From Convent to Pentecost

Chapter 17

Convents Opened In Mexico

Spain, France, Poland, Hungary and Mexico have opened all of their Cloistered Convents because of government inspection. Why doesn’t America open her Convents? My only answer is that America was founded under religious liberty. She isn’t willing to wage a religious war to liberate a few Nuns. Therefore, people find it difficult to believe that cruelty and immorality takes place in American Convents. The public sees only the Sisters ministering to the sick, caring for the invalid or teaching in our schools. Therefore, it is hard for them to conceive in their minds things like dungeons, lime pits or cruelty of any nature behind those beautiful, brick structures and lovely terraces.

I’ve mentioned to people about Mexico and what the government discovered upon investigation. They only replied, “Oh, yes I know. But that was in Mexico where they were ignorant and heathenistic.”

In May, 1934, Convents in Mexico were opened. We are told of a little Nun who wrote a note of the sufferings, hunger and mistreatment and slipped it out to an old wood-chopper. He in turn sent the note to the President of Mexico. The President went into action immediately by having staged a banquet in the Presidential Palace and invited all of the prelates. At the opportune moment, the President stood and spoke of the Convents and their land and then asked the prelates to take him on a tour of investigation through each Convent.

They said, “That’s impossible. Those are religious orders and we’re not allowed to go back where the Nuns live.”

The President then called in the Militia, which he had in readiness, and compelled them to go into every convent. The President and the Nun, who slipped the note to the wood-chopper, and many others were killed in the semi-religious war that followed because of his command.

I now quote from The History of Puebla.

On April 3, 1934, Detective Valente Quintana went to the Attorney General’s office and reported the existence of several convents which were actually functioning in Puebla City. One of these was Saint Monica. On May 17, 1934, Valente Quintana and his workmate, Florence Gonzales, went to the federal Public Ministry to show the data they had accumulated.

The Judge ordered a search, and Valente Quintana accompanied by some Policemen went to Santa Monica Convent on May 18, 1934 early in the morning. Mr. Quintana went upstairs with his workmate. The first person he met was the doorkeeper, Guadalupe Zamorano D’Guerrero who was surprised at seeing the policemen. Mr. Quintana eagerly looked for a secret door and in his search he knocked over a flowerpot which was near to a closet. The vase fell down exposing a bell button. He pressed the button and just like magic a secret door in the back of the closet was opened and a Nun, Mary Margaret, appeared. Was she taking care of the secret door? Why did those Convents have secret doors? Why did it take the Law two weeks to find the secret door? The Government compelled them to leave and gave them forty-eight hours to do so.

On October 28, 1934, this Convent of the Augustinian Nuns was turned over to the Direct Dominion of the Nation with the Federal Treasury Office occupying and managing it. It was converted into a Museum of Religious Art. They also put some things that were found in the convents of Saint Catherine the Capuchins and that of Our Lady of Sorrows which were discovered the same year in Santa Monica.

In the Mother Superior’s cell was a picture of the Lord, a bed without a mattress, a little table with a crucifix, a praying desk with cilices or wires which have sharp points.”

We Nuns also had a bed consisting of the slab of wood, no mattress or pillow and only one blanket. We also had the prayer desk with wires having sharp points, for that was where we knelt and prayed. Even though it meant agony, we had to kneel on these sharp wires and repeat our learned prayers. You could also notice Mother Superior’s cell window from which she watched the novices.

Among the portraits on the wall was Mary Mother of Rosary, who continually suffered because her divine husband told her He liked to see her suffer. Also the portrait of Mother Hyacinth, Mary Niclas, of the Sacred Heart of Jesus who gave satisfaction to God by torturing herself so hard that she got sick and was in danger of death.

The above is written in Mexican History and inscribed with the portraits of Saint Monica Convent Museum. So, if you doubt the fact that Nuns suffer, go to Mexico and tour the Convents.

The secret entrance into the Nun’s Chapel was discovered by Valente Quintana by taking away a wooden box found in the Mother Superior’s bathroom. Tourists go in on their hands and knees into the Nun’s chapel. Here is where the Nuns said the Stations of the Cross while they carried a huge rope about their necks and crowns of thorns on their heads, while the blood trickled down their faces.

Santa Monica has a crucifix that was taken from a niche in the Saint Monica Church. It belonged to a Jew, James D’Alvarado, who bought the crucifix to mock at it. He was reported to the Inquisitors of the Holy Office and was condemned to be burned alive as an obstinate heretic. The burning took place publicly in the Garden of Saint Dominic in Mexico City.

In the sacristy of the convent they found a secret trap door under a rug in the corner. There a spiral stairway that led to the meditation room below. In pitch darkness, Nuns meditated all alone before a crucifix and a skull. Her meditation was upon death. Afterwards she flagellated her body. In a long rack are the habits and the leather belts. Leather belts that were worn in the convent had sharp metallic points. The belt was placed around our naked wastes to wear all day while we worked. We looked like pieces of beefsteak when we were allowed to remove it at the end of the day.

In the rear of this long, dark room there was a large, lifelike crucifix. Here we brought a dead Nun and stood vigil, and sprinkled holy water and ashes all over the dead body before we took it to the cemetery. At the corner there was a door that led to Saint Monica Church from which the priest came into the convent to lead the spiritual services for the Nuns. Who said, “Priests don’t come to convents?”

There was also a confessional box here and a catafalque for requiem masses.

I continue to quote from this same book:

A big screen communicating with Saint Monica Church through which the Nuns attended the Church Services without being seen and whereby the choir sometimes heard sacred songs and other times heard screams.

By taking hold of a rope, one is led through a hole into the cemetery. On the walls you will see the tombs of the Nuns and some priests with names inscribed therein.”

Try to figure out how they had a funeral for a priest in a girls’ cloistered convent, and buried him there instead of in the church cemetery. Then, when you have figured out that puzzle, figure out why Bishop Francis Paul Vazques’ heart was cut out of his body and pickled in alcohol, along with the tongue of Father Ignatius Parra y Crespo. Also, in another box on display are two petrified hearts of two other benefactors. How did these people ever get into a cloistered convent, especially to leave their last remains? Could it have been one of those times when confession was over, and the Nuns ganged up on the holy Father and tore him from limb to limb because he inflicted too much suffering upon them?

The History of Puebla tells of the discovery of a bone depository in 1936 that contained the skulls of forty-nine Nuns. The date was August 1, 1835. In other words, there was the lime-pit where deformed babies, disobedient Nuns and a few priests were laid for their final resting place. Chemicals and lime ate the flesh and took care of the stench. Only the bones were left to tell the tale.

In 1951 we conducted a Revival in southern California for a fine pastor who just returned from Mexico City. He stated that the Government had made another raid on convents and found one to be in operation even though it was ordered closed sixteen years before. They found twenty old Nuns who refused to obey eviction orders. However, the Law compelled them to leave in 1950.

In The History of Puebla, it states,

The last door of Saint Monica Convent found by Detective Valente Quintana was concealed with a poor landscape that was disguised with flowerpots, honeysuckle palms, etc. By this door the Nuns got the big bundles for the Kitchen.”

I’ve heard of whisky stills that operated in the hills and mountains of Kentucky and Virginia during Prohibition days where the law couldn’t find them, or were afraid to investigate if they did know where they were. I’ve also heard that vice rings operated within blocks of Police Stations for years before they were uncovered. But here is a Religious Convent that operated sixteen years contrary to the law of Mexico within blocks of the Police Station, and they couldn’t even find the entrance.