On this day in 1989 a group of Jesuits and two women who worked with them were martyred in their home in El Salvador. They are known today as the Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador.
Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J., Ignacio Martín-Baro, S.J., Segundo Montes, S.J., Amando López, S.J., Joaquin López y López, S.J., Juan Ramón Moreno, S.J., Elba Ramos, and Celina Ramos were all brutally murdered by gunmen who stealthily snuck into their compound under the cover of darkness.
You can read more about the incident from this link, a from The Jesuit Post in 2017. Below you will find a video that also goes into their story. As will all those who have gone before us, may their memory forever be a blessing. As with all martyrs, especially those from El Salvador in the 1980’s, we say ¡presente! after their names because as ever, they are present, they are with us, they remind us to press on in the name of justice that can only come through the peace of the Gospel. Their lights shine on, may we always keep those flames burning, passing the light to others with every action in our lives.
“All my children, what I leave to you: Have charity, guard humility, and make your treasure out of voluntary poverty.” – St. Dominic
St Dominic was a canon at the cathedral in Osma, Spain. He was traveling with a bishop in France when he encountered the who believed in the Albigensian heresy. This heresy essentially said that all material creation was evil. St Dominic began to preach against this deeply entrenched heresy and the Order of Friars Preachers was born out of his desire to use persuasion and not force Continue reading →
Today is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. We remember the monumental event of Saul of Tarsus, who was speeding to Damascus to hunt down some followers of the Way. The Way was what early Christians were called; at that time they were still by and large Jews who believed that Jesus was the messiah. This was a great affront to many in Jerusalem because it went against what their religion understood.
As I prayed with the Scriptures, I got thinking about what would I do if Jesus showed up in a flash of light asking why I was persecuting him. It is a real trap to think that we are busy with God’s work with in the way we perceive that God wishes us to do it.
As I wonder what I would actually do if Jesus showed up with this question, I ask you the same. If Jesus claimed you were persecuting him, what would you do? Would you ignore him? Challenge him? Would you even be aware, flash of light or not, that he was Christ? Don’t worry, as I ask you these questions, I ask myself the same thing. Would you? Would you listen? Would you change? Would you follow?
Many of us think we are doing God’s work, and God willing, let’s hope that we are. But if God asked you to let go of how you saw that work and to do it God’s way, would you be able to follow? It’s a good question, because I am pretty sure that God shows up every day asking this to us, just minus the light and the blindness. Our road to Damascus is our daily way of being. Jesus wants us to all change. I’d like to think I would do so, but I’m not so sure. Would you?
Fr. Stanley Rother was born and raised in a German-American community in Okarche, Oklahoma, but ended up as a missionary priest in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. Speaking almost no Spanish, and absolutely no Tz’utujil, the language of the local people, Fr. Stan arrived and immersed himself in his new community. This immersion transformed both him and those he served with love. Padre A’plas, meaning Padre Francis, as he became known, worked together under many difficult circumstances in the pursuit of justice and dignity.
On this day in 1981, he was martyred – shot in his own residence. While I had heard of Fr. Rother before (I know a priest who was in seminary with him), I was not very familiar with his life and witness. Recently I had the privilege of reading an unpublished galley of biography of Fr. Rother. That book, The Shepherd Who Didn’t Runby Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda, will be Continue reading →