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CINEMA MOVIE WITH A MESSAGE
'For Greater Glory,' now in local theaters, makes believers and non-believers proud
A unit of Cristeros soldiers prepares for battle in about 1928. The Cristero War was an uprising against the Mexican government to protest a ban on public religious practices.
Museo Nacional Cristero
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WITH ALL THAT has been written about religion in The Free Lance-Star lately,
I must praise these actors for risking their careers in a very anti-religious Hollywood and can only speculate that personally, none of them could have remained the same after their immersion into the characters of good and evil that actually existed, with the latter carrying out summary executions of priests and peasants who resisted, peacefully at first and later by force of arms, the revolutionary Marxist/socialist regime that had come to power in that country.
As the FLS reviewer pointed out, it is a violent film and has an "R" rating, but we must appreciate that violence begets violence and the people of faith were willing to sacrifice everything so that they could worship freely.
Members of clergy and lay people became martyrs; a considerable number were later canonized and became saints. Among the most heart-wrenching and inspirational was a young pre-teenage boy who had a less than respectful relationship with his pastor (Peter O'Toole) and the church, but with time, patience, and the priest's love, he became a deeply religious young man.
After his priest's assassination and the desecration of his church by federal forces, he and his young friend joined the Cristeros, now under the command of a highly decorated retired general who ironically was a non-believer. Because of the boy's tender age, he was given menial tasks around the camp, but eventually gained the confidence of the general who let him join the squadrons as a Cristeros flag bearer. During one of the battles, he was captured and tortured by the military. When he refused to cooperate with the authorities, he was forced to engage in his own painful death march, hauntingly reminiscent of Christ's agonizing journey to Golgotha.