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Apr 26, 2024 189 Shalom Tidings
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Martyr of the Word

Anacleto González Flores was born in Mexico in the late 19th century. Inspired by a sermon heard in his childhood, he made daily Mass the most important part of his life. Though he joined the seminary and excelled in academics, on discerning that he was not called into the priesthood, he later entered law school.

During the years-long Christian persecution in Mexico, Flores so heroically defended the fundamental rights of Christians that the Holy See awarded him the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice for his efforts. As many Mexican Christians courageously gave their lives for their faith, he continued to write against the atrocities and became a prominent leader of the Cristero War.

In 1927, he was arrested and cruelly tortured—he was flogged, his feet were cut open with knives, and his shoulder was dislocated. An unfazed Anacleto remained firm in his faith and refused to betray his fellow faithful. As he was shot to death, he openly forgave his killers and died, exclaiming: “I have worked selflessly to defend the cause of Jesus Christ and His Church. You may kill me, but know that this cause will not die with me.” He openly forgave his killers and died, exclaiming: “I die, but God does not die. Long live Christ the King!”

After years of living a holy life centered on devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and an exemplary Marian devotion, Flores gave his life to the Lord with three of his fellow faithful. This brave martyr was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, and he was declared the patron of the Mexican laity in 2019.

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