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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

"Long live Christ the King and the Virgin of Guadalupe!"

This was the slogan of the "Cristero" uprising in the 1920s against the anti-Catholic government of Mexico which had instituted and enforced laws against the Church in an absurd attempt to eradicate the Catholic faith in Mexico, even going so far as to ban all foreign clergy and the celebration of Mass in some regions.

St. Christopher Magallanes, along with 21 other priests and three lay companions, were martyred between 1915 and 1937, by shooting or hanging, throughout eight Mexican states, for their membership in the Cristero movement. Magallanes erected a seminary in Totatiche and he and his companions secretly preached and ministered to the faithful.

The last words heard spoken by Magallanes were from his cell, when he shouted, "I am innocent and I die innocent. I forgive with all my heart those responsible for my death, and I ask God that the shedding of my blood serve the peace of our divided Mexico."

Pope St. John Paul II beatified the Cristero martyrs in 1992 and canonized them on May 21, 2000.

— Catholic News Agency

Watch and learn

"For Greater Glory" chronicles the Cristeros War (1926-1929), a war by the people of Mexico against the atheistic Mexican government. The 2012 movie is available on Netflix and Amazon.