Saints and Sinners in the Cristero War – Off the Shelf 125 with Father James T. Murphy

Off the Shelf 125 – Father James T. Murphy

Don’t know much about the Cristero War? There’s a book for that! Join Msgr. James T. Murphy and I as we discuss his book Saints and Sinners in the Cristero War: Stories of Martyrdom from Mexico. This is a fascinating book that brings to the fore front this internal struggle in Mexico that up to only recently has been for the most part little-known. Join us and learn about some of the figures that were part of this modern persecution of the Church in Mexico. 

From the publisher Ignatius Press

This provocative account of the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico in the 1920s and 1930s tells the stories of eight pivotal players. The saints are now honored as martyrs by the Catholic Church, and the sinners were political and military leaders who were accomplices in the persecution.

The saintly standouts are Anacleto González Flores, whose non-violent demonstrations ended with his death after a day of brutal torture; Archbishop Francisco Orozco y Jiménez, who ran his vast archdiocese from hiding while on the run from the Mexican government; Fr. Toribio Romo González, who was shot in his bed one morning simply for being a Catholic priest; and Fr. Miguel Pro, the famous Jesuit who kept slipping through the hands of the military police in Mexico City despite being on the “most wanted” list for sixteen months.

The four sinners are Melchor Ocampo, the powerful politician who believed that Catholicism was the cause of Mexico’s problems; President Plutarco Elías Calles, the fanatical atheist who brutally persecuted the Church; José Reyes Vega, the priest who ignored the orders of his archbishop and became a general in the Cristero army; and Tomás Garrido Canabal, a farmer-turned-politician who became known as the “Scourge of Tabasco”.

This cast of characters is presented in a compelling narrative of the Cristero War that engages the reader like a gripping novel while it unfolds a largely unknown chapter in the history of America.

Bio

Mark C. McCann is an author and Ministry Consultant with a BA in Theology from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, PA. He has more than 30 years of experience in ministry to children, youth and families, In the past he has served as an Associate Director of Youth Ministry and Family Life Ministry for the Diocese of Norwich, CT, as well as a high school religious studies teacher and campus minister, a DRE, and a youth minister. Mark was also a Christian radio host and producer for 8 years at a small Christian radio station. He has written for a number of Catholic magazines and websites including St. Anthony Messenger, Emmanuel Magazine, Homiletic and Pastoral Review, and Catholic Exchange. He currently lives in Connecticut with his Proverbs 31 wife and three incredible children and lives out his call each day to be a man of words. His ministry website is www.wordsnvisions.com.

Where to find

Read my complete archives at The Catholic Book Blogger.

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2 thoughts on “Saints and Sinners in the Cristero War – Off the Shelf 125 with Father James T. Murphy”

  1. Was “José Reyes Vega, the priest who ignored the orders of his archbishop and became a general in the Cristero army” the one portrayed in the Movie “For Greater Glory”? He ended up hearing the confession of the hero Catorce, I think. From the movie, Vega is portrayed as a priest in a rage due to seeing some woman that he knew raped by Federalistas. Or, so I remember.

  2. The Cristero war was a defining point in Mexican history. Unfortunately the lessons learned about what happens to a country that wars on religion have been mostly lost over the succeeding seven decades. Though no longer at war against the Church, in many ways Mexico is at war with itself as reflected by crime, drug cartels, low church attendance and a fraying of the moral fiber of the country. It will be interesting to see if Providence accords the country a second chance to save itself.

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