Patrick is Hispanic on his father’s side. His family had to flee from Mexico at the time of the troubles … the banditos, then the persecution of Catholics by the government. Pancho Villa etc. were bloodthirsty criminals.
These were brutal times, very difficult for Catholics.
The Blessed Virgin Mary
Mexico is directly under the special patronage and protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as told to St. Juan Diego in 1531.
Do not grieve or be disturbed by anything …
We should take this as a very meaningful, serious reality.
At the time of the Napoleonic invasion of Spain, a lot of troublesome seeds were sown in Spain, and by extension, Mexico.
The Enlightenment thinking came into Spain via this invasion, and in effect was a direct attack on the notion that God had any role to play in human society.
Folks like Hobbes, Kant, Locke, Russeau, fueled this movement.
Freemasonry was a direct cause of the persecution, and was a blight on Mexican culture. Rooted in the enlightenment, it was a direct attack on the Church.
Corruption also caused a lot of problems, as it led to and exacerbated poverty of the masses.
Masonry played a big role in both of these – corruption and poverty.
A Catholic priest, born in May 1753, died in May of 1811. Very educated, popular author, knew many native Indian languages, In September 16, 1810 he preached a a rousing speech on the need for independence.
The peasants rose up and began to fight, but were quickly crushed.
The rebels were decisively vanquished at the Battle of Calderon. On June 26 of 1811 he was detained and eventually excecuted by firing squad.
This led to a national conscience that led to thinking of the Church as a liberator, as a champion of freedom.
As the Masons came to control most government offices, they consequently came to view the Church as increasingly a threat.
Benito Juarez was a champion of the republican form of government, went after Maximillian, eventually toppled and executed him. His first act as president was to confiscate a basilica in Mexico City and turn it into a Masonic temple.
After Juarez there was a relatively quiet 30 year period, then there was a series of Masonic, very anti-Catholic presidents.
For example, Caranza shot 160 Catholic priests with his knowledge and consent.
Obregon, was followed by Plutarco Elias Calles.
Calles was a monster – a general in the Mexican army, he was a governor of Sonora, where he banished all Catholic priests from the territory. He was a 33rd degree Mason, and a militant, vocal athiest.
He formed his own “patriotic church”. He supported Protestant missionaries in Mexico, constructed 200 Protestant schools. His goal was to weaken the Catholic Church.
This led to the Cristeros, which Calles went after hard.
In 1924 he declared that the fight was for the minds of children. Catholic school were outlawed, public school was mandatory, and militant atheism was mandated.
In 1926 he outlawed the Catholic Church and began openly persecuting the Church. This was fought by Catholics who would not allow this to happen. Many of them were martyred.
Every Mexican person with any civil job had to take a public oath. Anyone who refused were imprisoned or executed by firing squad. Five years of imprisonment for even questioning the laws.
Phrases such as “adios” or “si Dios se queiere” were outlawed. You could be imprisoned.
No priest could minister without permission. All convents etc were confiscated etc etc etc.
The Church withdrew all priests and sacraments, which led to rebellion.
Viva Cristo Rey
In December 1926 the American FreeMasons declared support for all of Calle’s laws and actions.
The Mexican government often fired on processions of people singing and praying.
This happened time after time, with many, many martyrs.
The Cristeros were very, very Catholic. For example, the soldiers were consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, did a daily rosary, set aside Sundays for worship.
In xx Pope Pius XI wrote an encyclical condemning the laws of Calles. Remember, Catholics are duty-bound to oppose unjust laws.
Priest after priest, religious after religious, faithful after faithfully were tortured, brutalized, persecuted, and martyred.
This went on for 12 – 15 years.
In 1929 75% of Mexico had come under control of the victorious Cristero army. The end came strangely, with the Vatican signing a peace treaty without the consent of the Cristeros.
At that time about 6,000 Crfisteros were rounded up and executed by firing squad.
Fr. Miguel Pro
He went back to Mexico in 1926 and worked undercover. He did lots of crazy things to outwit the police. For example, one time he jumped out of a cab being chased by police, found a pretty girl and walked hand in hand with her. The police passed them by.
Another time he came into the center of the police office / jail that was chasing him, dressed as a policeman, and gave the sacraments to the prisoners.
Eventually he was captured and executed, shouting “Viva Cristo Rey” (photo to the right).
A Saint for our TImes
It is quite possible that we, in the US, may find ourselves in precisely the same situations, particularly if we remain faithful.
With this in mind, consider the Fellowship of the Unashamed:
I AM A PART of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.
The die has been cast. The decision has been made. I have stepped over the line. I wont look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is in Gods hands. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, the bare minimum, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, frivolous living, selfish giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, applause, or popularity. I dont have to be right, first, the best, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith. I lean on Christs presence. I love with patience, live by prayer, and labor with the power of Gods grace.
My face is set. My gait is fast, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, and my mission is clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, let up or slow up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and spoken up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give until I drop, speak out until all know, and work until He stops me.
And when He returns for His own, He will have no difficulty recognizing me. My banner is clear: I am a part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.
There is a good wiki article on the Cristero War here.