Ángel Darío Acosta Zurita (1908-1931)
Fr Ángel Darío Acosta Zurita was born on 13 December 1908 in Naolinco, Mexico. He was known for his athleticism and his gentle and charitable nature.
Ángel Darío was ordained a priest on 25 April 1931 and celebrated his First Mass in the city of Vera Cruz on 24 May. On 26 May he began to serve as coadjutor vicar in the Parish of the Assumption in Vera Cruz. He was very interested in children's catechesis and was dedicated to celebrating the Sacrament of Penance.
In the State of Vera Cruz a decree was promulgated known as the "Tejeda Law", which reduced the number of priests allowed in the State to end the "fanaticism of the people", as Governor Adalberto Tejeda called it. A letter was sent to all priests telling them to obey this law. Fr Darío received his letter on 21 July, remaining calm and joyful as always.
On 25 July 1931 the law took force; that same day, in the Parish of the Assumption, everything transpired as usual: children arrived for catechism lessons and people waited to go to confession.
At 6: 10 p.m., soldiers entered the church and opened fire on the priests. In the confusion and chaos, Fr Landa was gravely wounded while another priest, Fr Rosas, was miraculously saved, protected by the pulpit.
Fr Darío had just come out of the baptistry when he was hit by the bullets, having only the time to cry out "Jesus!". He was martyred exactly three months after his priestly ordination.