IT MAKES SENSE TO ME
By Larry Peterson
IT MAKES SENSE TO ME
By Larry Peterson
IT MAKES SENSE TO ME
By Larry Peterson
The damnable and malevolent Cristero War was officially considered ended in 1929. But that did not signal the end of the torture, murder and martyrdom of Catholic religious and lay-persons in Mexico. The following happened in July of 1931 but first a bit of background.
Dario Acosta Zurita was born on December 13, 1908 in the town of Naolinco in the Mexican state of Vera Cruz. He was one of four boys and had one sister. His dad was a butcher and the family, like most other families in the area, struggled to make ends meet. Dario, like his siblings, was baptized in the local church of St. Matthew and it was his mom who was his catechist as he grew up.
Dario was well behaved, did what he was supposed to and was a relatively quiet boy. When his dad died the family fell into extreme poverty. Dario was forced to find work to help support the family. In his young heart he he had been hearing the calling to the priesthood but he thought he would never be able to answer it. However, God must have had Dario on His radar screen.
|Blessed Dario Acosta Zurita|
Not long after his father’s passing Bishop Rafael Guizar y Valencia, ( an entire story unto himself–coming soon) visited Vera Cruz. He was looking for potential seminarians and Dario expressed his desire to become a priest. The bishop (who at one time had to disguise himself as a junkman because there was an order in place for him to be shot on site) told Dario that his responsibility to his mom and siblings superseded his personal wants. In addition, Dario was too young. The bishop told him to pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe for help and guidance.
Dario’s mom knew of this and traveled to Xalapa to see the bishop. She pleaded with Bishop Guizar y Valencia to reconsider. Our Lady must have been in the room that day because the bishop relented and gave permission for Dario to enter the seminary. The young man won his superiors and class mates over with his kindness, charitable persona and his devotion to his faith. In addition, Dario was an excellent athlete and became captain of the seminary football team.
Dario Acosta Zurita became Father Angel Dario Acosta Zurita on April 25, 1931. The new priest was only 22 years old. He celebrated his first Mass in Vera Cruz on May 24 and began serving as a parochial vicar at the Parish of the Assumption in Vera Cruz. Father Dario was very dedicated to teaching the children catechism (adults too) and he loved being able to hear confessions.
At the same time, the Governor of Vera Cruz, Adalberto Tejeda, decided that he was “sick of the religious fanaticism of the people”. He issued a decree called the “Tejeda Law” which basically banned all priests from administering to their parishioners. Mass was banned, catechism classes were halted and confessions were forbidden. All priests in the diocese were notified by numbered letter advising them they MUST obey the “Tejeda Law”.
However, the priests in the area had gotten together on July 21st and agreed that their responsibility was not to the government but to their priesthood and their faith. The decided that they would not obey the satanic inspired “Tejeda Law”.
The law took effect on Saturday, July 25, 1931. It was sometime after 5 p.m. that afternoon the children began arriving for catechism classes at Assumption Parish while people began getting in line for confession. Three priests were in the church. Father Landa, Father Rosas and Father Dario who was in the baptistry. Suddenly, a little after 6 p.m., the three church doors to the church burst open and soldiers charged into the church.
These men opened fire on the priests. Father Landa was gravely wounded. Father Rosas survived by hiding behind the pulpit. Father Dario, upon hearing the gunfire, rushed from the baptistry. His body was riddled with bullets. He fell into the sanctuary as all the children and adults watched in horror. Father’s last word before he died was , “JESUS!”
Father Dario Acosta Zurita was only 22 years old when he was martyred. He had been a priest for exactly three months.
Father Zurita was beatified and declared “Blessed” on November 20, 2005. The ceremony took place in front of thousands of the faithful at Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico. Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins presided under the authority of Pope Benedict XVI.
Blessed Angel Dario Acosta Zurita–Please pray for us all
See edited version in Aleteia Jan 25, 2017
©Copyright Larry Peterson 2017 All Rights Reserved
IT MAKES SENSE TO ME
By Larry Peterson
|Ad Orientem (Solemn High Latin Mass) http://southernorderspage|
©Copyright 2017 Larry Peterson
IT MAKES SENSE TO ME
By Larry Peterson
|Blessed Franz Jagerstatter wikipedia commons|
Franz was born in Austria in 1907. His father was killed in World War I and when Franz was around eight years old, his mom married Heinrich Jagerstatter who adopted young Franz, giving him his name.
IT MAKES SENSE TO ME
By Larry Peterson
*An edited version of this article appeared in Aleteia on June 3, 2016
Every year, exactly 19 days after Pentecost, the Catholic Church celebrates the Devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus . It is a worldwide devotion and is always on a Friday. This year it will be celebrated on June 3. Stressing the profound relevance of this feast, Pope Benedict XVI said on June 5, 2007;
I have mentioned that this is a worldwide Catholic feast day our Pope Emeritus, has spoken to its importance. This caused me to wonder why so many Catholics around the world (including those in the United States) have never heard about the man from Mexico whose name was Jose Maria Robles Hurtado .
|St. Jose Robles Hurtado; “Madman of the Sacred Heart”|
Jose Robles Hurtado was 25 years old when he was ordained to the priesthood. The year was 1913. He loved his priestly calling and, being a gifted writer, immediately began writing essays and lessons to teach and propagate the faith. He had such love of Christ in the Eucharist that within two years of his ordination he founded an order of religious called the Congregation of the Victims of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. But his love for his Lord was also being noticed by the authorities. Father Hurtado was already going against the new laws being enacted in Mexico.
The young priest was so devoted to the Sacred Heart that his fervor for this devotion became known far and wide. He even became known as the “Madman” of the Sacred Heart. But that was in Mexico. It was also during the intense anti-religious era of Catholic/Christian persecution that was beginning to rear its demonic head in the country. Evil finally became the rule of law when in 1917 the anti-religious Constitution of Mexico was enacted.
The new constitution prohibited public professions of faith, public processions and most devotional practices “outside” of church. (Have we heard this narrative advanced in our country?) Father Hurtado promptly proposed a project where a huge cross would be placed somewhere in the center of Mexico to honor Christ as the true King of Mexico. He was now in direct violation of the law.
The plans for the project began to come together as Father Hurtado led the movement to erect the giant cross. Signs were distributed throughout Mexico declaring Christ as the King of Mexico. These signs also proclaimed the nation’s devotion to the Sacred Heart. Word spread quickly throughout the country and a public ceremony was scheduled for the laying of the project’s cornerstone. Government leaders were furious.
In 1923 over 40, 000 Roman catholics headed to a spot in central Mexico called “La Loma” (the hill). The groundbreaking took place and the government decided it was time to intensify the “law”. Persecution of Catholics intensified and Father Robles Hurtado was singled out for intense scrutiny to make sure he stopped his “anti-government” practices.
Father Hurtado, despite demands by the government that he leave the country, continued his ministry, offering Mass, hearing confessions for hours at a time, visiting the poor and the sick, performing baptisms, anointing the dying and teaching the children.the faith. Then came 1924 and a new president. His name was Plutarco Elias Calles and he held a fierce hatred of Roman Catholics.
Presidente Calles was determined to stop all religious practices within Mexico. He ordered the Constitution of 1917 to be strictly enforced and the result was one of the bloodiest episodes in Mexican history. From 1927 through 1929 the Cristero War ravaged Mexico and Father Jose Robles Hurtado was destined to be one of its victims.
As has been proven throughout history, when certain people gain power that power can become an evil aphrodisiac. Hiding behind “laws” enacted to help them attain their goals of domination, they can kill with a reckless, oftentime vicious, abandon. The evil at work in Mexico was not about to ignore the young priest.
On June 25, 1927, while leading a family in prayer at their home, soldiers broke into the house and arrested Father Hurtado for “violating the law”. He was immediately found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. In this world there would be no appeals.
The next morning, before dawn, Father Jose Maria Robles Hurtado, age 39, was led out to a nearby oak tree. The priest, facing his immediate death, offered an understanding and compassion for his executioners. He forgave them and insisted that he be allowed to place the noose around his own neck. This way none of the men there would have to feel guilty about what was happening. He was handed the noose, kissed it, and slid it over his head. Then he went to meet his beloved Sacred Heart.
Several of the executioners openly wept.
Father Jose Robles Hurtado, the “Madman” of the Sacred Heart. was canonized a saint by Pope St. John Paul II on May 21, 2000.
©Larry Peterson 2016 All Rights Reserved
IT MAKES SENSE TO ME
They call Christians “intolerant” because Christianity stands against their preferred mantra of hedonistic, secular “virtue”. I wish that some of these people would try to imagine what it is like for so many people who live in countries without these freedoms. I wish they could get out of their own comfort zones, remove their shoes or sneakers, and try on the shoes worn by Asia Bibi.
Alas, using the dirty, rusted cup to drink from mattered not. A field hand angrily tells you that you are forbidden to drink the same water as a Muslim. You are already considered “unclean” because you are Christian. The other workers hurriedly gathered around you and started cursing you and your religion. Your faith must have been exploding in you because you defended it immediately. You summoned your resolve and remember saying, “I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ who died for the sins of mankind. What did your prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind.” WOW!
Later that day some of the workers reported to the local cleric that you had “insulted” Mohammed. A mob came to your home, beat you and your family and you had to be rescued by the police. The police investigated your remarks and arrested you for the crime of “blasphemy”. Under the country’s Sharia Law you are not equal to a Muslim so what you had to say was only considered “half” as important as what they had to say.
Trying to defend yourself was an effort in futility. They hold you in a local jail for one year and then you are found guilty of Blasphemy. Your sentence is death by hanging. You are shocked and horrified and helpless. Your husband is sickened and your children lost inside themselves. You can do nothing. You are sent to prison and placed on death row.
It is now 2014. After a hearing that lasted a few hours, the Pakistani High Court upheld the verdict handed down in 2010. Your impending execution by hanging is affirmed. People and organizations around the world have been clamoring for your release. So far it is to no avail.
If you have had the guts to “try on Asia’a shoes” can you get a sense of what life might be like for Christians and others who have no religious freedom. Can you imagine what this Christian woman, the mother of five, must be feeling? She has been living in a dank, stinking hole for almost five years. The only visitor she can receive is her husband and a doctor. How disgusting and inhumane to do this to someone just because they have a different belief than you do. How reprehensible to vilify a wife and mom simply because she took a sip of water from an old tin cup. Is this what you want someday?
Asia Bibi is a human being just like all of us. She has family she loves. She has children she wants to hug and feed and nurture and tuck in at night and tend to their scrapes and runny noses. She is hard working, kind, and generous to her neighbors. She is not different than most other people. No different except for one thing. She is a Catholic in a Muslim world. Therefore, because of her “beliefs”, she is hated and despised. In the highly “civilized” world of 2014 we are seeing more vicious and brutal murders of people who follow Christ than at any time in history.
Over 400,000 signatures have been collected on petitions asking for Asia’s release. Pope Benedict XVI called for the charges against her to be dismissed. These pleas have fallen on deaf ears. In fact, a Christian minorities minister, Shahbaz Bhatti and a Pakistani official, Salmann Taseer, were both murdered for defending Asia. Her family has gone into hiding because of all the death threats they have received. Finally, the word “on the street” is that if Asia is released she will be killed anyway.
Are you tired of walking in Asia’s shoes yet?
I will never understand Americans who “fight” to get rid of religious freedoms. If you do not like religion you do not have to participate in any of it. You are living in a country which accepts and promotes this kind of freedom. The United States of America was NOT founded so people like you can destroy people who disagree with you. When you do that you are no different than those that want to hang Asia Bibi. The only difference is you do not use a rope and a gallows as a weapon of choice. The weapon you use to destroy your fellow American “enemy” the U.S. Constitution. You have managed to turn it against itself to defile religious freedom. How clever you all are.
Many people around the world are praying for the safe release of Asia Bibi. Americans trying to destroy religious freedom in America might take pause and think of her also. She has been imprisoned for five years and is set to hang because she was a Catholic who took a drink of “Muslim” water from an old ti
n cup. This could never happen in America. Or could it?
by Larry Peterson
The Life of Elizabeth Seton
by Joan Barthel
Thomas Dunne Books
St. Martin’s Press; New York
Copyright 2014; Joan Barthel
First Edition: March, 2014
Wow! Reading this book was quite the experience.
At first I was a bit put off by the introduction because it was immediately referencing an out-of-context quote from “Father” Joseph Ratzinger from almost 50 years ago during the Second Vatican Council. It was how he suggested obeying conscience before ecclesiastical authority. Then it jumped to a Pope Benedict XVI (the former Joseph Ratzinger) cracking down on American nuns who were obeying their consciences. We get to all of 100 words and we are reading about the Vatican accusing the Leadership Conference of Women Religious of “promoting radical feminism”. Wait a minute–this is supposed to be about St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, not feminism and women’s rights. My antennae were extended. I took a deep breath and plodded on.
Whew–thank God I did because when you read this book you quickly learn that Elizabeth’s agenda was always God-centered. Her personal relationship with Him defined her. He was the source of her strength and courage as she lived her amazing life. If she succeeded in making women proud it was because she strived to make God proud first. This is very important for all to remember when thinking of this woman.
Joan Barthel manages to take us on a fabulous journey through the life of Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American born Catholic saint. She manages to do this by pouring over more than three thousand pages of Elizabeth Bayley Seton: Collected Writings and filling her narrative with the words of St. Elizabeth herself. There are excerpts from letters to her husband, her children, her siblings, her spiritual advisors and others. The ten-year effort Ms. Barthel has put forth is truly remarkable and the result is worth the time spent reading to the end. This was not a “quick” read for me but the time spent with St. Elizabeth and her words, written in the English language of two hundred years ago, was worth every second.
The meandering journey through this book begins as Elizabeth wakes to the ringing of church bells. She is in a Lazaretto in Leghorn, Italy, having just arrived from America after a seven week journey. The year is 1803. Due to an outbreak of yellow fever Elizabeth, her husband, Will, and their daughter, Anna, had been quarantined and would not get out of the cold, dank room for weeks. The irony was that Elizabeth had brought Will to Italy to help his tuberculosis, not make it worse. From this point we skip back in time to New York City in 1767, meet Elizabeth’s parents, Dr. Richard Bayley and his wife Catherine. We read that Elizabeth Ann Bayley was born on Aug 28, 1774. The family connections become very pronounced and complex as we move forward but suffice it to say it was a large, extended family and I had a bit of a time keeping track of all the members in it. Onward to the life of this amazing woman.
Elizabeth felt a closeness to God from when she was a child although she did not understand it. At the age of 19 she married William Seton, a successful importer. Socially prominent, she was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church and came under the influence of Reverend Henry Hobart, a no-nonsense Calvinist who despised Catholicism. Hobart had a profound effect on Elizabeth and when she announced to him her decision to become a Catholic he was horrified. He told her that she was jeopardizing her very chance of salvation. “When I see a person whose sincere and ardent piety I have always thought worthy of imitation in danger of connecting with a communion which my sober judgment tells me is a corrupt and sinful communion, I cannot be otherwise than deeply affected.” (Nowadays someone would simply say, “I’m very disappointed in you.”)
Elizabeth waivered. She was at a crossroads. Hobart was her mentor, spiritual director and a dear friend. She trusted him enough that she had asked him to take her sons if something ever happened to her. Protestant Episcopal or Catholicism, what should she do? I leave it to you, the reader, to filter through the turmoil and doubt that filled Elizabeth Seton as she pondered her conversion. It is a magnificent journey that took a little over three years from when she first entered a Catholic Church in Italy to when she received her First Holy Communion. Her conversion brought her rejection by her family and friends and left her in a state of poverty. But her new found faith filled her with a steely resolve. Her love for Christ in the Eucharist and being able to attend Mass every day, receiving Him within her very self, filled her with a love of God that few people ever attain.
Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton died at the age of 46. She had been a Protestant and a convert to Catholicism. She had been rich, she had been poor, she was among the socially prominent, she was an outcast, a wife, a mother (who worked and saw three of her five children die). She was a widow, a teacher, a social worker, a nurse, the founder of the first active order of women religious in the United States known as the Sisters of Charity, and she started the first free Catholic school in America. Quite a journey for a girl that danced at George Washington’s 65th birthday party and ultimately was canonized in Rome by Pope Paul VI as the first American-born saint.
From the pen of St. Elizabeth Seton written on a fragment of paper; “Eternity—in what light shall we view it? What shall we think of the trials and cares, pains and sorrows we once had upon earth? Oh! When a mere nothing! Let then they who weep be as though they wept not; thought who obtain as though they possess not. The world passes away. ETERNITY! That voice to be everywhere understood. ETERNITY!” (I had to read this a few times before the beauty of it impacted me)
St. Elizabeth Seton; a mother, a wife, a Catholic saint and an American woman who should be honored and respected by all. Do yourself a favor–Get this book, take your time and let her words draw you in.
Nicely done. Joan Barthel, nicely done.