Blessed Anacleto Gonzalez Flores

Bl. Anacleto Gonzalez Flores (1888–1927) was the second of twelve children born to a poor family in Jalisco, Mexico. He was baptized the day after his birth. As he grew, a priest recognized his intelligence and recommended that he enter the seminary. Anacleto studied there for a time before discerning that he was not called to the priesthood. Instead he became an attorney, husband, and father, as well as an activist for his Catholic faith. He was a prolific writer and dedicated catechism teacher, and attended daily Mass. He joined the Catholic Association of Young Mexicans (ACJM) in addition to starting another Catholic lay organization committed to resisting the fierce persecution of the Catholic Church under the infamous Mexican dictator, Calles. Initially he participated only in the non-violent resistance against Calles, until four members of the ACJM were murdered in 1926. Their deaths spurred Anacleto to lend support to the armed resistance movement. Anacleto did not take up arms but instead gave speeches to encourage Catholics to support the Cristeros, the Catholic army fighting against Calles. Anacleto was captured during the Cristero War on April 1, 1927, and was brutally tortured before being martyred by firing squad. His feast day is April 1st.

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