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August 15

St David Roldán Lara - August 15

Saint David Roldán Lara
Layman, Martyr
(1907 – 1926)

“Viva Cristo Rey! Viva Santa Maria de Guadalupe!
(Long live Christ the King and Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe!)”

Saint David Roldán Lara

His Early Years

David was born on March 2, 1907 in Chalchihuites, Zacatecas, Mexico in the archdiocese of Durango on March 2, 1907. He was the son of Pedro Roldan Reveles and Reinalda Lara Granados. He was baptized on March 29, 1926 at the local parish church. His father died when David was one, forcing his mother to raise him and his brothers on her own. His mother was a Christian woman and instilled in her son a great love of Christ and the Church. He attended Catholic schools and was an altar boy. His friends esteemed David for the joy and generosity of his life.

Entered Seminary But Dropped Out

At an early age, David entered the seminary of the Archdiocese of Durango in Durango City, Mexico. However, David had to drop out to support his struggling family working as a miner in the local mine, El Conjuro, near Chalchihuites. David never returned to seminary and remained a layman. At the mining company where he worked, David was known as a conscientious, honest and hard-working employee and was held in esteem by his fellow miners.

His boss, Gustavo Windel, a German, trusted him and named him to be his secretary. His work consisted of keeping accounts. All of the colleagues appreciated him for his way in relating to them. There, David met the daughter of Mr. Windel and started dating her. He asked for her hand in marriage a short time before the persecutions began.

President of Catholic Action of Mexican Youth

David assisted the parish priest, Saint Luis Batiz Sáinz, in directing Catholic Action of Mexican Youth. In 1925, David, as an engaged Christian man who had belonged to Catholic Action from a young age, was named President of Catholic Action. David shared the anguish of the situation that the Church was experiencing and the desire to be faithful to Christ. When the problems of the law started, David was named Vice President of the National League for the Defense of Religious Liberty (LNDLR).

David organized a pacified defense for the Church. He tried gathering signatures to petition the Government to repeal the laws that were curtailing religious freedom.

Arrested

On July 29, 1926, the LNDNR hosted a meeting that drew a crowd of around 600 people. At this meeting, its president, Saint Manuel Moralez, Saint Luis Batiz Sáinz, David, and Saint Salvador Lara Puente, his cousin and secretary of the organization were present. After the meeting, Saint Luis Batiz Sáinz was arrested at his home by a group of soldiers.

A few days later, the three LNDNR leaders, Saint Manuel Moralez, David, and Saint Salvador Lara Puente, met at Salvador’s home to discuss how to free Saint Luis Batiz Sáinz through legal means. A group of soldiers broke into the home and arrested the three men, imprisoning them in the town hall, where they were beaten and tortured.

Gustavo Windel, the general manager of the mine and David’s boss also came to intercede for the prisoners. He offered the lieutenant whatever amount of money he wanted to save the life of the priest and the three young men. But the lieutenant responded to him saying, “Money is not necessary, they are only going to Zacatecas in order to give a statement, but nothing will happen to them.”

His Death

On August 15, 1926, after several days of imprisonment, Luis, Manuel, David, and Salvador were taken out of their cells by a group of soldiers. At about noon of that day, the four men were loaded into two cars, and told that they were being taken to the state capital of Zacatecas City to explain their position to government officials.

Instead of driving to the capital, the soldiers stopped the car in the mountains near Chalchihuites. Here, the prisoners were taken out. The soldiers accused the four men of conspiring to revolt against the government. The soldiers offered freedom to David and his companions if they acknowledged the legitimacy of Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles’ anti-religious laws, which all four refused to do.

After the men refused to denounce their position, Manuel and Luis were brought forward and shot. David and his cousin, Salvador, were then called forward and led about 170 feet away from the bodies of Manuel and Luis. According to witnesses, David and Salvador walked serenely towards the spot, reciting an act of love. After crying out, “Long live Christ the King and Our Lady of Guadalupe!,” they were shot by a firing squad. A soldier gave him the coup de grace in the forehead, almost disfiguring his face, but it could not wipe away the smile of peace and tranquility that David had on his lips.

David died on August 15, 1926 in Chalchihuites, Zacatecas, Mexico. Saint David Roldán-Lara was one of the Martyrs of the Cristera War.

Born :                   March 2, 1907 in Chalchihuites, Zacatecas, Mexico

Died:                    August 15, 1926 in Chalchihuites, Zacatecas, Mexico

Beatified:            November 22, 1992 by Pope John Paul II

Canonized:         May 21, 2000 by Pope John Paul II

Feast Day:          August 15

Patron Saint:     None

Source:

Reflection 

Saint David Roldán Lara lost his father at the age of one. He had to drop out of the Seminary in Durango to work in a mine to support his family. David organized a pacified defense for the Church. He tried gathering signatures to petition the Government to repeal the laws that were curtailing religious freedom. When David faced a firing squad, he did not denounce his Catholic beliefs and shouted “Long live Christ the King and Our Lady of Guadalupe!”. While David faced many obstacles and harsh resistance during his life, his faith in Jesus Christ never faltered him.

Like Saint David Roldán Lara, during your darkness moments remember to pray to Jesus and Mary so Christ the King and Our Lady of Guadalupe will live long and strengthen your heart!

Prayers

Saint David Roldán Lara,

You faced adversity with unwavering courage.

During the Cristera War in Mexico, where challenges abounded, strengthened by your faith, you endured trials, facing persecution with a heart full of trust.

Intercede for us, as we pray for courage in our times of difficulty, that we may emulate your steadfast devotion.

May your example inspire us to live our faith boldly, and may your prayers guide us on our spiritual journey, so that we may be faithful disciples of Christ, and share His love with the world.

Saint David Roldán Lara, pray for us, Amen.

Saint Links 

Aleteia – These former seminarians ended up giving their lives in the Cristero War

All Saints & Martyrs – Saints of the Cristero War

Catholic News Agency – Mexican diocese building new shrine to martyrs of Cristero War

Catholic Online – Bl. David Roldan-Lara

Wikipedia – David Roldán Lara

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