Facing the firing squad, in the Cemetery of Bethlehem, Father David Galvan Bermudez refused to be blindfolded and calmly pointed to his chest, where he would be shot, on January 30, 1915, the same day he was arrested for being a priest.
The Mexican government's anti-clerical stance had begun following the dethroning and execution of Emperor Maximillian, in 1867.
"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 serves toward the peace of our divided Mexico," said Father Cristóbal Magallanes Jara, as he faced his executioners and absolved them before they shot him to death, on May 25, 1927.
During the Cristero War, the Christian uprising against the oppressive anti-clerical Mexican government that persecuted Catholics, Father Cristóbal Magallanes Jara was arrested on his way to say Mass. For being a priest, he received a death sentence.
"We live for God, and for Him we die," declared Father Agustín Caloca Cortés, his last words before executed by the firing squad, on May 25, 1927, in Colotlán, Jalisco, Mexico.
The 29-year-old priest was arrested by the anti-Catholic government, after he had warned seminarians to flee and hide from the approaching federal soldiers.
Although offered his freedom, he refused unless freedom would also be granted to his fellow prisoner, Father Magallanes Jara, which was denied.
"Give us our temples, or we will take them!" protested Catholic faithful.
Churches were closed, the Sacraments outlawed and priests became enemies of the state after President Plutarco Elías Calles pushed a statute to enforce the anti-clerical articles of the Mexican Constitution of 1917, which sought to eliminate the power of the Catholic Church.
The result was a civil uprising -- the Cristero War (1926–29). Countless faithful were martyred and 4,000 priests were martyred in or exiled from Mexico for offering the outlawed holy sacrifice of the Mass.
An illegal underground Mass on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15, 1929, when the Holy Mass and the Sacraments were outlawed and priests became enemies of the State with the anti-Catholic policies of the Socialist Mexican regime, which enacted, under President Plutarco Elías Calles, a statute to enforce the anti-clerical articles of the Mexican Constitution of 1917, which sought to eliminate the power of the Catholic Church. Countless faithful were martyred and 4,000 priests were martyred in or exiled from Mexico for offering the outlawed holy sacrifice of the Mass.
Father Ludwik Wrodarczyk, who assisted and hid Jews from the German Socialists during the round-up in the Rokitno Ghetto, was executed during the Volhynia genocide of ethnic Poles, committed by the Socialist Ukrainian Insurgent Army, after he was abducted from church, interrogated, beaten, tortured and, finally, laid out on the snow and had his chest opened and pulsing heart cut out, December 7, 1943.
Father Arroyo officiated the final Holy Mass, on July 30, 1926, in Valparaiso, Zacatecas, before the Mass, the Sacraments and even priests were outlawed by the anti-Catholic policies of the Mexican government, which enacted, under President Plutarco Elías Calles, a statute to enforce the anti-clerical articles of the Mexican Constitution of 1917, that sought to eliminate the power of the Catholic Church. The cruel laws resulted in a civil uprising, the Cristero War (1926–29).
As part of the Intelligenzaktion, the campaign to exterminate ethnic Polish Catholics by the German Socialists after they invaded Poland, Father Antoni Wysocki was rounded up with other priests from the parish near Piotrków Kujawski. Jailed and tortured, he was murdered with seven other priests, during a mass execution of 22 ethnic Poles, on November 1, 1939.
In retaliation for the humiliating defeat of Federal troops at the hands of the Cristeros at the Battle of San Julian, on March 15, 1927, the first major battle won by the Cristeros, the Secretary of War and Navy, General Joaquin Amaro Dominguez marched into San Julian and ordered the arrest and execution of Father Julio Alvarez Mendoza, on March 30, 1927.
Victoriano Ramírez López, renowned as "El Catorce" after he killed 14 federal soldiers during a shootout, ended up on the right side of the Cristero War.
Fearless and insanely brave, yet very flawed, El Catorce fought for a Holy Cause, a fight for the Faithful, after the Socialist Mexican regime persecuted the Catholic Church.
Executed, on March 17, 1929, the life of El Catorce proves that each person has a part in God's perfect plan no matter how imperfect the person.
"We ask for repeal of Decree 62 that humiliates us," protested the Catholic townspeople of Tlalpujahua, on April 19, 1926, the decree that outlawed public worship, such as the the Holy Mass and the Sacraments.
Priests became enemies of the State during the Cristero War (1926–29), a civil revolt in Mexico against the anti-Catholic policies of the Socialist regime, which enacted, under President Plutarco Elías Calles, a statute to enforce the anti-clerical articles of the Mexican Constitution of 1917, that sought to eliminate the power of the Catholic Church.
Countless faithful were martyred and 4,000 priests were martyred in or exiled from Mexico for offering the outlawed holy sacrifice of the Mass.
General Enrique Gorostieta Velarde had been a lifelong anti-cleric -- until the Mexican government persecuted the Catholic Church and outlawed the Sacraments.
Recruited to lead the Cristeros, the soldiers of Christ, during the Cristero War (1926–29), he led his men in the civil revolt that resulted from anti-Catholic policies pushed under President Plutarco Elías Calles, who enforced the anti-clerical articles of the Mexican Constitution of 1917, which sought to eliminate the power of the Catholic Church.
Through his leadership, he changed the ragtag armies into a united force, which he headed until his death, on June 2, 1929, when he was shot by a federal soldier.
"They left me here, and here I wait. Let's see what God determines," said Father Sabas Reyes Salazar after his worried parishioners begged him to hide from the federal soldiers looking for priests in his town of Tatotlán.
During Lent 1927, soldiers entered his church brought in their horses, destroyed the statuary, tied the priest to a column, interrogated and tortured him for three days, without food, without water, and burned his hands because they had been consecrated.
Soldiers wanted to know where the other priests were hiding. He said nothing.
On April 13, 1927, Holy Wednesday, also known as Spy Wednesday, Father Sabas Reyes Salazar was dragged to the parish cemetery's enclosure.
Facing his executioners, before he was killed, he shouted, "Viva Cristo Rey!"
"My Jesus, my Jesus, for You I die," repeated Father Andrés Solá y Molist, as he faced his executioners, the theophobic Mexican government's soldiers, on April 25, 1927.
Arrested for refusing to submit to government control, while imprisoned and tortured, he confirmed his priestly ministry and continued to refuse to submit, which lead to his death by gunshot.