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January 30

Saint David Galván Bermúdez - January 30

Saint David Galván Bermúdez

Priest, Martyr

(1881 – 1915)

“What greater glory is there than to die saving a soul?

Saint David Galván Bermúdez, on his way to minister to the wounded in battle

Saint’s Life Story

His Early Dissolute Lifestyle

David was born on January 29, 1881 at Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.  David entered the seminary in Guadalajara, Mexico at age 14.   He was an excellent student but during a period of discernment of his vocation, he left the seminary for three years.   He worked, dated, wasted his time and lived a dissolute lifestyle.  At one point, he was arrested for hitting his girlfriend, who was dancing with another man, while he was drunk.


However, he finally realised he could not ignore the call to his vocation.   After a year’s probation, he was allowed to return to the seminary and was ordained on 20 May 1909. He was appointed as the Seminary Superior and Lecturer at Amatitán Seminary.

Assisted on the Battlefield

During periods of armed rebellion, he went into the field of fire to work with the injured, patching wounds and hearing confessions. In 1914, he protected the sanctity of marriage by assisting a single young lady who was being harassed by a married man, a young lieutenant, Enrique Vera.   Not long after this incident, on Saturday 30 January 1915, violent clashes broke out in Guadalajara between the opposing factions of the Villistas and Carrancistas.   Fathers David Galván and José María Araiza, went to assist the dying and wounded on the streets which had become a bloody battlefield.

While working with the injured and dying victims, they were intercepted by Lieutenant Enrique Vera, who ordered their immediate arrest and without a trial, they were condemned to the death penalty.   A pardon saved the life of Father Araiza, but not Father David.

His Martyrdom 

While in prison, David comforted and assisted his fellow prisoners with prayer and confessions.   He refused to be blindfolded and, to his executioners, he calmly pointed to his chest.   On January 30, 1915, David was shot by the firing squad at Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. David was one of 25 Martyrs of the Cristero War.

In June 1922, his remains were enshrined in a Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, near the place of his martyrdom, in the Retiro neighbourhood.   David was beatified the 22 November 1992 and canonised 21 May 2000 during the Jubilee of Mexico by St Pope John Paul II. 



We may think that just because someone has been convicted of committing a crime that there is no way that same person could go on to become a saint. Saint David Galván Bermúdez, who was arrested for hitting his girlfriend, is a great example of a person no one would ever have thought would go on to become a saint.  So, we should not be inclined to dismiss somebody as a lost cause or to deny him or her justice or dignity because of their past crimes. We would do well to remember the saints who spent time in jail, asking for their intercession that we would see not criminal records but beloved children of the Father worthy of life and respect.

Have you prematurely judged someone you thought to be a sinner? Pray for these individuals as they  may become a saint like David Galván Bermúdez.


Saint David Galván Bermúdez, we pray for your intercession that we may not turn our backs on criminials, no matter their crime. Rather remember to “remove the log from our eyes” before worrying about “taking the splinter out of our brothers or sisters eyes”.
May we strive to live like Saint David Galván Bermúdez and jump into the battle fire of life to aid those around us in need.

Saint David Galván Bermúdez, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

Aleteia – Saints who were criminals or convicts and found Christ anyway

Anastpaul – Saint of the Day – 30 January – Saint David Galván Bermúdez (1881-1915) Martyr

Catholic Online – Bl. David Galvan Bermudez – Saint David Galván Bermúdez

Vatican – David Galvan Bermudez

Wikipedia – David Galván Bermúdez

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