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First US-born martyr to be beatified in September

March 13, 2017

Father Stanley Rother, a native of Oklahoma who was killed while serving as a missionary in Guatemala in 1981, will be beatified in September.

Father Rother’s martyrdom was formally recognized by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints last December. His beatification has now been scheduled for September 23, to take place in Oklahoma City. Father Rother was a priest of the Oklahoma City archdiocese, which made the announcement on March 13.

While serving in a parish in Guatemala, Father Rother acknowledged that the nation’s civil war made his post dangerous. “But if it is my destiny that I should give my life here, then so be it,” he wrote. “I don’t want to desert these people.” He was gunned down on July 28, 1981.


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  • Posted by: wacondaseeds4507 - Mar. 13, 2017 8:26 PM ET USA

    A Franciscan missionary priest born and raised in Wisconsin, Fr. Casimir (Michael) Cypher, was arrested while administering last rites to dying victims of military brutality in Juticalpa, Olancho, Honduras, then tortured and killed that night, June 25, 1975. Acting with compassion as a priest, not as a political activist, qualifies him as a martyr in the minds of those who knew him. I had the privilege of meeting him days earlier in the Gualaco, Olancho, while visiting a mutual friend there.