In 1926 the terrible Masonic persecution of the Church in Mexico erupted. Fr. Maldonado continued his priestly work during the ups and downs of these tragic times, all through the intense persecution under the Mexican President Calles, and into the presidency of Cardenas.

Fr. Maldonado spent many hours prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament, praying with his arms extended in the form of a cross. Because of the persecution, there were times when he could not go out but had to stay hidden indoors. At such times he had the opportunity to spend long hours in prayer and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.

After many close calls, he was discovered. He hid the Blessed Sacrament in a pyx pressed against his chest. The soldiers beat him with the butts of their rifles and screamed at him to loosen his hands and give them "that thing in his chest." They yelled horrible blasphemies referring to the Eucharist. Fr. Maldonado grabbed the pyx very tightly in his hands, but his persecutors continued to blaspheme and yelled again and again, "Open the hand." By this time they had tortured him so badly that all of his teeth were broken, his left eye destroyed, his right arm fractured and a leg dislocated from the beatings with the rifle butts. Yet, in his agony, he held on tightly to the pyx to protect the Blessed Sacrament.

When the tormentors cut the cords of his hand with a knife, he no longer could protect the Blessed Sacrament and it fell to the floor. It is not clear what happened after that but sources have said there was a man in the room, still somewhat Catholic. He was frightened at what was going to happen to the Hosts, and picked them up and consumed them rather than see them desecrated.

Hidden Treasure: The Riches of the Eucharist
Louis Kaczmarek