Official Companion Book
Book explores Cristiada as epic film hits theaters
FOR GREATER GLORY includes contributions from L.A. Archbishop Gomez, Supreme Knight Anderson and FOR GREATER GLORY cast member Verástegui
SAN FRANCISCO, May 14, 2012 – As the true story of Mexico’s Cristero War for religious liberty opens in theaters June 1, Ignatius Press will publish a companion book to this modern cinematic epic that provides historic perspective and important insight into the ongoing fight for religious freedom today.
For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada is the official companion volume to the film of the same name, which stars Academy Award® nominee Andy Garcia; Golden Globe winner Eva Longoria; legendary Oscar® winner Peter O’Toole; Eduardo Verástegui; and an international cast.
“I am thrilled to see a book of this type become available so everyone can have a deeper understanding of the authentic history behind the terrible persecution portrayed in For Greater Glory – The True Story of Cristiada,” writes Eduardo Verástegui, who plays Blessed Anacleto Gonzalez Flores in the film. Verástegui contributed an introduction to the book. “I sincerely pray such persecution will never be repeated.”
The 150-page volume, loaded with rare and revealing historical and film photos, is written by Ruben Quezada, a recognized expert on the Cristero War and the Cristiada. English and Spanish editions of the book will be in stores June 15. Quezada is Director for the Catholic Resource Center and St. Joseph Communications, Inc., in Southern California, and has travelled internationally as a bilingual speaker giving presentation on the Cristiada.
“It became clear to us that this book was necessary,” said Ignatius Press President Mark Brumley. “Leaders around the country who have attended pre-release screenings are leaving with tremendous interest in bringing to light the full story of the Cristiada, which is impossible to achieve within the time context of a feature theatrical film.
“Ruben Quezada is one of the foremost experts on this historic fight for religious freedom, and we are thrilled that he has provided such a thorough, thoughtful narrative in this book.”
Quezada delves deep into the history of this conflict, which rocked North America in the 1920s. He provides a look into the Cristero fighters, the reasons behind the Mexican government’s ruthless persecution of Catholics, the role of the Knights of Columbus in the conflict, the characters from the film who have been canonized or beatified, and many other issues – including the lesson of the Cristiada for those struggling for religious freedom today.
“The cause of religious liberty is much on the minds and hearts of Catholics in this country and around the world,” writes Most Rev. José Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, in the book’s foreword. “On Jan. 19, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI delivered a remarkable address to a group of U.S. bishops visiting Rome. The Holy Father warned that our American heritage of religious freedom faces ‘grave threats’ from the ‘radical secularism’ of political and cultural opinion leaders who are ‘increasingly hostile to Christianity.’”
“In seeking to eliminate the political voice of the clergy, the (Mexican) State politicized religion,” writes Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson in a bonus essay from the book. A number of Knights were martyred during the Cristero War, and Blessed Pope John Paul II canonized several in 2000. “In an attempt to enforce strict division of Church and State, the State made religion a weapon of the State with the mission—not of preaching Christ—but of strong-arming Mexicans into a form of Christianity that was purely devotional and purely Mexican.
“As President Calles told Bishop Pasqual Díaz of Tabasco, who appealed to freedom of conscience in a meeting regarding the issue, ‘The law is above the dictates of conscience.’”
To request a review copy of For Greater Glory, the official companion book to the film, or to arrange interviews with author Ruben Quezada, please contact Alexis Walkenstein (561-445-5409 or AWalkenstein@MaximusMG.com); Tim Lilley (678-990-9032 or TLilley@MaximusMG.com); or Kevin Wandra (678-990-9032 or KWandra@MaximusMG.com) of The Maximus Group.