If the martyrdom of Blessed Stanley Francis Rother “fills us with sadness,” it also “gives us the joy of admiring the kindness, generosity and courage of a great man of faith,” Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, said on 23rd September in Oklahoma City.
The 13 years Blessed Rother spent as a missionary in Guatemala “will always be remembered as the glorious epic of a martyr of Christ, an authentic lighted torch of hope for the Church and the world,” the cardinal said in his homily during the US priest’s beatification Mass.
“Formed in the school of the Gospel, he saw even his enemies as fellow human beings. He did not hate, but loved. He did not destroy, but built up,” Cardinal Amato said.
“This is the invitation that Blessed Stanley Francis Rother extends to us today. To be like him as witnesses and missionaries of the Gospel. Society needs these sowers of goodness,” he said.
“Thank you, Fr Rother! Bless us from heaven!”
The cardinal was the main celebrant of the beatification Mass, joined by Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and his predecessor, retired Archbishop Eusebius J. Beltran, who formally opened the Rother sainthood cause 10 years ago.
An overflow crowd of 20,000 packed the Cox Convention Center for the ceremony.
Picture: Clergymen concelebrate Mass during the beatification Mass for Fr Stanley Rother on 23rd September at Oklahoma City’s Cox Convention Center. Blessed Rother, a priest of the Oklahoma City Archdiocese, was murdered in 1981 in the Guatemalan village where he ministered. (CNS photo/Dave Crenshaw, Eastern Oklahoma Catholic).