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The Cristero period and "For Greater Glory"

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By cameraz - Posted on 13 June 2012

The movie brought back some memories of my Garcia-Vallejo families stories of that era and how it affected them. Most of both familes left their towns during this horrific period. My parents were teenagers and left only 5 months before this war ended. I knew that they had been married a few days before they left for California to join their people here. My mother, when we ask, stated that they were married very quietly and secretively by a priest away from their home in Teocaltiche. She explained that it was a time when the churches were closed. Before the movie I took an interest and began Google searches to learn more. I saw pictures that moved me to tears and I began to realize what my family had survived. My mother's father Andres a few year later left to return to Mexico to seek his land that he had left who knows who in charge of things. Sadly the outcome was something he had feared; they had lost their land. He must have been heartbroken because he died there
shortly never to return to his family in Calif. I was not born yet. I feel such saddness realizing how they continued their life here, starting over. But I also better understood what made them so strong in their beliefs, in the future and of course their faith. I admire my ancestors so very much and try to live with the strength that I inherited.
As for the movie, I was glad I got to see it. It was so real, so passionate and an example of good and evil. Nothing justifies what Callas mandated, nothing.

Carmen Meraz Garcia Vallejo

Dear Carmen, thank you for sharing your family's stories. It must have been very sad for them indeed, obviously.
A couple years ago I started tracing my roots and traveled to Tepatitlán and Los Altos, bringing back a bunch of books. I read Anacleto Gonzalez Flores, by Alberto Casillas, among many others. Needless to say, it hurts, very much so. He was executed. Then the group hired the general to train and lead the Cristeros. Exactly how and why he was killed is still not clear to this day. I became interested when I accidentally found the general's father's death record in Family Search in Texas. So I naturally traced all his family, some my dear relatives today. Both Anacleto and General Gorostieta are well documented in Wikipedia now. Anacleto's is much more complete in Spanish.
The movie, while often historically inaccurate, was very good because it shed light on the issue. There have been many books written in spanish by those who witnessed that war first hand, whose parents and grandparents participated. Tears are quite appropriate, to say the least. I felt outraged.
But we also know there are usually two or more sides to every story. Nothing is ever black and white, or entirely right or wrong, I think. Sometimes I take sides with one group and other times with another. After analyzing so many records just in Family Search, I believe the status quo had to change somehow, and I am not saying it is better now, just different. I live in Monterrey, Mexico, and am currently reading about the State of Nuevo Leon 1822-1850. It sounds familiar. It resembles Jalisco. Power was in the hands of the same few, mainly the Catholic Church, which certainly did a lot of good, but these were people too, both ordinary and extraordinary. Those were different times. Nothing lasts forever. Thank God!
Difficult when our own are involved, but perhaps history is meant to be learned and learned from, ideally.
Your ancestors were admirable, as well as so many others who gave their lives defending their faith.

Angelina Casillas

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