Friday, April 1, 2011

¡Viva Cristo Rey!

Few Americans are aware of what happened in Mexico during the 1926-1929.

In fact, as I discovered in my Catechism class, some Mexican Americans are unfamiliar with the Cristeros War or Cristiada. It was during this time that the Mexican government tried to secularize itself, and essentially outlaw religion. This resulted in the persecution and martyrdom of many Catholics. Catholic boys ran from home to join the ranks of men fighting for Christ with the battle cry, "¡Viva Cristo Rey!" on their lips. Because priests were shot in the street, some of the clergy like Bl. Miguel Pro disguised himself to serve the faithful.
A disguised Fr. Pro stands near the President's house as a policeman walks by

Fr. Pro rejected a blindfold and forgave his executioners
A daring and rather cheeky fellow, the Jesuit priest annoyed the Mexican government to no end. When he was martyred by firing squad, the pictures were circulated by the government in an attempt to quell the ever rising number of Catholic rebels. Instead, people were inspired by Fr. Pro's death and carried the pictures as holy cards. As a result, the same pictures were quickly outlawed.

Fr. Pro is just one of the many courageous Catholics who shed his blood for the Faith. This story is one that needs to be told, so I was excited this morning to discover that a movie is being made about these historical events! Check out Cristiada starring Andy Garcia and Eduardo Verastegui (of Bella fame)!

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