He Died in His Armor, Padre Francesco Vera

I was asked by Brian Kelly to translate a Spanish tribute for one of the 4000 priests who were martyred in or exiled from Mexico during the anti-Catholic Masonic persecution of the Church in the 1920s and 30s. The priest is Padre Francesco Vera. He was shot by a firing squad, just as Blessed Padre Pro was, immediately after offering the outlawed holy sacrifice of the Mass.

The article was sent to Mr. Kelly by someone who found it on a Portuguese Catholic website called Montfort Cultural Association. As we see in the photo Padre Francesco is still vested and wearing his biretta (reproduced below). The poetic tribute to priest/martyr was written, probably originally in Italian, by Orlando Fedeli, and translated here into not-so-proper Spanish. The last paragraph of the Portuguese section says that the Mexican President Emilio Portes Gil boasted boldly in a speech before the head of Scottish Freemasonry in Mexico, that the persecution of the priests and the Church has lasted “twenty centuries and will last for eternity” in order for Masonry to implement its anti-Catholic principles.

Emilio Portes Gil was appointed president in 1928 by his vicious anti-Catholic predecessor, Plutarco Calles, who had Padre Pro executed. Gil was a mere puppet of Calles and did what his boss told him to do. Calles started out as a Communist and, after accumulating a vast fortune by favoring and bribing rich capitalist Masons, he turned anti-communist, but never ceased to be a bloody persecutor of the Church. A descendant of Sephardic Spanish Jews on his father’s side, Calles was an avowed atheist, a Freemason under the thumb of the Scottish Rite, and a prohibitionist. He preferred to drink the blood of Catholics than a glass of wine. He died in 1948.

Here is that quote from president Gil’s speech, which I translated from the Spanish:

“The Struggle is not just beginning; the struggle is eternal. The struggle was initiated twenty centuries ago. With luck, then we must not be frightened: what we should do is remain in our new post, not fall into the vise in which the previous governors fell…that tolerance after tolerance, and contemplation after contemplation the absolute repeal of our laws was accomplished. What has to be done, then, is to remain vigilant. The public government officials and the public functionaries, zealous to accomplish the law, must be forced to see that it is done. And while I am in the government, before all Masonry I protest that I will be zealous that the laws of Mexico, the constitutional laws that guarantee freedom of conscience, and that the ministers of religion submit to a determined regimen; I protest, I say, before Masonry that while I am in the government I will comply strictly with the legislation.

In Mexico, the State and Masonry in the later years have been one and the same thing: two entities that march together, because the men in these latest years who have been in power have always known to solidify themselves with the revolutionary principles of Masonry.”

(From the discourse pronounced by the president of Mexico, Emilio Portes Gil, July 27, 1929 before the Masonic leader after signing the order (Arreglos – orders or laws) that put and end to the Cristero insurrection.)



By Orlando Fedeli

Homage to Father Francisco Vera, Priest and Martyr

Father, whose name is not known, even today and perhaps too few know you on earth, I want to render to you, martyr of God, my poor, but ardent homage.

Almost no one knows, today, of your sacrifice (which) happened many years ago, on a blue morning in Mexico. Nor at the very least is known that there was a Masonic and communist government, in Mexico, in the twentieth century, and that it persecuted the Church of God, assassinating your priests.

Today, almost no one knows you. History forgot you. She, today, only praises your assassins. Today there is agreement with these (assassins) and they are called “the men of good will.”

Similarly, Catholics do not know of your martyrdom. And – supreme sadness – the Church, at least through her most visible authority, seems to want to forget you, to forget your heroism and your confession of the Faith.

You are a priest of other times.

Today all has changed.

Today, one does not see intransigent priests who end up as martyrs: they want “dialogue.” The ecumenical and relativistic dialogue, that is easy to make accommodations of the most incredible kind. All the way to heresy; all the way to sin.

They want amiable priests, diplomatic and nice and not priests “obstinate like you, with your serious face and imperturbable before death.” (Pardon me, Father Francisco, they are – the moderns, the modernists, acrobats of dialogue, who would say to you “I, never! I, never!”)

For the real modernists, your comportment has been at the very least radical – they say – and a little bit over the top, and not the least bit ecumenical.

To the eyes of the prudent of this world, you have been a fanatic.

Alone you were on that blue morning, in the sunshine of Mexico – the sunshine of God – to give your silent testimony, serene, before the guns of the assassins.

All was calm and smoothness in that scene observed by few on the earth, but contemplated by the ardent love of the Angels. In the sunshine, on the blue morning in Mexico.

In the sunshine.

Unusually, with the embellishments (vestments) of the Mass, in the sunshine, in your silence, you seem to say to those are going to murder you: Introibo ad altare Dei.

You will enter unto the altar of God.

Yes! Never, Father Francisco, have you pronounced these words of the beginning of the Mass in a truer (more true) way than on that morning, in which you entered into the Heaven of the Most High.

Truly, the perfect Introibo at altare Dei.

In that Mass, in the Sunshine, on the blue morning in Mexico, alone, before the firing squad you yourself are the victim of your Offertory. Not only did you present the offering to God, you offered yourself in payment for the poor sins of the world, together with the Divine sacrifice offered on Calvary, also in the sunshine, one afternoon, …so long ago…, eternally.

From there, the suavity and serenity with which you looked at the soldiers who looked at your priestly person.

And they also seem to look at you sweetly, with their affectionate countenances supporting their rifles.

And they looked at you with leniency, smooth and calmly, so as not to miss the shot.

One looked at your head, as if to punish your faithful thoughts to the retrograde Church, faithful to a Church that does not accept the modern world, nor their pagan “civilization.” You, faithful to the Church that does not accept evolution, and to reject – cum gaudio et spes – the world and its principles, you were brought to an end before the new world. You, man of the ancient world, son of the Church of all time, son of Rome eternal, priest of the Most High, in aeternjm secundum ordinem de Melchisedech, against the wall, to die for God.

On the blue morning, in the sunshine, cum Gaudium et Spes, saying a resounding and mute NO, but clamoring for your blood, the modern world, with its miserable and its dark and impious works.

And in silence, you awaited the order to fire from the official of the firing squad.

And while you waited, they looked at you sweetly, they took aim at you sweetly.

And another looked at your heart, in order to murder your charity, in order to shed the blood of your inextinguishable love. And at the order of “Fire,” he desired to extinguish your love with fire.

And he only succeeded, then to feed the fire with FIRE.

They looked at you sweetly, to kill you; then you looked at them sweetly, pardoning them, or waiting for them to open fire, to open the door of Heaven on the blue morning in Mexico.

In the sunshine.

Have I told you this now, today, that the preists do not seem to be like you?

Look, I have another photo, here in my hands.

It is of another priest.

Now, it is of a real priest, a post modern priest. A priest like you, but of the new times after Vatican II. A modernist priest who wants to return to be a primitive.

I cannot publish his photo that is in a magazine that calls itself Catholic.

But you can see it from Heaven.

Is this the figure of a Catholic priest?

Yes, it is a Catholic priest. A pseudo missionary.

He does not have vestments. Not even a shirt. He is half nude – acculturated – among the Indians to whom he should be taking the true religion. Half nude in the night of the utter darkness of death.

Look at his eyes.

They are vacant. And look at the night.

It seems that he has no more soul.

He only wants to make his life flow like water, in the savage manner, looking at the night.

In order to extinguish the Sun of Justice, and there is no truth. And there is no more sun. And there are no more blue mornings in which one can kill the truth.

In the Sunshine.

He is incapable of saying – and even less of understanding – the Introibo ad altare Dei.

He has nothing to offer.

And what offering would he be capable of doing?

He would be competent only to offer donations, fruit of the earth and work of men.

The difference between him and you is that of the natural and the supernatural.

And how many are not capable of seeing this!

And how many conservative priests regard impiety and the errors of the evil to imitate their evil actions with ambiguous actions? The “goodness” – the “love,” as they say now, and no more charity – and the “obedience” of certain priests are the shield and the excuse for many errors…

What is a conservative priest?

He is that one that will do tomorrow what the modernist did day before yesterday.

What is a conservative priest?

He is that who says always that he will do tomorrow what the heroic should have done now.

What you did yesterday, in Mexico, on a blue morning. In the sunshine.

They say: “Today, no, because there are difficulties, and it is best to be prudent. And it is best to obey. Prudently, although against the Faith. Moreover, today, I am very busy…”

What is a conservative priest?

He is a priest very good in finding reasons to leave, postpone, or dispense the debt that is owed, now.

These, never will go to the wall.

But you Father Francisco Vera, in your faithfulness, you went to the wall. To heaven. On a blue morning in Mexico.

In the sunshine.

You, Father, whose name was unknown to me until this morning, your name is exalted in the heavens by the choruses of the angels and the saints. Because you did the Will of God on the earth, as He wants in Heaven. Without flight and without escape. Bravely.

In the sunshine.

A great adventurer are you, Father Francisco. For this reason I dedicate a few poor verses, which I wrote one day because I want them to pay homage to you.

In my soul there is a call
That burns on the inside (or in the entrails)
Love is what I call it
To die for your flag
It is my God who calls me
To die for his flag!

If the true Church
I lose my life for,
I would give one thousand lives
For the Church and her flag.
Ten thousand lives I would give,
To save the Faith entire.

Ah, Great God, and well I would want
That my soul burns away,
That other souls burn
With love for your flag.
That my soul is always ardent
With love for your flag.

And the glory would be spread
Through my beneficial (or good) death
To give my blood red and fiery
For my God and his flag.
With my blood red and fiery
To make his flag red.

If I could, like you, also give my blood, without valor, and give my life, with so many sins, for God. For the Church and for her flag!


It is what I ask of you, Father Francisco, that you obtain for me from God – although I don’t deserve it in any way – to die like you, for the Church and her flag.

On a blue morning.

In the sunshine.

In Corde Jesu, semper, Orlando Fedeli

November 27, 2003

Translation from the Spanish by Eleonore Villarrubia

Featured image is a screen shot from the film, For Greater Glory: