Behind WHEN SORROW TAKES WING: Related to a Saint?
Updated: Mar 28, 2022
A year into writing my novel, I discovered that one of the priests martyred during the Cristero War, and later canonized into a saint, may be related to my sons...
Sometimes my writing takes on a life of its own and takes me down a path I never expected. WHEN SORROW TAKES WING is a novel I never intended to write. I was working on a novel based on a female aviator who flew into the 1935 world fair, setting a world record by flying upside down over an international border. In that novel, Mariana was a secondary character whose story blossomed. My editor said Mariana's story was so compelling that I should develop it more.
In my story, Mariana becomes involved in the Cristero War in Mexico (1926-1929) when the government banned the Catholic religion and murdered priests and anyone who attempted to worship. The people rose up in rebellion against the government, including an entire underground network of 25,000 women called the Joan of Arc Women's Brigade.
As I dove deeper into Mariana's story, the novel became so big that I had to separate Jenny's story from Mariana's. Jenny's story is mostly finished and will be released as soon as I can.
A year after focusing on Mariana's story, I discovered that one of the martyred priests had the last name of Romo. When I started researching him, I immediately noticed a family resemblance to my sons. My sons' ancestors are from Mexico, so it is a distinct possibility. Maybe one day, they will do further research into their genealogy to find out if they are indeed related. Wouldn't that be something?
Saint Toribio Romo González is the patron saint of immigrants and has a shrine in the chapel where he was a parish priest in Santa Ana de Guadalupe, Jalisco.
If you would like to know a little more about Santo Toribio Romo González, here is a story from the Texas Monthly.