Cristóbal Magallanes Jara

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Cristóbal Magallanes Jara
Born (1869-07-30)July 30, 1869
Totatiche, Jalisco, Mexico
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Colotlán, Jalisco, Mexico
Venerated in Roman Catholicism
Beatified November 22, 1992 by Pope John Paul II
Canonized May 21, 2000 by Pope John Paul II
Feast May 21

Saint Cristóbal Magallanes Jara, also known as Christopher Magallanes (July 30, 1869 - May 25, 1927) is a martyr and saint venerated in the Catholic Church who was killed without trial on the way to say Mass during the Cristero War after the trumped up charge of inciting rebellion.

Early life

The Baptism of Cristobal Magallanes Jara; he was baptized on August 7th, 1869.

He was born in Totatiche, Jalisco, Mexico on July 30, 1869. He was son of Rafael Magallanes Romero and Clara Jara Sanchez, who were farmers. He worked as a shepherd in his youth and enrolled in the Conciliar Seminary of San José in Guadalajara at the age of 19.

Ordination and Priest Life

He was ordained at the age of 30 at the Santa Teresa Temple in Guadalajara in 1899 and served as chaplain of the School of Arts and Works of the Holy Spirit in Guadalajara. He was then designated as the parish priest for his home town of Totatiche, where he helped found schools and carpentry shops and assisted in planning for hydrological works, including the dam of La Candelaria. He took special interest in the evangelization of the local indigenous Huichol people and was instrumental in the foundation of the mission in the indigenous town of Azqueltán. When government decrees closed the seminary in Guadalajara in 1914, Magallanes offered to open a seminary in his parish. In July 1915, he opened the Auxiliary Seminary of Totatiche, which achieved a student body of 17 students by the following year and was recognized by the Archbishop of Guadalajara, José Francisco Orozco y Jiménez, who appointed a precept and two professors to the seminary.


Magallanes wrote and preached against armed rebellion, but was falsely accused of promoting the Cristero Rebellion in the area. Arrested on May 21, 1927, while en route to celebrate Mass at a farm, he gave away his few remaining possessions to his executioners, gave them absolution, and without a trial, he was killed four days later with Saint Agustín Caloca in Colotlán, Jalisco. His last words to his executioners were "I die innocent, and ask God that my blood may serve to unite my Mexican brethren." He was succeeded as parish priest of Totatiche by Fr. José Pilar Quezada Valdés, who went on to become the first bishop of the Archdiocese of Acapulco.


Fr. Magallanes was canonized by Pope John Paul II on May 21, 2000. He is celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church with an optional memorial on 21 May.


The concluding sequence of the movie For Greater Glory (2012) says that the fictional character "Father Christopher" portrayed by actor Peter O'Toole was based on St. Cristobal Magallanes Jara.

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