“For Greater Glory” 1 of 2
Written by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, Tues. 29, 2012 - cinops be gone - Mon. June 11/2012
“The anti-Catholic persecutions in the 1920s and 1930s are long forgotten, it seems. The reality is hard to believe. Just a generation ago, not far from our border, thousands of men, women and eve children, were imprisoned, exiled, tortured and murdered. All for the “crime” of believing in Jesus Christ and wanting to live by their faith in him.
“So I welcome the new film, “For Greater Glory.” It tells the dramatic story of this unknown war against religion and our Church’s heroic resistance. It’s a strong film with the timely message. It reminds us that our religious liberties are won by blood and we can never take them for granted.
“That such repressions could happen in a nation so deeply Catholic as Mexico should make everybody stop and think. Mexico was the original cradle of Christianity in the New World. It was the missionary base from which most of North and South America, and parts of Asia, were first evangelized.
“Yet following the revolution in 1917, the new atheist-socialistic regime vowed to free the people from all “fanaticism and prejudice.” Churches, seminaries and convents were seized, desecrated and many were destroyed. Catholic schools and newspapers were shut down; Catholic political parties and labor unions banned. Priests were tortured and killed, many of them shot while celebrating Mass.
“The dictator, Plutarco Elias Calles, used to boast about the numbers of priests he had executed. His hatred of organized religion ran deep. He really believed his reign of terror could exterminate the Church and wipe the memory of Christ from Mexico within a single generation.
“It became a time of international Catholic solidarity, American Catholics opened their doors to refugees fleeing the violence. My predecessor, Archbishop John Cantwell, welcomed many here to Los Angeles - including Venerable Maria Luisa Josefa de la Pena and Blessed Maria Ines Teresa Aria.
“We need to ask for the strength to be Cristeros. By their dying they showed us what we should be living for.” “Ordinary Catholics became Cristeros, courageous defenders of Jesus Christ. May felt compelled to take up arms to defend the rights in what became known as the Cristeros War. Others chose nonviolent means to bear witness to Christ.”
“I die but God does not die,” Blessed Anacleto Gonzales Flores and before his execution. His words were prophetic.” “Martyrs are not defined by their dying but by what they choose to live for. And the Cristeros’ blood became the seed for the Church of future generations in Mexico.
“Today, we need to know their names and we need to know their stories.” “We need to know about the beautiful young catechist, Venerable Maria de la Luz Camacho. When the army came to burn her church down, she stood in front of the door and blocked their way. They shot her dead. But the church was somehow spared.”
“We need to know about all the heroic priests who risked their lives to celebrate Mass and hear confessions. Growing up, we had prayer cards made for a grainy photograph of one of these priests, Blessed Miguel Pro. He is standing before a firing squad without blindfold, his arms stretched wide like Jesus on the cross as he cries out his last word: VIVO CRISTO REY! LONG LIVE CHRIST THE KING
“We need to learn from the examples of all the Cristeros who have been canonized and beatified by the Church. And today especially, we need to pray for their intercession…”
George H. Kubeck - to be continued - The movie is a must see.