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The Cristero War (also known as the Cristiada) of 1926 to 1929 was an uprising and counter-revolution against the Mexican government of the time, set off by religious persecution of Christians, especially Catholics, and specifically the strict enforcement of the anti-clerical provisions of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 and the expansion of further anti-clerical laws. Regarding this period, recent practicing Catholic President Vicente Fox stated, "After 1917, Mexico was led by anti-Catholic Freemasons who tried to evoke the anticlerical spirit of popular indigenous President Benito Juárez of the 1880s. But the military dictators of the 1920s were a lot more savage than Juárez." 
After a period of peaceful resistance, a number of skirmishes took place in 1926. The formal rebellions began on January 2, 1927  with the rebels calling themselves Cristeros because they felt they were fighting for Christ himself. Just as the Cristeros began to hold their own against the federal forces, the rebellion was ended by diplomatic means, brokered by the U.S. Ambassador Dwight Whitney Morrow.
- 1 The 1917 Constitution
- 2 Background to rebellion
- 3 Peaceful resistance
- 4 Escalation of violence
- 5 The Cristero war
- 6 Diplomacy and the uprising
- 7 Aftermath of the war and the toll on the Church
- 8 Cristero War saints
- 9 Martyrs of the education
- 10 Battle hymn of the Cristeros
- 11 In popular culture
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 Bibliography
- 15 Further reading
The 1917 Constitution
The Political Constitution of the United Mexican States was redacted by the Constitutional Congress convoked by Venustiano Carranza in September 1916, and it was approved on February 5, 1917. The new constitution was based in the previous one instituted by Benito Juárez in 1857. Three of its 136 articles contains heavily anticlerical sections, the number 3, 27 and 130.
The first two sections of article 3 state that: I. According to the religious liberties established under article 24, educational services shall be secular and, therefore, free of any religious orientation. II. The educational services shall be based on scientific progress and shall fight against ignorance, ignorance's effects, servitudes, fanaticism and prejudice.
The second section of article 27 states that: All religious associations organized according to article 130 and its derived legislation, shall be authorized to acquire, possess or manage just the necessary assets to achieve their objectives.
The first paragraph of article 130 states that: The rules established at this article are guided by the historical principle according to which the State and the churches are separated entities from each other. Churches and religious congregations shall be organized under the law. It also provides for the obligatory state registration of all churches and religious congregations, and places a series of restrictions on priests and ministers of all religions (ineligible to hold public office, to canvas on behalf of political parties or candidates, to inherit from persons other than close blood relatives, etc.).
It is important to recall that Venustiano Carranza declared himself against the final redaction of Articles 3, 27, 123, 130, and others. But the Constitutional Congress contained only 85 conservatives and centrists close to Carranza's brand of liberalism, and against them there were 132 more radical delegates. There are also other controversial articles in the constitution:
Article 24 states that: "Every man shall be free to choose and profess any religious belief as long as it is lawful and it cannot be punished under criminal law. The Congress shall not be authorized to enact laws either establishing or prohibiting a particular religion. Religious ceremonies of public nature shall be ordinarily performed at the temples. Those performed outdoors shall be regulated under the law.
Background to rebellion
Venustiano Carranza was the first president under the new Mexican Constitution of 1917, but he was eventually overthrown by his one-time ally Álvaro Obregón in 1919, who succeeded to the presidency in late 1920. Álvaro Obregón applied the anticlerical laws emanating from the constitution selectively, only in areas where Catholic sentiment was weakest.
This uneasy "truce" between the government and the Church ended with the 1924 election of Plutarco Elías Calles, a strident atheist. Calles applied the anti-clerical laws stringently throughout the country and added his own anti-clerical legislation. In June 1926, he signed the "Law for Reforming the Penal Code", known unofficially as the "Calles Law". This provided specific penalties for priests and individuals who violated the provisions of the 1917 Constitution. For instance, wearing clerical garb in public (i.e., outside Church buildings) earned a fine of 500 pesos (approximately 250 U.S. dollars at the time); a priest who criticized the government could be imprisoned for five years. Some states enacted oppressive measures. Chihuahua, for example, enacted a law permitting only a single priest to serve the entire Catholic congregation of the state. Calles seized church property, expelled all foreign priests, and closed the monasteries, convents and religious schools.
In response to these measures, Catholic organizations began to intensify their resistance. The most important of these groups was the National League for the Defense of Religious Liberty, founded in 1924. This was joined by the Mexican Association of Catholic Youth (founded 1913) and the Popular Union, a Catholic political party founded in 1925.
On July 11, 1926, the Mexican bishops voted to suspend all public worship in Mexico in response to the Calles Law. This suspension was to take place on August 1. On July 14, they endorsed plans for an economic boycott against the government, which was particularly effective in west-central Mexico (the states of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Aguascalientes, Zacatecas). Catholics in these areas stopped attending movies and plays and using public transportation, and Catholic teachers stopped teaching in secular schools.
However, the boycott collapsed by October 1926, in large part for lack of support among wealthy Catholics, who were themselves losing money because of the boycott. The wealthy were generally disliked because of this, and their reputation was worsened when they paid the federal army for protection and called on the police to break the picket lines.
The Catholic bishops meanwhile worked to have the offending articles of the Constitution amended. Pope Pius XI explicitly approved this means of resistance. The Calles government considered the bishops' activism seditious behavior and had many churches closed. In September the episcopate submitted a proposal for the amendment of the constitution, but the Congress rejected it on September 22, 1926.
Escalation of violence
In Guadalajara, Jalisco, on August 3, 1926, some 400 armed Catholics shut themselves up in the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They were involved in a shootout with federal troops and surrendered only when they ran out of ammunition. According to U.S. consular sources, this battle resulted in 18 dead and 40 injured.
The following day, August 4, in Sahuayo, Michoacán, 240 government soldiers stormed the parish church. The parish priest and his vicar were killed in the ensuing violence. On August 14, government agents staged a purge of the Chalchihuites, Zacatecas, chapter of the Association of Catholic Youth and executed their spiritual adviser Father Luis Bátiz Sainz. This execution caused a band of ranchers, led by Pedro Quintanar, to seize the local treasury and declare themselves in rebellion. At the height of their rebellion, they held a region including the entire northern part of Jalisco.
Luis Navarro Origel, the mayor of Pénjamo, Guanajuato, led another uprising beginning on September 28. His men were defeated by federal troops in the open land around the town but retreated into the mountains, where they continued as guerrillas. This was followed by an uprising in Durango led by Trinidad Mora on September 29 and an October 4 rebellion in southern Guanajuato, led by former general Rodolfo Gallegos. Both of these rebel leaders adopted guerrilla tactics, as they were no match for the federal troops and airforce on open ground.
Meanwhile, the rebels in Jalisco (particularly the region northeast of Guadalajara) quietly began gathering forces. This region became the main focal point of the rebellion led by 27-year-old René Capistrán Garza, leader of the Mexican Association of Catholic Youth.
The Cristero war
The formal rebellion began on January 1, 1927 with a manifesto sent by Garza on New Year's Day, titled A la Nación (To the Nation). This declared that "the hour of battle has sounded" and "the hour of victory belongs to God". With the declaration, the state of Jalisco, which had seemed to be quiet since the Guadalajara church uprising, exploded. Bands of rebels moving in the "Los Altos" region northeast of Guadalajara began seizing villages, often armed with only ancient muskets and clubs. The Cristeros' battle cry was ¡Viva Cristo Rey! ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe! ("Long live Christ the King! Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe!"). The rebels were an unusual army in that they had no logistical supplies, and relied heavily on raids to towns, trains and ranches in order to supply themselves with money, horses, ammunition and food.
The Calles government did not take the threat very seriously at first. The rebels did well against the agraristas (a rural militia recruited throughout Mexico) and the Social Defense forces (local militia), but, at first, were always defeated by the federal troops who guarded the important cities. At this time, the federal army numbered 79,759 men. When Jalisco federal commander General Jesús Ferreira moved on the rebels, he matter of factly wire to the army headquarters that "it will be less a campaign than a hunt."  It was a sentiment which Calles also held.
However, these rebels, who had had no previous military experience for the most part, planned their battles well. The most successful rebel leaders were Jesús Degollado (a pharmacist), Victoriano Ramírez (a ranch hand), and two priests, Aristeo Pedroza and José Reyes Vega. Unlike Pedroza, Vega was a priest in name only who entered the seminary under the pressure of his family and who made no pretense of living a virtuous life or of remaining celibate. Indeed, Vega was renowned for his cruelty and Cardinal Davila, deemed him a "black-hearted assassin". At least five priests took up arms, while many more supported them in various ways.
The Mexican episcopate never officially supported the rebellion, but the rebels had some indications that their cause was legitimate. Bishop José Francisco Orozco of Guadalajara remained with the rebels; while formally rejecting armed rebellion, he was unwilling to leave his flock.
On February 23, 1927, the Cristeros defeated federal troops for the first time at San Francisco del Rincón, Guanajuato, followed by another victory at San Julián, Jalisco. However, the Cristeros quickly began to lose in the face of superior federal forces, and retreated into remote areas, constantly fleeing federal soldiers. Most of the leadership of the revolt in the state of Jalisco was forced to flee to the United States, although Victoriano Ramirez and Fr. Reyes Vega remained. In April, the leader of the civilian wing of the Cristiada, Anacleto Gonzalez Flores, was captured, tortured and killed. The anti-Catholic media and government declared victory and plans were made for a socialist reeducation campaign in the areas that had rebelled.
As if to prove that the rebellion was not extinguished, and to avenge the death of Gonzalez Flores, Father Vega led a raid against a train carrying a shipment of money for the Bank of Mexico on April 19. The raid was a success, but Vega's brother was killed in the raid. Over 50 federal troops were killed, as well as 30 civilians caught in the crossfire or killed after Vega set the train on fire. The government responded by expelling all of the bishops from the country, and initiating a brutal policy of depopulation in the Los Altos area of Jalisco, the heart of the rebellion. Thousands of peasants and village dwellers were herded into concentration camps after forced marches that killed many. Many others died of malnutrition and disease. The Los Altos area of Jalisco was then declared a free fire zone and all civilians found alive in the prohibited area, including women and children, were killed on sight.
The "concentration" policy, rather than suppressing the revolt, gave it new life, as thousands of men began to aid and join the rebels in resentment for the cruel treatment of the Federation. When the rains came, the peasants were allowed to return to the harvest, and there was now more support than ever for the Cristeros. By August, they had consolidated their movement and were constantly attacking the federal troops garrisoned in their towns. Soon, they would be joined by Enrique Gorostieta, a general hired by the National League for Religious Liberty. Although Gorostieta was himself a liberal and a skeptic, he would eventually wear a cross around his neck and speak openly of his reliance on God.
Both priest-commanders, Father Vega and Father Pedroza, were born soldiers. Father Vega was not a typical priest, and was reputed to drink heavily and routinely ignore his vow of chastity. Father Pedroza, by contrast, was rigidly moral and faithful to his priestly vows. However, the fact that the two took up arms at all is problematic from the point of view of Catholic sacramental theology.
On June 21, 1927, the first brigade of female Cristeros was formed in Zapopan. They named themselves for Saint Joan of Arc. The brigade began with 17 women, but soon grew to 135 members. Its mission was to obtain money, weapons, provisions and information for the combatant men; they also cared for the wounded. By March 1928, there were some 10,000 women involved. Many smuggled weapons into the combat zones by carrying them in carts filled with grain or cement. By the end of the war, they numbered some 25,000.
The Cristeros maintained the upper hand throughout 1928, and in 1929, the federal government faced a new crisis: a revolt within Army ranks, led by Arnulfo R. Gómez in Veracruz. The Cristeros tried to take advantage of this with an attack on Guadalajara in late March. This failed, but the rebels did manage to take Tepatitlán on April 19. Father Vega was killed in that battle.
However, the military rebellion was met with equal cruelty and force, and the Cristeros were soon facing divisions within their own ranks. Mario Valdés, widely believed by historians to have been a federal spy, managed to stir up sentiment against El Catorce leading to his execution before a rigged court-martial.
On June 2, Gorostieta was killed when he was ambushed by a federal patrol. However the rebels had some 50,000 men under arms by this point and seemed poised to draw out the rebellion for a long time.
Diplomacy and the uprising
Before and after the successes had by the rebels and the support of Bishop Orozco, the Mexican bishops supported the Cristeros (this is in dispute- the only comprehensive history of this movement, "The Cristero Rebellion" indicates that with a couple of exceptions the episcopacy was hostile to the movement). The bishops were expelled from Mexico after Father Vega's attack on the train, but they continued to try to influence the war's outcome from outside the country.
In October 1927, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico was Dwight Whitney Morrow. He initiated a series of breakfast meetings with President Calles at which the two would discuss a range of issues, from the religious uprising, to oil and irrigation. This earned him the nickname "ham and eggs diplomat" in U.S. papers. Morrow wanted the conflict to end both for regional security and to help find a solution to the oil problem in the U.S. He was aided in his efforts by Father John J. Burke of the National Catholic Welfare Conference. The Vatican was also actively suing for peace.
Calles's term as president was coming to an end and president-elect Álvaro Obregón was scheduled to take office on December 1, 1927. Two weeks after his election, Obregón was assassinated by a Catholic radical, José de León Toral, an event that gravely damaged the peace process.
Congress named Emilio Portes interim president in September 1928, with an election to be held in November 1929. Portes was more open to the Church than Calles had been, allowing Morrow and Burke to reinitiate their peace initiative. Portes told a foreign correspondent on May 1 that "the Catholic clergy, when they wish, may renew the exercise of their rites with only one obligation, that they respect the laws of the land."
The next day, exiled Archbishop Leopoldo Ruíz y Flores issued a statement the bishops would not demand the repeal of the laws, only their more lenient application.
Morrow managed to bring the parties to agreement on June 21, 1929. His office drafted a pact called the arreglos (agreement) that allowed worship to resume in Mexico and granted three concessions to the Catholics: only priests who were named by hierarchical superiors would be required to register, religious instruction in the churches (but not in the schools) would be permitted, and all citizens, including the clergy, would be allowed to make petitions to reform the laws. But the most important part of the agreement was that the church would recover the right to use its properties, and priests recovered their rights to live on such property. Legally speaking, the church was not allowed to own real estate, and its former facilities remained federal property. But the church effectively took control over the properties, and the government never again tried to take these properties back. It was a convenient arrangement for both parties, and the Church ended its support for the rebels.
The agreement led to an unusual end to the war. In the last two years, more anticlerical officers who were hostile to the federal government for reasons other than its position on religion had joined the rebels. When the agreement between the government and the Church was made known, only a minority of the rebels went home, those who felt their battle had been won. As the rebels themselves were not consulted in the talks, most of them felt betrayed and some continued to fight. The church then threatened rebels with excommunication, and gradually the rebellion died out. The officers, fearing that they would be tried as traitors, tried to keep the rebellion alive. This attempt failed and many were captured and shot, while others escaped to San Luis Potosí, where General Saturnino Cedillo gave them refuge.
On June 27, 1929, the church bells rang in Mexico for the first time in almost three years. The war had claimed the lives of some 90,000 people: 56,882 on the federal side, 30,000 Cristeros, and numerous civilians and Cristeros who were killed in anticlerical raids after the war's end. As promised by Portes Gil, the Calles Law remained on the books, but no organized federal attempts to enforce it took place. Nonetheless, in several localities, officials continued persecution of Catholic priests based on their interpretation of the law. As of 2009, the anticlerical provisions of the Constitution remain although they are no longer implemented.
Aftermath of the war and the toll on the Church
The government did not abide by the terms of the truce - in violation of its terms, approximately 500 Cristero leaders and 5,000 other Cristeros were shot, frequently in their homes in front of their spouses and children. Particularly offensive to Catholics after the supposed truce was Calles's insistence on a complete state monopoly on education, suppressing all Catholic education and introducing secular education in its place: "We must enter and take possession of the mind of childhood, the mind of youth.". The persecution was continued after the presidency of Calles by President Cárdenas, an anti-Catholic socialist, and did not relent completely until 1940, when President Manuel Ávila Camacho, a practising Catholic, took office.
The effects of the war on the Church were profound. Between 1926 and 1934 at least 40 priests were killed. Where there were 4,500 priests serving the people before the rebellion, in 1934 there were only 334 priests licensed by the government to serve fifteen million people. The rest had been eliminated by emigration, expulsion and assassination. By 1935, 17 states had no priest at all.
The end of the Cristero War affected emigration to the United States. "In the aftermath of their defeat, many of the Cristeros — by some estimates as much as 5 percent of Mexico's population — fled to America. Many of them made their way to Los Angeles, where they found a protector in John Joseph Cantwell, the bishop of what was then the Los Angeles-San Diego diocese." Under Archbishop Cantwell's sponsorship the Cristero refugees became a substantial community in Los Angeles, in 1934 staging a parade some 40,000 strong through the city.
Cristero War saints
The Catholic Church has recognized several of those killed in the Cristero rebellion as martyrs. Perhaps the best-known is Blessed Miguel Pro, SJ. This Jesuit priest was executed by firing squad on November 23, 1927, without benefit of a trial, on the grounds that his priestly activities were in defiance of the government. The Calles government hoped to use images of the execution to scare the rebels into surrender, but the photos had the opposite effect. Upon seeing the photos, which the government had printed in all the newspapers, the Cristeros were inspired with a desire to follow Father Pro into martyrdom for Christ. His beatification occurred in 1988.
On May 21, 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized a group of 25 martyrs from this period. (They had been beatified on November 22, 1992.) Of this group, 22 were secular clergy and three were laymen. They did not take up arms but refused to leave their flocks and ministries, being shot or hung by government forces for offering the sacraments. They were, for the most part, executed by federal forces. Although Pedro de Jesús Maldonado was murdered in 1937, after the war ended, he is considered a Cristero martyr and is a member of this group.
For example, Father Luis Bátiz Sainz was the parish priest in Chalchihuites and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He was known for his devotion to the Eucharist and for his prayer for martyrdom: "Lord, I want to be a martyr; even though I am your unworthy servant, I want to pour out my blood, drop by drop, for your name." In 1926, shortly before the closing of the churches, he was denounced as a conspirator against the government because of his connections with the National League for the Defense of Religious Liberty, which was preparing an armed uprising. A squad of soldiers raided the private house where he was staying on August 14 and took him captive. They executed him without trial together with three youths of the Mexican Association of Catholic Youth.
The Catholic Church declared on November 20, 2005 thirteen additional victims of the anti-Catholic regime as martyrs, thus paving the way to their beatification., This group was mostly lay people, including the 14-year-old José Sánchez del Río, who refused to renounce his faith in Christ under torture and an eventually fulfilled threat of death., Since they were lay people, they were considered able to have taken up arms, but their histories had to show that they armed in self-defense. On November 20, 2005 at Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins celebrated the beatification of these 13 martyrs.
Conservatives in Mexico, and especially orthodox Catholics in the U.S., have seen in the Cristero saints laudable examples of resistance to secularization and modernity. The Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin, for example, has prominently placed cristero saints on the altars of its Basilica and uses them to condemn the abortion of fetuses. In the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Zamora, Michoacán, which was, itself, a killing field during the revolution and the Cristero War, there are stained glass windows that equate the state's persecution of Cristeros with the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany.
Martyrs of the education
As it was mentioned above, the anticlerical and socialist General Lázaro Cárdenas continued with the persecution during his presidential years: 1934—1940. Particularly offensive to Catholics was Cárdenas promotion of so called socialist education in Mexico. The congress even amended the Article 3 of the Mexican Constitution in October 1934 to include the following introductory text (textual translation): "The education imparted by the State shall be a socialist one and, in addition to excluding all religious doctrine, shall combat fanaticism and prejudices by organizing its instruction and activities in a way that shall permit the creation in youth of an exact and rational concept of the Universe and of social life". This amendment was made invalid by the next Catholic President Manuel Ávila Camacho.
The promotion of this so called socialist education met with a strong opposition in some parts of academia and in the rural areas previously controlled by the Cristeros. Pope Pius XI also published the Encyclical Firmissimam Constantiam on March 28, 1937, expressing his opposition to the "impious and corruptive school" (paragraph 22) and his support to the Catholic Action in Mexico. This is the third and last encyclical published by Pius XI making reference to the religious situation in Mexico.
Many Cristeros took up the arms again, and they were followed by other Catholics, but this time the unarmed teachers were one of the main targets of Cristero associated atrocities. The rural teachers did not take up arms, but some of them refused to leave their schools and communities, and so their ears were cut off in the best of the cases. This is the reason why the martyrs of the education are better known as "maestros desorejados", teachers without ears in Mexico. In the worst cases, teachers were tortured and murdered by the Cristeros. It is calculated that almost three hundred rural teachers were murdered in this way between 1935 and 1939, while other authors calculate that at least 223 teachers were victims of the violence between 1931 and 1940. One can name for example the assassination of teachers Carlos Sayago, Carlos Pastraña, and Librado Labastida in Teziutlán, Puebla, hometown of the future president Manuel Ávila Camacho; the execution of the rural teacher Carlos Toledano, who was burnt alive in Tlapacoyan, Veracruz; and the lynching of at least 42 teachers in the state of Michoacan: J. Trinidad Ramirez in Contepec, Pedro Garcia in Apatzingan, Juan Gonzalez Valdespino in Huajumbaro, Jose Rivera Romero in Ciudad Hidalgo, Maria Salud Morales in Tacambaro; and the list goes on. It is interesting to notice that the atrocities made by the Cristeros against the rural teachers have been criticized in essays and books published by the Jesuit private Ibero-American University in Mexico.
Battle hymn of the Cristeros
- La Virgen María es nuestra protectora y nuestra defensora cuando hay que temer,
- Vencerá a los demonios gritando "¡Viva Cristo Rey!",
- Vencerá a los demonios gritando "¡Viva Cristo Rey!"
- Soldados de Cristo: ¡Sigamos la bandera que la Cruz enseña el ejército de Dios!
- Sigamos la bandera gritando, "¡Viva Cristo Rey!"
- English translation
- The Virgin Mary is our protector and defender when there is something to fear,
- She will defeat the demons crying "Long live Christ the King!"
- She will defeat the demons crying "Long live Christ the King!"
- Soldiers of Christ let us follow the flag that the Cross shows the army of God!
- Let us follow the flag crying, "Long live Christ the King!"
In popular culture
Many fact based film versions of the war have been produced since 1929, a short list must include the titles: El coloso de mármol (1929), Los cristeros (aka sucedió en Jalisco) (1947), La guerra santa (1979), La cristiada (1986), etc. The most recent one, in post production, is called Cristiada, starring Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria, Eduardo Verastegui and Peter O’Toole.
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- John W. Sherman (1997). The Mexican right: the end of revolutionary reform, 1929-1940. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 43 to 45. ISBN 0275957365, 9780275957360. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=h29VKMtmzzcC&q=cristeros+teachers#v=snippet&q=cristeros%20teachers&f=false.
- Christopher Robert Boyer (2003). Becoming campesinos: politics, identity, and agrarian struggle in postrevolutionary Michoacán, 1920-1935. Stanford University Press. pp. 179 to 181. ISBN 0804743568, 9780804743563. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=wij7fa771i0C&q=cristeros+teachers#v=snippet&q=cristeros%20teachers&f=false.
- Marjorie Becker (1995). Setting the Virgin on fire: Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán peasants, and the redemption of the Mexican Revolution. University of California Press. pp. 124 to 126. ISBN 0520084195, 9780520084193. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=poCw5DcQF5cC&q=cristeros+teachers#v=snippet&q=cristeros%20teachers&f=false.
- Cora Govers (2006). Performing the community: representation, ritual and reciprocity in the Totonac Highlands of Mexico. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 132. ISBN 3825897516, 9783825897512. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=4y4KnORm320C&q=cristeros+teachers#v=snippet&q=cristeros%20teachers&f=false.
- Jim Tuck (1982). The holy war in Los Altos: a regional analysis of Mexico's Cristero rebellion. University of Arizona Press. p. 184. ISBN 0816507791, 9780816507795. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=fj96AAAAMAAJ&q=cristeros+teachers#search_anchor.
- George I. Sanchez (2008). Mexico - A Revolution by Education. Read Books. p. 119. ISBN 1443725870, 9781443725873. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=mniza5YPT8wC&q=cristeros+teachers+ears#v=snippet&q=cristeros%20teachers%20ears&f=false.
- Raquel Sosa Elízaga (1996). Los códigos ocultos del cardenismo: un estudio de la violencia política, el cambio social y la continuidad institucional. Plaza y Valdes. p. 333. ISBN 9688564656, 9789688564653. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=jnHvmRfNwOsC&q=maestros+desorejados#v=onepage&q=maestros%20desorejados&f=false.
- Everardo Escárcega López (1990). Historia de la cuestión agraria mexicana, Volumen 5. Siglo XXI. p. 20. ISBN 9682314925, 9789682314926. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=RIr9q05GvzQC&q=desorejados+cristeros#v=snippet&q=desorejados%20cristeros&f=false.
- Matthew Butler, Matthew John Blakemore Butler (2007). Faith and impiety in revolutionary Mexico. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 11. ISBN 140398381X, 9781403983817. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=PtCtFTtvoV0C.
- Kees Koonings, Dirk Kruijt (1999). Societies of fear: the legacy of civil war, violence and terror in Latin America. Zed Books. p. 112. ISBN 1856497674, 9781856497671. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=mCdsSrteGGoC&q=teachers+killed+raped+desorejados#v=snippet&q=teachers%20killed%20raped%20desorejados&f=false.
- Nathaniel Weyl, Mrs. Slyvia (Castleton) Weyl (1939). The reconquest of Mexico: the years of Lázaro Cárdenas. Oxford university press. p. 322. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=9UkVAAAAYAAJ&q=almost+300+rural+teachers#search_anchor.
- Eric Van Young, Gisela von Wobeser (1992). La ciudad y el campo en la historia de México: memoria de la VII Reunión de Historiadores Mexicanos y Norteamericanos (in English). Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. p. 896. ISBN 9683618650, 9789683618658. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=a-C7AAAAIAAJ&q=cristeros+teachers#search_anchor.
- James McKeen Cattell, Will Carson Ryan, Raymond Walters (1936). School & society (Special Correspondence ). 44. Society for the Advancement of Education. pp. 739 to 741. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=CzM5AAAAMAAJ&q=teachers+cristeros+#search_anchor.
- Belinda Arteaga (2002). A gritos y sombrerazos: historia de los debates sobre educación sexual en México, 1906-1946 (in Spanish). Miguel Angel Porrua. p. 161. ISBN 970701217X, 9789707012172. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=Af6FAAAAIAAJ&q=vivo+carlos+toledano+#search_anchor.
- Eduardo J. Correa (1941). El balance del cardenismo (in Spanish). Talleres linotipográficos "Acción". p. 317. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=iaT-nugaHSIC&q=quemado+maestro+rural+toledano+#search_anchor.
- Guillermo Zermeño P. (1992). Religión, política y sociedad: el sinarquismo y la iglesia en México; Nueve Ensayos (in Spanish). Universidad Iberoamericana. p. 39. ISBN 9688590916, 9789688590911. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=8E_bBnLjKZkC&q=quemados+desorejados#v=snippet&q=quemados%20desorejados&f=false.
- Ponce Alcocer, Ma. Eugenia, et al. (2009). El oficio de una vida: Raymond Buve, un historiador mexicanista (in Spanish). Universidad Iberoamericana. p. 210. ISBN 6074170096, 9786074170092. http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=XkYxtIFH47sC&q=desorejados#v=snippet&q=desorejados&f=false.
- Jean Meyer, Ulises Íñiguez Mendoza (2007). La Cristiada en imágenes: del cine mudo al video. Universidad de Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico
- Manuel R. Ojeda (1929). El coloso de mármol. Mexico
- Raúl de Anda (1947). Los Cristeros. Mexico
- Carlos Enrique Taboada (1979). La guerra santa. Mexico
- Nicolás Echevarría (1986). La cristiada. Mexico
- Eduardo Verastegui to play Mexican martyr in ‘Cristiada’, October 7, 2010, Catholic News Agency
- Video interview of Cristero, Juan Guitierrez
- Cristeros (Soldiers of Christ) - Documentary
- The Cristero Rebellion, by Jim Tuck
- AP article on the 2000 canonizations
- Biography of Miguel Pro
- Spanish article on the war
- Spanish biographies of the saints canonized in 2000
- Ferreira, Cornelia R. Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Rio: Cristero Boy Martyr, biography (2006 Canisius Books).
- Iniquis Afflictisque - encyclical of Pope Pius XI on the persecution of the Church in Mexico (November 18, 1926)
- Miss Mexico wears dress depicting Cristeros at the 2007 Miss Universe Pageant
- Inquiries into the Cristero Insurrection against the Mexican Revolution by Ramon Jrade in Latin American Research Review, Vol. 20, No. 2 (1985), pp. 53–69
- Meyer, Jean. The Cristero Rebellion: The Mexican People between Church and State, 1926-1929. Cambridge, 1976.
- Tuck, Jim. The Holy War in Los Altos: A Regional Analysis of Mexico's Cristero Rebellion. University of Arizona Press, 1982. ISBN 0-8165-0779-1
- Groppe, Lothar. P. Michael Pro SJ: Ein mexikanischer Schlingel wird Priester und Martyrer. Freundeskreis Maria Goretti, e.V., Munich, 1988.
- Purnell, Jenny. Popular Movements and State Formation in Revolutionary Mexico: The Agraristas and Cristeros of Michoacan. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999.
- Greene, Graham. The Power and the Glory (novel). New York: Viking Press, 1940 (as The Labyrinthine Ways).
- Mabry, Donald J. Mexican Anticlerics, Bishops, Cristeros, and the Devout during the 1920s: A Scholarly Debate Journal of Church and State Vol. 20, No. 1, (1978), 81-92
- Luis Gonzalez - Translated by John Upton. San Jose de Gracia: Mexican Village in Transition ISBN 978-0-292-77571-8 (historical novel) Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1982.
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