Seminarian at Guadalajara, Mexico. Parish priest at Zapotlanejo, Jalisco, Mexico in 1900. Strong and gentle father to his flock, he refused to abandon his parish during the persecutions of the Church by the government; he went into hiding, and ministered covertly to his parishioners. The mayor of Zapotlanjejo, Jose Orozco, was virulently anti–Catholic, and offered a reward for the capture of any priest. Father Jose was betrayed for this reward, and arrested; his Judas was Nemesio Bermejo, an ex-seminarian who lived with Flores.
Flores was offered his freedom if he would accept the anti–Church Calles government; he declined. Orozco turned the Zapotlanejo rectory into a jail, threw Flores into it, gave him no food or water for three days, played music outside the gaol so he could not sleep, and repeatedly offered him freedom in exchange for cooperation; Father Jose declined.
On the night he died, Jose was taken to a nearby cemetery, and tortured by being repeatedly hanged in a tree, but being lowered before he died. One of the soldiers, who had been baptized by Father Flores, refused to participate in the torture; the others shot him. They then took the padre‘s few possessions and murdered him. The squad tried to shoot him, but their guns would not fire, and the troop’s commander, Anastasio Valdivia, cut Flores’ throat. Martyr.
- “Saint Jose Isabel Flores Varela“. CatholicSaints.Info. 16 June 2015. Web. 27 March 2017. <>