Father David is assasinated during the Cristero War
The Cristero War occurred during the reign
of President Plutarco Elías Calles, from December
1, 1924 until November 30, 1928.
On January 27, 1926, the Mexican national press announced that the
Episcopate headed by Archbishop Monsignor José Mora del Rio would ask for
the amendment of certain Articles of the Constitution. The government
turned these threatening publications over to the hands of the state
authorities and issued memos to the governors to close convents and
parochial schools, determine the number of clergy and to be sure that
these clergy were Mexican. The reaction to these events came as a
surprise. The ACJM (Catholic Association of Mexican Youth) and other
religious associations supported the Church and on March 7, 1926 a group
of about 300 priests asked for the suspension of the restrictive measures
against religious freedom. There were demonstrations and riots.
The government ordered the immediate expulsion of some 200 foreign
clergy and closed religious information centers, convents, schools and
homes for the poor. Hospital chapels were closed and more than two
thousand priests were denied permission to officiate Mass. The Penal Code
was reformed in matters of private school education and religious worship.
The new code required that the authorities be kept informed of the
activities of each priest. With the approval of the Vatican, the Mexican
Episcopate decided to suspend all public worship in churches thoughout the
Republic after July 31, 1926.
On August 25, 1926 an armed revolution called the Cristera Rebellion
began in Valparaiso, Zacatecas and quickly spread to Jalisco, Guanajuato,
Colima, Sinaloa, Aguascalientes, Michoacan, Durango, Querétaro, Oaxaca,
Coahuila, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, the State of Mexico and
the Federal District. The army had to fight on two fronts: against the
very bold and active Cristeros headed by Fathers Vega and Pedroza, General
Goroztieta and Ramón Aguilar; and beginning in March 1929 against a large
military force that was incited to revolt mainly in Coahuila and Nuevo
León under General Gonzalo Escobar. It should be noted that the Cristeros
and the Escobaristas were not united.
Finally, with the intervention of the North American clergy, the United
States Ambassador to Mexico, Mr. Dwight W. Morrow and the good offices of
Archbishop Leopoldo Ruiz y Flores, on June 21, 1929 the government without
changing a single law, ordered a general amnesty, returned all rights and
privileges and religious worship was reinstated. Some obsessed Cristero
leaders wanted to continue the war but little by little they lost their