|José Antonio Medina|
Rome, November 8, 2005. The life of Jose Antonio Medina
reflects a key aspect of the Regnum Christi vocation:
extending Christ’s kingdom by helping its members be holy in
the state and condition of life to which God has
called them through personal and organized prayer and service.
of his life confirms that we can live an authentic
Christianity when we personally experience Christ, who has invited us
to get to know him, to love him, and to
transmit him to others.
José Antonio Medina was born in Guadalajara,
Mexico, on June 28, 1969. He was a joyful person,
resolute in fulfilling his aspirations. He studied architecture and liked
to play sports. In particular, he was an excellent swimmer.
However, initially his spiritual life consisted of little more than
attending Mass with his family on Sundays. As to the
rest, he carried out a healthy life, lived in accordance
with the principles of a good Catholic.
José Antonio’s life changed
dramatically when for the first time he attended the Holy
Week missions with Youth for the Third Millennium. God
has his ways. Initially, José Antonio signed up because one
of his friends was going, and he thought he would
be able to spend some time with her. It was
during these missions that his interior conversion began, leading him
to develop a close friendship with Jesus. Following this experience,
he became a member of the Regnum Christi Movement, and
from the outset he dedicated himself to living his prayer
and apostolic commitments with absolute fidelity.
Wishing to do more
for Christ, he decided to give a year of his
life as a Coworker; he served in the General
Directorate of the Legion of Christ and the Regnum
Christi Movement in Rome, and after completing his year of
service, he decided to keep working as an architect at
the service of the Legion and the Movement in their
Not long after, at the beginning of the year
2000, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Amid confusion and
fear, but under the light of the Holy Spirit, he
made the necessary decisions. He underwent surgery in Mexico to
remove the infected part of his lung during the summer.
In December of that same year, his first follow-up operation
showed that the cancer had disappeared.
In the meantime, José Antonio
continued working in Rome as much as his health would
allow. He never lacked the closeness of his companions and
friends, among them a Regnum Christi member from Venezuela who
worked with him in Rome and who afterwards, along with
other friends and family members, cared for him with great
dedication and charity. José Antonio wrote a letter to one
of them in February of 2001 in which he said
that he did not see his illness with resignation, but
rather with hope because “the infinite goodness of God surpasses
any human expectation you can have.”
|Saying goodbye to two friends in the airport. He is going to see the doctors to find out if his cancer has returned. Even this difficult moment in his life does not keep him from smiling.|
A month later, in
January of 2001, while planning a trip to Fatima to
thank the Blessed Virgin for her intercession, he began to
feel ill, and he went in for a medical examination.
The doctor confirmed his suspicion that the cancer had returned.
José Antonio did not lose faith. He made his trip
to Fatima in spite of the new developments. There, he
felt in prayer that the Blessed Mother was accompanying him
in his suffering. He always kept this certainty with him,
and it helped him to keep fighting, insofar as he
could, until the last day of his life.
During Holy Week
of 2001, he began his fight against cancer. Thus began
four years of often painful treatments in which he always
placed all of his confidence and his life into the
hands of God, the Blessed Mother, and the doctors.
of 2005, his breathing capacity was suddenly reduced to 6%,
marking the beginning of another stage—the hardest of all—along the
path of his suffering and sanctification. He spent the greater
part of the next four months in the hospital, with
his condition continually growing more delicate. In May, he left
the hospital permanently so as to continue palliative care in
his home. Throughout this period, his illness advanced noticeably.
his sickness, he always benefited from daily Communion and the
company of the Legionaries of Christ and members of Regnum
Christi from all over the world, including: Mexico, Venezuela, Italy,
United States, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina. Children
from the Mano Amiga schools in several cities in
Mexico prayed for him daily and sent him letters and
spiritual bouquets, which filled him with great joy and increased
his hope even more, allowing him to feel very grateful
Through his sufferings, José Antonio also wished to accompany
in spirit Pope John Paul II, for whose person and
teaching he professed an unconditional love.
On the night of August
16th, his mother gave him the cross of Saint Benedict,
traditionally associated with prayer for a good death. Later, after
receiving Communion and praying the Rosary, he said: “How good
God is! It is not by chance that this crucifix
has come to my hands. This is the greatest sign
I have received in these months. Blessed and praised be
God! I think the hour has arrived, and what a
blessing it is! What more could I ask for?”
morning of August 17th, José Antonio was found kneeling at
|With his mom, thanking the Mano Amiga students for their prayers.|
the foot of his bed, having given his life over
to the Lord. How did he get onto his knees?
Nobody knows because for over a month he had not
been able to move by himself. This was how José
Antonio wanted to meet Christ: on his knees.