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San Diego de la Unión, Guanajuato, Mexico — The Central Highlands (North America)
 

Padre Méndez

March 14, 1899 - October 8, 1998

 
 
Padre Méndez Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, July 5, 2020
1. Padre Méndez Marker
Inscription.  

Padre Méndez
Sr. Pbro. Dn. José Florentino Méndez Chávez
Fiel devoto consagrado al servicio de Dios y de la sociedad sandieguense, nacido en Puruándiro, Michoacán y dedicado durante 66 años a una acción religiosa con impetu, humanismo y trabajo con la comunidad.

Cuando Florentino terminó sus estudios de primaria se trasladó a la ciudad de León, Guanajuato para ingresar al Seminario; sin embargo, víctima de la persecución religiosa, junto con otros estudiantes y sus maestros, emigraron a San Antonio, Texas, donde los siguieron impartiendo clases. En julio de 1929 regresan a León, Guanajuato, libre de conflicto, logrando terminar sus estudios y ser ordenado sacerdote por el Sr. Obispo Don Emeterio Valverde y Téllez, el 14 de febrero de 1932, mientras que su tierra natal fue testigo de su primera misa el 18 de febrero del mismo año.

Después de ese dia se dirigió a Dolores Hidalgo, Cuna de la Independencia Nacional en cuya parroquia permaneció un breve periodo mientras era trasladado a San Diego de la Unión, a donde llegó el 04 de marzo de 1932, asignándosele como primera actividad el oir confesiones.
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A pesar de las condiciones que limitaban el culto religioso, pudo fortalecer la acción cristiana, otorgar la comunión a los enfermos y convertirse en Vicario en la parroquia principal de San Diego de la Unión, Guanajuato.

Se destacó por ser un fiel devoto de la Virgen de Guadalupe, lo cual le llevó a promover la comunión los dias 12 de cada mes, además de que apoyado por el Senor Cura Don José María Esquivel, celebraba el acto denominado "la salve" evento muy nutrido en asistencia por parte de los feligreses que consistía en orar, cantar salve y participar en una procesión por el atrio parroquial. Motivó a los fieles logrando su participación por primera vez en la peregrina ción diocesana a la Basilica de Guadalupe.

Organizó los cursos de la Doctrina Cristiana para los niños con quienes creó la Cruzada Eucarística; fundó la Adoración Nocturna "San Diego de Alcalá" con la celebración de la primera vigilia el 10 de mayo de 1934, reconocida por el Consejo Supremo de la ciudad de México como la más grande de la República Mexicana llegando a sumar en poco tiempo más de cuatro mil adoradores para quienes construyó y equipo la Sala de Guardia de la Adoración. El Padre Mendez tambien dirigió exitosamente los grupos de acción católica.

En el ano de 1940 encabezó los trabajos para continuar la construcción del Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, lográndolo
Padre Méndez Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, July 5, 2020
2. Padre Méndez Marker
The marker is to the right in front of the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de San Diego de la Unión.
con apoyo de los fieles de la Parroquia y de los vecinos del barrio de la Ciudadela quienes donaron el terreno para que se abriera la Calzada de Guadalupe.

Su servicio y ayuda al prójimo fueron incondicionales, su apoyo era moral y económico para varios particulares instituciones como el Colegio Amado Villanueva, por lo que se lo puede describir como: "Una fe, devoción y entusiasmo que se tradujo en un valioso legado religioso y cultural.”

Su recuerdo vive en el corazón de los sandieguenses, sus restos descansan en el Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de este municipio.
Marzo 14 de 1899 – Octubre 08 de 1998

English translation:
Father Méndez
Presbyter José Florentino Méndez Chávez
A faithful devotee, dedicated to the service of God and to the society of San Diego, born in Puruándiro, Michoacán and dedicated for 66 years to religious action with drive, humanism and dedication to the community.

When Florentino finished his primary studies, he moved to the city of León, Guanajuato to enter the Seminary; however, as a victim of religious persecution, along with other students and their teachers, they migrated to San Antonio, Texas, where they continued to teach and study. In July 1929 they returned to León, Guanajuato, now free of conflict. He finished his studies and was ordained a priest
A nearby statue of Padre Méndez image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, July 5, 2020
3. A nearby statue of Padre Méndez
by Bishop Emeterio Valverde y Téllez on February 14, 1932, and gave his first mass on February 18 of the same year here in his home town.

After that, he went to Dolores Hidalgo, Cradle of National Independence in whose parish he stayed for a short period until he was transferred to San Diego de la Unión, where he arrived on March 4, 1932, assigning to him as his first activity that of hearing confessions. Despite the conditions that limited religious worship, he was able to strengthen Christian action, grant communion to the sick and became Vicar in the main parish of San Diego de la Unión, Guanajuato.

He stood out for being a faithful devotee of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which led him to promote communion on the 12th of each month. In addition to that, supported by Priest José María Esquivel, he celebrated "el salve", an event with much attendance on the part of the parishioners. This celebration consisted of praying, singing “el salve” and participating in a procession through the parish atrium. He motivated the faithful by achieving their participation for the first time in the diocesan pilgrimage to the Basilica of Guadalupe.

He organized the Christian Doctrine courses for the children with whom he created the Eucharistic Crusade activity. He also founded the Nocturnal Worship "San Diego de Alcalá" with the celebration of the first vigil
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on May 10, 1934, recognized by the Supreme Council of Mexico City as the largest in the Mexican republic, adding in a short time more than four thousand worshipers for whom he built and a Worship Auditorium. Father Mendez also successfully directed the different Catholic action groups.

In 1940 he led the works to continue the construction of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe, achieving it with the support of the faithful of the Parish and of the residents of the Ciudadela neighborhood who donated the land to open up the Guadalupe Causeway.

His service and help to his neighbor were unconditional, his moral and economic support to various private institutions such as the Amado Villanueva School was also well known. He was described as: "A faith, devotion and enthusiasm that resulted in a valuable religious and cultural legacy.”

His memory lives on in the heart of the people of San Diego. His remains rest in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe in this municipality.
March 14, 1899 - October 8, 1998
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkChurches & Religion. A significant historical date for this entry is February 14, 1932.
 
Location. 21° 27.976′ N, 100° 52.775′ W. Marker is in San Diego de la Unión, Guanajuato. Marker is on Calzada de Guadalupe just east of Corregidora, in the median. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Diego de la Unión GTO 37850, Mexico. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Relics of San Diego de Alcalá (approx. 0.6 kilometers away); General Xavier Mina and the Hacienda El Bizcocho (approx. 0.6 kilometers away); San Diego de Alcalá (approx. 1.1 kilometers away).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 11, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 11, 2020, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana. This page has been viewed 232 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 11, 2020, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana.

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Apr. 17, 2024