "You are more important to the Cause than I. Take my horse and flee."
The general fled to safety, and Jose was captured and taken prisoner by the federales.
Shortly before dying, Jose rebuked a Communist congressman because he witnessed how the federales used a Church as a stable for their horse.
"One should come to pray in the house of God. It is not the place for animals."
The congressman threatened him with death. To which Jose said:
"I am ready for whatever comes. Go ahead and shoot me so I can soon be before Our Lord and ask Him to rebuke you!"
Finally, he wrote to his mother:
I was taken prisoner in battle today. I believe at the current moment I will die; but that doesn't matter, Mama. Be resigned to the will of God; I die happy because I die in the fight at the side of Our Lord. Don't be concerned with my death, that would make me suffer. Rather, tell my brothers to follow the example of their youngest brother, thereby doing the will of God. Be brave and send me you blessing, along with Father's. I say a final goodbye to all and, for last, receive the heart of your son who so much loved you and wanted to see you before dying.
Who was this boy who wrote such a remarkable and holy letter to his mother?