Letter from Granddaughter of General Gorostieta

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Here is a translation of a letter from a granddaughter of  General Gorostieta, who is portrayed by Andy Garcia in For Greater Glory, to Andy Garica.  Go here to read the letter in the original Spanish.   Hattip to commenter Rogelio Núñez Ruiz. Translation is by my hard working and deeply appreciated better half Cathy:

[Opening commentary by Fernando Banuelos, Editorial Director of the Cine 3 film news website:]

Letter from Maria Teresa Perez Gorostieta to Andy Garcia about Cristiada [AKA For Greater Glory ]

This is an emotive letter sent by Maria Teresa Perez Gorostieta, granddaughter of General Gorostieta, to Andy Garcia for his role in Cristiada.  Although I’m not a fan of Mexican films, especially Mexican history films in another language and with non-Mexican actors, I believe that this film falls in the “top-priority must-see” category of films, just to see what they say about us, and to see how faithful this adaptation is to what history tells us.

[Maria Teresa Perez Gorostieta's letter follows:]

Mr. Garcia:

I saw the film last week, and I enjoyed the character of my grandfather, even though I don’t share the legend that he was an unbeliever and converted in the Movement; it seems to me that [portraying him that way] brings him to people in a better way than if they had portrayed him as being too religious.

I congratulate you for having accepted the role on behalf of my mother, who unfortunately died 4 days before they finished filming it; she was happy that it would be you who would interpret it.  His death scene is lovely and, as the Bible says, the applause that counts is in Heaven, and the whole family is there, so that the Glory of the Cristeros is now that they’re with God.

I don’t know if you read the letters which we sent to you through the Director, but I believe that my grandfather had the arrogance with which you characterized him, and the tenderness he showed his people.  He had a great love for his family:

[Quoting a letter from General Gorostieta to his family:]

“For my little children, who I can’t give a kiss to, who I can’t buy a ball for, who I can’t, as I did so often, let sleep in my arms, on such a great date for the world, on a day in which even wild beasts become tender with Glory!, by your conduct I send them this gift:  all the privations which they suffer, all the sorrows which you and I suffer, are only obedient to one end – leaving them a road, marking for them a route.  I know well that there are smoother roads in the world, and God well knows that I know how to walk them.  But those aren’t the ones that I will leave marked for them.  It’s the same bitter, gloomy road that their grandfather marked for me, the only one that exists, if one is to be forever content to have finished it and able to give an account of the journey.  The only one which, having been walked, imparts true peace.  I give them as a gift, the privations and the sorrows which the road is giving me.  Give them many kisses, and never rest from preventing – I don’t say now, but [even] within many years – that they should lose their faith on such a road.”

I will tell you that I cried in the first scene in which, when talking to Eva Longoria, he says to her, “Tula, Tula, Tulita!”  At the moment in which he called out to my good grandmother like that, what can I say?  It took me back to my days with her, and I imagined my grandfather speaking to her in that way.

They’ve spoken badly about him for years.  I’m a believer and a practicing, God-loving [Christian] and besides, as a lawyer I have a strong belief in human rights and freedoms.  I have always been proud of him, but not all the family members gave him the credit which he deserves.  I have read the interviews which you have given, and I am infinitely thankful to you that you talk of him as you have done, and the greatest gift you gave to my grandfather is, as he said in his last letter to my grandmother Tulita:

[Quoting again:]

“You, it stands to reason, will outlive me, and remember what I tell you now:  by my effort, whatever the practical result of this struggle may be, I have achieved a true name for our children.”

The film for you is just another film, but for our family, it made us proud to call ourselves Gorostietas; it gives us a place that history could never take away from us.

We are very, very thankful that you’ve accepted the role; we wish you all the best, and I’ll tell you that my prayers will always go with you, so that your children and grandchildren might be as proud of you as I am of my grandfather for sharing his blood.

In the love of Christ,

Maria Teresa Perez Gorostieta

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19 Responses to Letter from Granddaughter of General Gorostieta

  • Very touching and powerful letter. I’ll venture to say (I hope) that Andy Garcia was equally moved and humbled by it.

  • I just saw this movie today with my mother and it is very moving. It gave me a deeper resolve to face whatever minor challenges in faith that I face and a greater love of the sacrament of reconcilliation.

  • No movie has moved me more Chris since I saw The Passion of the Christ.

  • Can’t wait to see it!!!

  • Unparalleled seems like an over statement considering how long the Hmong Catholics have ad to deal with General hatred of the faith by other Vietnamese as well as Communism and they still get arrested and used to get killed and hung quite often for their faith The problem they have is that there a lot more Cuddhists and Communists in the country of Vietnam than there are Catholics.

  • I wrote Cuddhists when I should have written Buddhists.

  • It’s a great film and one that I have been posting about on Facebook, Twitter, and my own blog. As a Catholic, the film was deeply moving since we are watching now canonized saints and blessed’s who died for the cause of religious freedom and most importantly for Christo Rey. The Church has recognized their convictions and heroic virtue in the face of evil. Andy Garcia a fine job and hope that he makes more films like – For Greater Glory. Viva Christo Rey!

  • I was deeply impress with the story and made a parallel of the Russian civil war , when the killing of priest and desecration of churches was part of the communist agenda
    The world is divided between evil and good , no matter the place , the time or the people.
    More stories like this should be presented to the world .
    thank you Gorosieta, you are an inspiration for future generations .
    Kira Mihailtichenko
    Miami

  • It is important remember that Evil is simply the destruction twisting and lack of Good. Therefore Evil to exist there has to be Good but Good can exist without Evil therefore Good is much stronger and integrated than Evil. That is the ultimate reason the Soviet Union collapsed because it was based on corrupt things things that fall apart.

  • Andy Garcia did a superb performance of General Gorostieta. As a Mexican American individual I was not aware of the cristero civil war. This movie along with research has opened my eyes and heart to the people who fought for this strong stand. From someone who loves her God thank you all for fighting and dying for your belief.

  • Did not know this history at all. Andy Garcia did a wonderful job as did the young actor who played Jose. The development of the story and the movement of scenes were so well done. All stayed to watch the credits and catch the bios of the characters.
    I wish the creators well and that they continue to bring similiar stories to audiences. People think that evil is old. This story is less than 100 years old. We must know our past to find our future.

  • i saw this movie yesterday and i can say that i had been waiting for it for years. i have a personal interest in this movie because my father became an orphaned in this christero war because my grandfather was involved in this christero movement and was killed in 1929. the mexican govermment due to being victorious in this horrific war has been very succesful in erasing the atrocities it commited during this era. when i saw the christero soldiers in battle uniform, it was like seeing my grandfather coming back to life.

  • Clementina one of the great things about the films is that we recall the heroes, like your grandfather, who stood up for the faith and paid for their lives as martyrs.

  • There is a verse in the book of Proverbs from the ” Holy Bible ” that says, ” A man plans his way but the Lord directs his steps. ” Because I believe in a sovereign Lord, I have no doubt that General Gorostieta was a man placed by our Lord at the time of the Christero movement for such a time. No different than when the Lord chose Moses many years ago. The most moving statement of the movie to me was when Mr. Garcia as General Gorostieta said to his wife, ” I believe in FREEDOM !!! ” Tyranny, oppression, starvation, and other horrible atrocities may for a time have their way but the final word will be GODS !!!!

  • It was a wonderful movie inspiring faith and courage in the face of evil, and very timely considering the current war against Catholic beliefs in the USA.

    What a shame that a faithful Catholic wife is played by Eva Longoria who is supporting Obama despite his war against the Catholic Church.
    I find her playing that role disrespectful to the memories of all those who lost their lives for religious freedom.

    Just as there were Catholics amongst the “federales”, we will see the same in the upcoming battle over religious conscience here in the USA… Those who will choose government over God and the Church.
    Hopefully, the USA will never get to this point. But who would have believed it could happen in Mexico?

  • Saw the movie yesterday. Very,very impressive! Can’t stop thinking of so many courageous believers especially that of a 14 year old, Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio. When I am in need of this virtue, I will definitely be thinking of him. Que Viva Cristo Rey.

  • This film makes us to reflect in the great blessing to practice our religious belief with FREEDOM. But it goes beyond; it shows up to what extend we should fight for what truly believe. Even without having FAITH this film speaks about FREEDOM, CONVICTION, HONESTY, LOVE and overall how the WORDS FAITH, PRINCIPLES and SACRIFICE are really spell.
    It is a very important film in a timely way, since our core Catholic principles are under attack right now not only in Mexico but here in the USA. That is why is important that our society really knows what does it mean to be Catholic. History has failed to give credit and acknowledges to these brave Catholics who gave their life, just like Jesus did for love to us.
    It would be an honor to have you in our church to hear your personal stories about your great-grandfather and to inspire our community with your family portraits.
    With Sincere affection;
    Jose Luis Villeda
    Viva Cristo Rey!

  • Brenda I will say something which I heard which is “hope for the best and expect the worst.”

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