Saint Mateo Correa Magallanes (also known as Mateo Correa, Fr. Correa) was born on 23 July 1866 at Tepechitlán, Zacatecas, Mexico. He was a Knight of Columbus, of Council 2140. He attended the seminary at Zacatecas on a scholarship, in 1881. He was ordained as priest in 1893 at the age of 27. As a young priest, he gave first communion to Miguel Pro who also became a priest and was later martyred. Fr. Correa was assigned as a parish priest to Concepción del Oro in 1898, and then to Colotlán in 1908. Following the government's repression of the Catholic Church in 1910, he went into hiding. He was assigned to Valparaíso in 1926.
In 1927, during the government’s continuing persecution of the Church, Fr. Correa was arrested by soldiers as he was bringing Viaticum
to a woman invalid. Accused of being part of the armed Cristero
rebellion, he was jailed in Zacatecas, and then in Durango. On 5 February 1927
, Fr. Correa was asked by General Eulogio Ortiz, to hear the confessions of some imprisoned members of the Cristeros
, an insurgency movement. Father Correa agreed, but afterward General Ortiz demanded to know what the condemned prisoners had confessed. Fr. Correa refused. General Ortiz then pointed a gun at Fr. Correa's head and threatened him with immediate death. Fr. Correa continued to refuse, and at dawn on February 6
, he was taken to the cemetery on the outskirts of Durango and shot through the head.
He was beautified by Pope John Paul II
on November 22
, and then canonized
on May 21
during the Jubilee of Mexico.