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The story of one of the martyrs is featured in a forthcoming feature film CHICAGO,
May 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Relics of six Knights of
Columbus canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2000 will visit the
Chicago area this weekend. The relics will be on display Saturday evening and Sunday at the Shrine of Our Lady of
Guadalupe, located at 1170 North River Road in
The six priests — Fathers
Jose Maria Robles Hurtado,
Pedro de Jesus Maldonado Lucero, Miguel de la Mora de la Mora,
Luis Batiz Sainz,
Rodrigo Aguilar Aleman, and
Mateo Correa Magallanes — were all martyred for their faith by the Mexican government during the religious persecution in
Mexico in the early 20th century.
The martyrdom of Father
Jose Maria Robles Hurtado is depicted in the film
For Greater Glory being released this summer.
"For many years, this period of history has been all but forgotten on both sides of the border," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "This year, with the release of both a major motion picture and a book on this subject, the story of the struggle for religious freedom in
Mexico will begin to be told. It is our hope that the pilgrimage of these relics will remind us all of the sacrifices made on behalf of religious liberty on this continent less than 100 years ago. It is a timely reminder that — from Ancient Rome to 1920s
Mexico to today — persecution does not stifle the faith, but emboldens it."
During the persecution of Catholics in
Mexico by President
Plutarco Elias Calles, the Knights of
Columbus stood in solidarity with Catholics in
Mexico, raising funds for humanitarian relief of those displaced and for the education of the American public about the horrific facts of the persecution. A delegation of the Knights of
Columbus met with President
Calvin Coolidge in 1926 to discuss ways in which the U.S. government could influence the Mexican government to end the persecution.
Despite the support of the Calles regime and its anti-Catholic policies by a number of American groups — including the Ku Klux Klan — the pressure brought by the Knights of
Columbus and others had an effect, and in 1929 — the U.S. government helped broker an agreement between the Mexican government and the Catholic Church, ending the worst of the persecution.
Thousands of the faithful turned out for a previous pilgrimage of these relics in 2005 in cities around
the United States — from
Los Angeles. This year, the relics have already visited
New York, and will also travel to
Los Angeles and
Relics have long been a part of Catholic devotional practice. Since the days of the Apostles, Christians have preserved and honored the physical remains of men and women recognized as saints.