Jacinto de los Angeles and Juan Bautista were Catholic laymen of Mexico's Zapoteca tribe born in the same year in the village of San Francisco Cajonos. Both had lived dedicated Catholic lives, beginning as altar boys and advancing to the lay office of "attorney general," charged with assisting the priests in protecting public morality and the integrity of the Catholic faith in their native place. Jacinto and his wife Petrona had two children. Juan Bautista and his wife Josefa had one daughter. On September 14, 1700, the solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Jacinto and Juan learned that certain villagers were planning to profane the feast day by carrying out an idolatrous pagan rite. The two men thwarted the occult ceremony by confronting the idolaters in person, but afterward the pagan worshippers plotted swift vengeance. On September 15, they seized Juan and Jacinto, the latter having declared that he wanted to "die for love of God and without using weapons." The next day, in a revival of brutal pre-Columbian pagan practices, the idolaters beat and slashed the two men, and cut their hearts out.
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By Justin Soutar
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