The Red Bishop of Cuernevaca

Monseñor Sergio Mendez Arceo, bishop of Cuernevaca, Mexico, “the red bishop,” champion of liberation for the poor, died on February 6, 1992. An outspoken advocate of the poor, he had also renovated the cathedral, with a large baptismal font. Part of the renovation also revealed a mural of the Mexican martyrs of Nagasaki who were killed there on February 5, 1597, and whose feast is celebrated in many parts of the world (outside of Mexica) on February 6.

On November 30, 1984, he spoke of the blessedness of those who suffer persecution for the sake of justice:

“Blessed are those who suffer persecution, those who for justice suffer persecution. . . . Thus we can call blessed all our people, beaten down and oppressed: when they take consciousness of oppression and struggle to be liberated, when they really long for justice; thus, in those moments, those who have already passed the ultimate test of giving their live for their desire [for justice], would be the ones who give us joy, the joy of so many brothers [and sisters] who form, with Jesus, heaven, the heaven we seek, the fullness of the Kingdom.”


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