Padre Pedro de Jesus Maldonado
I was present on some occassions while Father Maldonado afficiated mass, in those times the churches were closed and their were soldiers guarding so no one could pass. One time our Padre took me to an arroyo towards the river of Trias to celebrate mass and communion to the few people that had shown up.
Father Maldonado would have mass every day where ever he could, sometimes in caves or arroyos. The Federal Government was trying to eliminate the power of the church and prohibit the clergymen from uniting the people to rise up in arms. Father Maldonado spend alot of time in Rancho Pino, in a house that had been built with a double wall for him to hide.
The Government took a long time looking for Father Maldonado but were unable to find him. The Father was eventually found when he decided to return to the town and give mass on Ash Wednesday in 1936. That day he was apprehended in Rancho Boquillo del Rio, today it is the site of a temple constructed in his honor. With him traveled some elderly ladies, Manuelita and Pepa Gardea, Las Loyas (three sisters), Chela Ortega and others. When Father Maldonado was being struck I would throw rocks and tell them not to kill him. He was very brave and he would tell us that he was not afraid. We are not going to kill him we are only apprehending him said one of the soldiers.
He was turned over to the Municipal President in a healthy state, but when got to the door of the Municipal President, Jesus Salcido, he gave him his first shot.
Antonio Marquez tells the story that Jesus Salcido then asks to be given a blessin. When Father Maldonado raises his right arm, they break it. The Father then lifted his left arm, it to was broken. When he was lying on the floor, he was made to eat his crucifix and other religous items by force.
Nothing was heard unitl the next morning, when Mendiolea, a person from the government showed up and took the Father to the Hospital Central de la Cuidad de Chihuahua. The Father was in a coma and one of his eyes was bleeding, he also had two broken arms. The Bishop and other clerymen arrived to the hospital to visit Father Maldonado but he died almost instantly after their arrival. Their is a plaque in this hospital in his honor.
People from all parts showed up for his funeral persession, youngsters from the schools would climb the church towers and ring the bells. On the following day all churches were opened.
The deaths of the soldiers that had apprehended and tortured the Padre were very painful deaths. Jesus Salcido was lying in his bed agonizing in pain, when a cleryman arrived to hear his last confession, he told him that his mattress would rise up towards the roof and would slam him against the ceiling beams. He did not want to confess his sins. When the cleryman was leaving the house a strong wind came and knocked down a large peach tree that was located to the side of the main door of Jesus Salcido's house. It is said that it was the Devil himself that was their.
Antonio Marquez (El Barranco), when I tried to pray a rosary during his agony, I got the impression of seeing him with his tougue out. I had to continue my rosary outside the habitat. ( Testimony of Juana Marquez Magallanes).
Andres Rivera, noboby knew how or when he died. He was found alone with worms in his body inside his house.
The following Events were copied from the Santa Isabel website.