For his brave and vocal criticism of the German Socialists, Father Robert Wohlfeil was arrested on the very first day of World War II, the invasion of Poland, September 1, 1939. Beaten and tortured, he was shipped to Stutthof concentration camp, where he refused to sign the Volksliste, which could have released him from the camp. Transferred to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, he was tortured and then killed by camp kapo Fritz, who threw him off a roof.
As Padre José María Robles Hurtado prepared to offer Mass, which was illegal, the soldiers of the Socialist Mexican regime arrested him and dragged him to a barracks, where, at midnight, he was tied and forced to walk to Sierra de Quila, where at the highest point, soldiers stopped at a leafy oak tree.
Understanding he was to be hanged, the priest took the rope in his hands, blessed it and threw it around his neck, before the soldiers executed him, in the early morning hours of June 26, 1927.
Despite the German Socialist policy that relegated ethnic Poles as a second-class nation suitable only for slave labor, Sister Maria Wiśniewska secretly taught catechism and reading and writing, for which she was arrested.
Dragged to the Gestapo headquarters, she was brutally tortured: her head looked scalped, her mouth deformed with broken teeth, lacerated lips and gums, and she could not stand because of broken bones.
But she bravely bore her sufferings, singing hymns, praying continually, and never revealing anything. She perished shortly after, on November 19, 1943.
Before Padre Tranquilino Ubiarco Robles was executed, the general called one of the youngest soldiers to kill the priest. With trembling hands, the soldier held the shotgun pointed at the head of the priest and suddenly dropped it and started crying, saying over and over again, "l can not kill this man."
"If you don't do it, you are going to die along with him," the general threatened, on October 5, 1928.
"Let it be it, then," answered the soldier.
"But before you die, just tell me what is the reason why you would not kill this man."
The young soldier answered, "Sir l cannot shoot this man, because he is my godfather and is the one who gave me the Sacrament of Baptism and the one who gave me my First Communion."
And with that, the soldier was shot in the same spot, screaming, "Viva Cristo Rey! Viva Cristo Rey!"
As told by Michael Gutierrez, whose very special father, David Gutierrez Polomino, a teenage witness at the time of the Mexican Cristero War, had told him.
In defense of the Faith, clergy, religious and laity, many priests joined the fight during the persecution of the Catholic Church by the Mexican government, which caused the Cristero War.
One priest was Padre Miguel Pérez Aldape, a regimental chaplain, who defended the Holy Cause with his crucifx, a saddlebag with his vestment stole, and a 30-30 rifle.
In the December 1928 photo are (L to R): Colonel Victor Lopez, General Miguel Hernandez, Colonel Toribio Valdez, Padre Miguel Perez Aldape, and Lieutenant Teniente Eulogio Gonzalez.
Defending the Faith, Lieutenant Gonzalez was a sharpshooting sniper, an honorable man who humbly admitted that he shot more than 100 Federal soldiers, but much regretted leaving many families without a father, son, brother, husband.
He married Maria Hernandez de Mendoza, cousin of General Miguel Hernandez.
An active member of Catholic Action David Roldán Lara was arrested, accused of conspiring to revolt against the government, beaten and tortured during the Cristero War during the persecution of the Catholic Church by the Mexican government.
Days later, at noon, on August 15, 1926, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, he was taken to a remote spot in the mountains and executed by a firing squad, after he shouted, "Long live Christ the King and Our Lady of Guadalupe!"
After the German Socialists invaded Poland, they soon began the Intelligenzaktion, the campaign to exterminate ethnic Polish Catholic intellectuals.
Father Władysław Wilczyński was dragged from his rectory, beaten and tortured. Released, he was later arrested and shipped with a group of priests to Dachau death camp, where he was transported to Hartheim Euthanasia Center and executed in a gas chamber, June 11, 1942.
Manuel Moralez, president of the National League for the Defense of Religious Liberty in Mexico during the Cristero War, was arrested a few days after a League meeting, during which he said, "The league should be peaceful and not interfere in political affairs. Our project is to implore the government to remove the articles of the Constitution that prevent religious freedom."
Imprisoned in the town hall, he was beaten and tortured, until August 15, when soldiers removed him from his cell and drove him to the mountains near Chalchihuites. Accused of conspiring to revolt against the government, he was brought forward with another who begged for Moralez's freedom, because he had children to support.
Moralez said, "I am dying for God, and God will care for my children." And before his execution by firing squad, he hollered, "Long live Christ the King and Our Lady of Guadalupe!"
"Here I am," said Salvador Lara Puente when the Mexican federal soldiers arrived to arrest him.
A member of the National League for Defense of Religious Liberty, an organization that defended Catholics against the persecution of Mexico's government during the Cristero War, he was arrested during one of its meetings.
After driven to the mountains, he realized he was going to be executed, and he walked to the spot, praying in a low voice.
Offered his life and his freedom in exchange for his recognition of the legitimacy of the anti-Catholic government, he refused and was shot on the spot, on August 15, 1926.
Standing on the side of the road, Father Luis Batiz Sainz was given the opportunity to save his life.
The federal soldiers, armed with guns, told him all he had to do was acknowledge the legitimacy of the virulent anti-Catholic, Mexican government.
The priest refused and was shot on the spot, on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15, 1926, in the desolate mountains of Chalchihuites, Zacatecas.