February 01, 2018

⛪ Blessed José Anacleto González Flores and Eight Companions

📑 Blessed Anacleto González Flores - Lay Martyr :

José Anacleto González Flores was born in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, on July 13, 1888, in an environment of extreme poverty.

In 1908 he entered the auxiliary seminary of San Juan de los Lagos; he soon reached great advances in the sciences and could even make up for the absences of the professor, earning the nickname of his entire life: "Maistro Cleto". When he understood that his vocation was not the ministerial priesthood, he entered the School free of laws. Notable pedagogue, speaker, catechist and Christian social leader, became a lay champion of the Catholics of Guadalajara. 

Possessor of vast culture, wrote some books full of Christian spirit, as well as hundreds of newspaper articles. In October 1922 he married María Concepción Guerrero, who did not assimilate the love of her husband's apostolate; He was a model husband and father responsible for his two children.

Very faithful to his prelate, the Servant of God Francisco Orozco y Jiménez, proposed to the Catholics the peaceful and civilized resistance to the attacks of the State against the Church; it constituted for that time the work summit of its life, the Popular Union, that got to count on tens of thousands of affiliates. 

At the end of 1926, after having exhausted all the legal and civic resources, and before the imminent organization of the active resistance of the Catholics, he supported with his prestige, his verb and his life, the projects of the National League for the Defense of Religious freedom

Fed with prayer and daily communion, he strengthened his spirit to give his blood vote for the freedom of the Catholic Church. The dawn of the 1 of April of 1927 was apprehended in the particular domicile of the Vargas González family; he was transferred to the Colorado barracks, where very cruel torments were applied; they demanded, among other things, reveal the whereabouts of the archbishop of Guadalajara: "I do not know, and if I knew, I would not tell," he replied. The executioners, under the orders of Major General Jesus Maria Ferreira, head of military operations in Jalisco, dislocated their limbs, lifted the soles of his feet and, with blows, dislodged his arm.

Before dying, he told Ferreira: "I forgive you from my heart, very soon we will be before the divine tribunal, the same judge who will judge me, will be your judge, then you will have in me an intercessor with God." The soldier ordered that they pierce him with the edge of a bayonet. His death mourned the tapatíos. 

The body of Bl. Anacleto Gonzales Flores. His widow took their sons to the wake, where she said to the elder, “This is your father. He has died defending the faith. Promise me on his body that you will do the same when you are older if God asks it of you.
José Anacleto González Flores was condemned to death and was shot together with the Vargas González brothers and Luis Padilla Gómez on that same day, 1 April 1927.

📑 Blessed José Dionisio Luis Padilla Gómez - Lay Martyr :

He was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, on December 9, 1899. He received a careful education in a distinguished and Christian family. In 1917 he entered the conciliar seminary of Guadalajara, where he stood out for his irreproachable behavior and the purity of his customs; He left the institution in 1921 to clarify certain vocational doubts.

Once out of the seminar, he registered as a teacher, teaching classes without any retribution to poor children and young people. He was a founding member and active member of the Catholic Association of Mexican Youth, where he developed an intense apostolate, especially in the field of social promotion; He had a fervent devotion to the Blessed Virgin. 

When the persecution of the State against the Catholic Church exploded, Luis joined the Popular Union to work through peaceful means in the defense of religion. On repeated occasions he expressed his desire to follow Jesus to the pain, suffering and total surrender of life.

On April 1, 1927, at two in the morning, his home was cordoned off by a group of soldiers of the federal army, under the orders of the same chief of military operations of the State of Jalisco, Division General Jesús María Ferreira, who with great force he ordered the plundering of the dwelling and the apprehension of its inhabitants, in addition to Luis, his old mother and one of his sisters.

The young Luis was remitted to the Colorado barracks, enduring on the way beatings, insults and humiliation. Shortly after, four other Christians were apprehended. Presenting his end, Luis expressed his desire to confess sacramentally; His companion of apostolate and prison, Anacleto González Flores, comforted him by saying: "No, brother, it is not time to confess, but to ask for forgiveness and to forgive, it is a Father and not a judge who awaits you. blood will purify you. " Already on the wall while Luis, kneeling, offered his life to God with fervent prayer, the executioners unloaded their weapons on him, consummating, at the age of 26, his oblation to God until the shedding of blood. 

📑 Blessed Jorge Ramon Vargas González - Lay Martyr :

He was born in Ahualulco, Jalisco, on September 28, 1899. He was the fifth of eleven brothers. He received the baptism on October 17 of that year, imposing the name of Jorge Ramón, although during his lifetime he hoisted only the first. As a child, his family moved to Guadalajara. Like many young Catholics in Mexico, Jorge participated in the yearnings and anxieties of those who suffered the scourge of religious persecution; examples in his family were not lacking, especially that of his whole and pious mother.

During the religious persecution, in 1926, Jorge being employed by the hydroelectric company, his home served as a refuge for many persecuted priests, among others, Father Lino Aguirre, who would later become bishop of Culiacán, Sinaloa, of whom Jorge was a custodian and companion of raids. At the end of March 1927, the Vargas González received the outlaw leader Anacleto González Flores, the column of the Catholic resistance in Jalisco and its environs; the family knew very well what his action might cost.

In that place they were surprised by the April 1 trap. All, men, women and children, between vexations and shocks, were apprehended by the police chief of Guadalajara. The same dungeon served to house three of the Vargas González: Florentino, Jorge and Ramón; his crime, to have lodged a persecuted Catholic. 

Hours later they locked up in a cell next to Luis Padilla Gómez and Anacleto González Flores. He lamented after not being able to receive Communion, being that Friday first, but his brother Ramón reprimanded him: "Do not fear, if we die, our blood will wash our sins". The courage of the brothers remained, chatting with ease before being executed. By a last-minute order, one of the three brothers, Florentino, was separated from the rest.
Jorge's death preceded some kind of torment, since his corpse presented a dislocated shoulder, bruises and traces of pain in the face; The truth is that the hour arrived, with a crucifix in hand, and this next to the chest, the servant of God received the discharge of the battalion, which executed the sentence. During the funeral, when the mother of the victims held Florentino in his arms, he said: "Oh, my son, how close was the crown of martyrdom to you, you must be better to deserve it"; The father, on the other hand, upon learning how and why they died, exclaimed: "Now I know that it is not the condolences that they should give me, but congratulate me because I have the joy of having two martyred children." 

📑 Blessed Vicente Vargas González - Lay Martyr :

Beatification date: November 20, 2005, by Pope John Paul II, as part of a group formed by him and 8 other Mexican martyrs. 
He was born in Ahualulco, Jalisco, on January 22, 1905. He was the seventh of eleven brothers; three notes distinguished him from them: the red color of his hair, which earned him the nickname of Colorado, his tall stature and his joviality. He followed his father's footsteps upon entering the School of Medicine, where he stood out for his good humor, his camaraderie and his clear Catholic identity.

As soon as he was able to do so, he took care of the health of the poor for free. At age 22, close to completing his university studies, he received Anacleto González Flores at home, with subsidiary responsibility, who soon noticed the qualities of Ramón, asking him to join the camps of active resistance as a nurse: «Por you do anything, Maistro, but go to the mountain, no, "replied the interpellate.

The dawn of April 1, 1927 someone hit the door of the Vargas González; Ramón answered the call; As the door opened a crack, a large group of policemen seized the house. The house was searched and the occupants apprehended. Ramón remained calm despite his outrage; in the street, taking advantage of the tumult, he was able to escape without being noticed by his captors, but he soon retraced his steps and surrendered.

When he knew that he was going to die, his good manhood and his Christian hope were enough to unite his sacrifice with Christ's. At the exclamation of his brother Jorge, he replied: "Do not be afraid, if we die our blood will wash our sins". To mitigate the cruel sentence, Major General Jesus Maria Ferreira, offered to release the younger brother Vargas González; the pardon corresponded to Ramón, but this one, without admitting claims, yields its place to Florentino. It was after noon, it was urgent to kill the prisoners as soon as possible. Before being shot, Ramón flexed the fingers of his right hand forming the sign of the cross.

Funeral of The Brothers Jorge Ramon Vargas González Ramón Vargas González 
📑 José Luciano Ezequiel Huerta Gutiérrez - Lay Martyr :

José Luciano Ezequiel Huerta Gutiérrez was born on 6 January 1876 in Magdalena, Jalisco, Mexico. He was an organist with a great gift for music and had a beautiful tenor voice that could have given him a career as an opera singer; but he said that his voice was dedicated to the service of God.

Ezequiel married in 1904 and had 10 children. He was very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and even with such a large family, always found the resources to give to the needy.

On the morning of 2 April 1927 he was arrested; he had just paid his respects to the lifeless body of Anacleto González Flores. He was questioned about the whereabouts of his two priest brothers, about his two oldest sons and the Cristeros.

Ezequiel refused to talk, so he was tortured until he was unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he expressed his pain by signing with all his might: "My Christ lives, my King lives". For this, he received more beatings until he could not utter a single sound.

The following morning, he was led at dawn with his brother Salvador Huerta Gutiérrez to the cemetery of Mezquitán, where they were both killed.

Tomb of José Luciano Ezequiel Huerta Gutiérrez
Ezequiel's wife heard the shots from her home and although she did not know that her husband was one of the victims, she gathered her children around her and said: "My children, let us recite the Rosary for these poor people who have just been shot".

📑 Salvador Huerta Gutiérrez - Lay Martyr :

Salvador Huerta Gutiérrez was born on 18 March 1880 in Magdalena, Jalisco, Mexico. He worked as a mechanic, and in 1907 he married and had 12 children.

Daily Mass was a priority for him; he was likewise very dedicated to prayer and to his family, and famous in Guadalajara for his expertise as a mechanic.

On 2 April 1927, following the assassination of Alacleto, Salvador went to pay his respects to this beloved "leader". When he returned to his garage, police officers were waiting for him.

They ordered him to come to police headquarters, allegedly to fix the chief's car; he was thus led away and cruelly tortured, even hung by his thumbs. When interrogated about the Cristeros and the whereabouts of Eduardo and José, his two priests-brothers, he said nothing.

Salvador was thrown into jail with his brother Ezequiel, and the next day they were led to their execution. When they arrived at the cemetery, Salvador asked for a lighted candle and held it in front of his chest. He cried out: "Long live Christ the King and Our Lady of Guadalupe! Shoot me so that I will die for God, because I love him".

📑 Miguel Gómez Loza - Lay Martyr :

Miguel photographed with his Family
Miguel Gómez Loza was born on 11 August 1888 in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, Mexico. From a young age he had a strong love for God and a great devotion to the Blessed Mother.

When he was 26 Miguel entered the University of Morelos where he earned a law degree, and eventually opened an office in Arandas as an attorney.

In 1915 he became a member of the ACJM, and in 1919 he established a national congress of Catholic workers to unify industry workers, commercial employees and agricultural labourers. He also worked tirelessly to defend the rights of the needy, which caused him to be arrested 59 times for organizing protests against the Government.

In 1922 Miguel married María Guadalupe Sánchez Barragán and they had three children.

Miguel joined the "National League for the Defence of Religious Freedom" in 1927, but believed in non-violence in order to resist the persecution. After the death of Anacleto, he was appointed by Catholics as Governor of Jalisco and strove by all the means at his disposal to defend liberty and justice.

By March of 1928, Miguel was living on a ranch near Atotonilco. On 21 March, federal forces who had been hunting for him discovered his whereabouts; he was executed by firing squad the same day.

📑 Luis Magaña Servín - Lay Martyr :

Luis Magaña Servín was born on 24 August 1902 in Arandas, Jalisco, Mexico. Growing up, he helped his father work in a tannery.

As a young man, Luis became a member of the ACJM. He deeply loved the Church and was interested in social questions, leading him to study Leo XIII's watershed Encyclical Rerum Novarum. He also joined the "Our Lady of Guadalupe Association", a group that united worker artisans.

Luis always treated poor and rich the same, practicing the advice of Bishop Mora y del Rio of Mexico City, to "treat your workers with love and they will never leave you".

In 1926 he married Elvira Camarena Méndez and they had two children, the second born after the death of Luis.

By January 1927 Arandas had become one of the strongholds of the government resistance. Priests went into hiding, exercising a secret ministry and travelling in disguise. Luis remained a pacifist and did not take part in the Cristeros activity; rather, he helped spiritually and materially as did most Catholics in the area.

On 9 February 1928, a group of soldiers arrested Catholics that supported active resistance against the Government. Luis was not at home when officers arrived at his door, so they arrested his younger brother instead.

When Luis learned that his brother had been taken away, he reported to the general and asked that he take the place of his brother.

"I have never been a Cristero rebel", he said, "but if you accuse me of being a Christian, then yes, that I am. Soldiers who are going to shoot me, I want to tell you that from this moment I pardon you, and I promise that on arriving in the presence of God you are the first ones for whom I will intercede. Long live Christ the King and Our Lady of Guadalupe!".

Luis Magaña Servín was shot at 3 p.m. on 9 February 1928.

📑 José Sánchez del Río - Lay Martyr :

José Sánchez del Río was born on 28 March 1913 in Sahuayo, Michoacán, Mexico. Wanting to defend the faith and rights of Catholics, he followed in the footsteps of his two older brothers and asked his mother for permission to join the Cristeros. She objected, telling him that he was too young. "Mama", he replied, "do not let me lose the opportunity to gain Heaven so easily and so soon".

On 5 February 1928 the young boy was captured during a battle and imprisoned in the church sacristy. In order to terrorize him, soldiers made him watch the hanging of one of the other captured Cristeros. But José encouraged the man, saying, "You will be in Heaven before me. Prepare a place for me. Tell Christ the King I shall be with him soon".

In prison, he prayed the Rosary and sang songs of faith. He wrote a beautiful letter to his mother telling her that he was resigned to do God's will. José's father attempted to ransom his son, but was unable to raise the money in time.

On 10 February 1928 the teenager was brutally tortured and the skin of the soles of his feet was sheered off; he was then forced to walk on salt, followed by walking through the town to the cemetery. The young boy screamed with pain but would not give in.

At times the soldiers stopped him and said, "If you shout, "Death to Christ the King', we will spare your life". But he answered: "Long live Christ the King! Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe!".

Once he arrived at the cemetery, José was asked once more if he would deny his faith. The 14 year old shouted out: "Long live Christ the King!", and was summarily shot.

📑 Fr Ángel Darío Acosta Zurita :

Fr Ángel Darío Acosta Zurita was born on 13 December 1908 in Naolinco, Mexico. He was known for his athleticism and his gentle and charitable nature.

Ángel Darío was ordained a priest on 25 April 1931 and celebrated his First Mass in the city of Vera Cruz on 24 May. On 26 May he began to serve as coadjutor vicar in the Parish of the Assumption in Vera Cruz. He was very interested in children's catechesis and was dedicated to celebrating the Sacrament of Penance.

In the State of Vera Cruz a decree was promulgated known as the "Tejeda Law", which reduced the number of priests allowed in the State to end the "fanaticism of the people", as Governor Adalberto Tejeda called it. A letter was sent to all priests telling them to obey this law. Fr Darío received his letter on 21 July, remaining calm and joyful as always.

On 25 July 1931 the law took force; that same day, in the Parish of the Assumption, everything transpired as usual: children arrived for catechism lessons and people waited to go to confession. 

At 6: 10 p.m., soldiers entered the church and opened fire on the priests. In the confusion and chaos, Fr Landa was gravely wounded while another priest, Fr Rosas, was miraculously saved, protected by the pulpit.

Tomb of Bl. Angel Dario
Fr Darío had just come out of the Baptistry when he was hit by the bullets, having only the time to cry out "Jesus!". He was martyred exactly three months after his priestly ordination.

Source : www.vatican.va

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