José Luis Sánchez del Río


In 1928, Jose Sanchez del Río was severely beaten, the souls of his feet sliced open and made to walk barefoot through town to a cemetery where his grave was already dug. Standing at the edge of the grave he was offered clemency if he would spit on a crucifix. When he refused he was stabbed and slashed with machetes and bayonets.

On his knees, and bleeding profusely from his wounds, he was offered one last chance to save himself. The captain of the soldiers told him to shout “death to Christ the King” and he would live. Jose caught his breath and yelled “Viva Cristo Rey” as loud as he could, and the enraged captain shot him in the back of the head. He was 14 years old.

José Luis Sánchez del Río (March 28, 1913 – February 10, 1928) was a Mexican Cristero who was put to death by government officials because he refused to renounce his Catholic faith. His death was seen as a largely political venture on the part of government officials in their attempt to stamp out dissent and crush religious freedom in the area. He was dubbed "Joselito."